Look After Yourself First

I was having a meltdown earlier this week.

I won't lie... I was stressed out, I had some massive deadlines and meetings back-to-back, meaning I had little time to actually do my work, let alone look after myself, exercise, or eat anything that resembles a well-balanced diet. Adulting sucks sometimes, man. It just does. 

I was talking to my friend and she looked me dead in the eye and said: "Carmen, you know when the airplane is going down, how they ask you to put your own mask on first?" 

"Yeah?" I replied, kinda sheepishly because to be honest I had no idea what she was getting at. 

"Well, I'm asking you to put your mask on." She replied. 

Then it hit me, I hadn't actually done a single thing for myself in weeks, or months, even.

What struck me is how low of a priority I had become on my own list. It seemed that, unbeknown to me, somewhere along the line, I'd slipped right down to the very bottom and I didn't even notice.   

'How did I get here?' I wondered to myself. 'When did I become my own lowest priority?!' Had I become one of those work-a-holics who actually lives to work? I don't think so, but it did make me wonder. 

Then I realised. That's the thing about looking after yourself as a fully-fledged adult... It's work. And if it's only for yourself, you're only letting yourself down, and it's fine. 

Until it's not fine, and you're having a Memphis Meltdown at 2pm on a Monday. 

You have only got so many hours in the day, and only so much you can get done. But you're a hell of a lot more use to the people around you (and the people in your business) if you're healthy, happy and putting yourself first.

I know I'm not alone in the situation I've found myself in.  

I speak to many business owners who have wound up in the same boat. And the truth is, when you put yourself last, you might find yourself on a one-way-track to burnout. Which is not pretty. Been there, got the t-shirt.

Many of us (myself included, I'll admit), think of self-care as indulgent or a luxury we don't have time for - that there's more important things to do. But the truth is, self-care is not only important, it's necessary

How do we expect ourselves to perform at a high level if we're not taking the time to rest and rejuvenate? 

I know that I've had some of my best 'lightbulb' moments when I gave myself the time and space to relax and let my mind wander. 

In the long run, my business (and yours) will only benefit if we all take a little time out to look after ourselves. Sometimes it can seem like 'more work', (as ridiculous as that sounds), but if you're keeping your eye on the prize over the long-term, self-care should be as much of a mainstay in your calendar as your next sales meeting. 

Happy 'joojing', people. 

-Carmen 

StartupCarmen WattsLife