Nearly every conversation I’m having with clients right now includes at least a few minutes about how they are (or are not) taking care of themselves. The conversation usually starts with my pointing out what is, to me, the obvious…
“You know, it’s really hard right now. For everyone. Of course you’re angry/anxious/not sleeping/scared/fill-in-the-blank-here. It’s really, really, really hard right now, and everyone is either triggered or pretty much in denial.”
At that point, there’s usually a quiet pause, and a quiet sigh, and a quiet “thank you” from my client.
Then I point out that the most important thing that they can do right now is to take care of themselves.
“Remember when you were flying all over the world to see clients?” I ask. “Do you remember that ‘put your oxygen mask on first’ bit? Do you know why they say that?”
Again, generally a quiet pause…
“Because if you can’t breathe, you can’t help anyone else breathe. If you’re short on oxygen – or whatever you need to be okay – you’ve got nothing to give anyone else. Not your team. Not your friends. Not your family.”
Again, generally a quite pause…and a quiet “thank you” from my client.
Then we begin to talk about what they can do to take care of themselves, and they often ask me what I do to take care of myself. Perhaps needless to say, my list is pretty long.
“I practice yoga. I walk (still can’t run because of the concussion). I meditate. More than once a day. I take a break from work and simply pause. I text people I love. I send love. I text people whom I can make laugh or who make me laugh. I read a book for a few minutes. I put my hand on my heart. I (re)focus my mind on thoughts that make me smile or ease my soul or shift my perspective….”
You get the idea.
Now is a time when it’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves and honestly, unless you have very small children or very sick or old family/housemates/etc. with you, it is a time to take care of ourselves first. To put on our oxygen masks and breathe in deeply. To do whatever we need to be okay. And then more okay. And then more okay.
(How) Are you taking care of yourself? I give you my meaningless permission to put yourself even more first starting right now.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!