As we celebrate the month of romantic love, it’s also the perfect time to celebrate and love ourselves: take time to do what makes us happiest and brings us joy. do what takes away the pressures of our work lives, our social lives, our family, and other obligations that keep us from giving back to ourselves fully; and do what gives us balance.
I’m a firm believer that balance is so important and should be a priority for our mental and physical well-being. Many years ago I gave the key note speech at the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Luncheon, which this year will take place Feb. 3. During that speech I talked about how we, as women, give all of ourselves to our loved ones but if we don’t stop and take the time to take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of others. I was speaking about heart health, but it also rings true for “whole self” preservation.
The poet Audre Lorde wrote, “I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” So why do we tend to put off being as good to ourselves as we are to others? Why do we allow ourselves to be so consumed with everyone else that we overlook the most important person? Why does this make us feel guilty if we do? We should be the first in line of those we care, without self-reproach.
My challenge to you this month, this year, everyday, is to take time for YOU. Whether it’s reading a good book, taking a nap, a long, hot bubble bath while watching tv, a mani-pedi, a day at the spa or even just a spa treatment, yoga or other physical activity, take the time. It is imperative to take the time, as much as possible, so you can regroup, reenergize, and reconnect with your inner soul. Doing so will allow you to give back to those you love in a bigger, fuller, richer way. Happy Cupid’s Day; may that arrow hit you with all the love you deserve, and may it start with you.