One thing that is so easy to forget is that health and fitness require time and energy.  Are you one of the many is this world that feel the need to care for others first?  What do they tell you just before the plane takes off?  If the plane goes down, put your oxygen mask on first, then help those around you.  It is no different in every day life. 

               As a child I was raised in a very conservative home where the woman’s purpose was to be the care taker.  I was taught to serve first.  This philosophy is as tangible as if it made up my physical being.  I see this issue in so many men and women that struggle with their health.  Many of these people I greatly admire!  The issue is that it isn’t sustainable!  I know someone who owns a growing small business.  Who do you think he puts first?  He treats employees as if they are family and clients like best friends. He works himself to levels of exhaustion that very few of us can even imagine.  When I was in the worst of my decline I worked in Social Services and fought to help those that needed help but fell through the cracks.  My entire day was filled with desperation and my nights spent searching for solutions for the those that did not quite qualify under program guidelines.  If I spend 9 hours a day at an office, then 4 hours collecting food, gift cards for necessities and cooking and cleaning for elderly neighbors what is left?  Not only was the time gone, but the energy depleted.  I didn’t even give myself enough to cook a balanced meal or take a walk.  I was sick all the time and didn’t give myself a day to rest even then.

               This does not mean that those that are healthy are selfish by any means.  They more easily practice proper self-care.  In this way they can sustain higher levels of care for others.  Those of us that struggle with this often make ourselves sick before we take a break.  It is our bodies way of forcing us to focus on our own wellbeing.  Who do you think I rely on when I get sick?  Someone, who understands this philosophy and is strong enough when I am worn out. 

               Write down 3 things that make you feel peaceful and energized.  I challenge you to begin your journey here.  Practice 3 things that make you feel good about yourself and your life on a regular basis.  My hope is that you experience the importance of viewing yourself outside the realm of caring for others.

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