If we don't give ourselves down time to care for our own needs, we will pay the price.
Today I listened to a startling TED Talk by Matt Williams, "Sleep is Your Superpower." I learned that the price we pay for not getting enough sleep takes years off our lives, causes short term memory problems that can become very serious, significantly depresses our immune systems, and even affects our DNA. All of our systems, mind and body, are restored during sleep.
Not getting enough sleep, or rest, is not something to take lightly. And it's even more important in this time of COVID-19. I was awakened to this fact when my daughter tested positive, and then after a couple of nights of staying up too late--in spite of my careful precautions--I began experiencing symptoms myself. My lack of sleep made me more vulnerable. No amount of taking the right supplements, eating right, hand-washing, and other precautions can make up for a lack of sleep.
It can be hard to give ourselves permission to take the time to give our bodies rest. But rest and recovery is some of the most important self care we can ever do.
We've been programmed in our society to think that our worth comes from DOING.
This is absolutely NOT TRUE.
Our worth is simply because we ARE.
It took me getting sick with adrenal fatigue and being in bed for the better part of 18 months before I could slow down and recognize this fact, and truly begin to learn the value of REST AND RESTORE.
Just as in weight lifting, the gains do not happen during the DOING--that is actually when things are broken down. It is only in the REST AND RESTORE phase that we actually get stronger.
And so it is with life.
Even Jesus took time for himself, time to be alone, to rest and to pray. He knew this was vital if he was to have anything to give to others.
He taught us to "love your neighbor as yourself." Implicit in this teaching is that we must love and care for our SELF.
So when you are taking care of YOU, there is no need to make excuses. You do not owe anyone an apology. You are not doing anything wrong. You are doing exactly what is most important.
We cannot survive unless we learn to put on our own oxygen mask first. And we cannot thrive, and create a life of meaning, purpose and JOY unless we first take care of our own needs--physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Only then will we have the ability to truly give of ourselves, to share the marvelous gifts that each and every one of us has been given with those around us, and make the world a better place.