A Simple Ode to Ourselves
By Elizabeth Cappers, an intern at The Emily Program
The second I wake up in the morning my mind starts racing…”don’t forget about your appointment today, and remember to finish that assignment for class — you need to do well, and that test coming up—you need to study more than last time because we know how that went…and oh yeah don’t forget to feed the cat, seriously you need to eat breakfast and come on now make sure you’re on time, it’s so embarrassing when you’re late.” Instantaneously I want to throw the covers over my head, close my eyes and disappear from the world as I become filled with an overwhelming and stressful lump of emotions that sits restlessly cold in my throat. How is anyone supposed to get good grades, apply for graduate school, keep up their course load, study, exercise, eat right, have an internship, volunteer, work, hang out with friends, get enough sleep…let alone have one second to even to BREATHE! There are only 24 hours in a single day!
I am going to assume I am not alone in feeling this way every so often. We live in a society that promotes these unattainable expectations that as soon as we wake up in the morning we throw on our capes and morph into superheroes, breezing through life with our superior multitasking skills. It is a constant give, give, and give some more relationship that leads to complete and utter exhaustion, and leaves us wondering when and if it will ever be our turn to receive.
When we find ourselves wrapped up in these feelings, it is crucial for us to just simply take one giant step back from reality, close our eyes for a moment, and take a nice cleansing breath, because we deserve it.
Just because we have been giving, giving, giving a lot of ourselves lately, doesn’t mean we have to wait to receive. We deserve to give ourselves the time to reward and nourish our mind, body, and spirit in meaningful ways. To provide ourselves with some well-deserved self-care.
In fact, this balance of giving and receiving is essential to keeping our energy, mood, and motivation positive. It’s essential for preventing those negative thoughts from creeping their way into our minds and grasping control of our world. Practicing good self-care, even if it’s for five minutes of our day, can make all the difference in our perception of the tasks at hand. It means taking care of ourselves in ways that are significant and impactful, enough to counteract the anxiety evoked by the nagging to-do list that is running through our minds. It means being okay with days where we just do enough, go to bed 30 minutes earlier to feel refreshed in the morning, enjoy make-up free days where we let ourselves glow from the inside out, and when we do something because we wish to do it, not because we have to check it off the list.
We forget that we can give to ourselves. That we can fill ourselves up. And that we should fill ourselves up.
And most importantly we deserve to.