Too many times, I hear people say, “I need to take care of myself first.”
And then they go out to get plastered, overeat by “treating” themselves, going for massages, buying clothes, shopping, or just plain isolating.
With isolation, there is a greater chance to get into your head and start thinking the world is against you, feeling depressed about the past, getting anxious about the future, and then sitting in the self-pity you’ve created for yourself.
I once believed this was what taking care of myself really meant.
Somewhere along the way, “taking care of yourself” turned into a self-pity party and pushing people away.
We numb our brains with Netflix, alcohol, drugs, social media, and food, causing only more depression because we end up depending on the chemical rush.
Social media and all the instant gratification we get on the Internet is as bad for our brains. Social media is cigarettes to our mental health.
But who knew? Just like cigarettes, no one knew the effect it would have on us, just like we didn’t know the effects social media and phones would have on our mental health.
I recently download the app called Moment to see how much time I was spending on my phone. My original guess was 90 minutes to two hours. It was almost three hours, daily. And there were even times when I made an effort those days to not be on my phone.
Being on your phone during isolation or time spent taking care of yourself is not a form of “taking care of yourself.”
It may actually create more feelings of distance from other people.
“Well Kevin, people suck!”
Even if that’s is true (and I’m not saying it is), don’t let the 9 people that suck ruin it for you when that one person who can make a difference in your life actually comes around.
It’s hard to believe it, but we humans rely on human connection. It is a deep human need that is imprinted in us and when we deny this, we become more restless and depressed.
Here’s what taking care of yourself means to me…
This is your connection with a higher power, or whatever you choose to believe. If you are an atheist, that still is a belief. Get in touch with the flow of the universe, God, or earth. Get in touch with the energy and flow around you, that is not you, but is you.
And no, this doesn’t mean going to yoga class. This falls in the form of health which is number 2.
I once thought treating myself to Nutella and peanut butter pancakes were helping me, but it made my body and mind worse.
This also means giving your body a chance to rest from exercise.
Too many times I see people who train 5-7 times a week who can’t get results because they are constantly trying to “catch up” from a late night binge, and then tell me that it’s because I have the “genetics.”
In this case, less is more. It’s difficult to believe, but I assure you that if you train less and let your body recover, your mind will follow.
Show up and be there for your family. I also consider closest friends and mentors to be family. What I’ve noticed is that when my relationships with my family are off, it usually goes the same with the rest of the people I meet or have in my life. As I’ve gotten older, my love for my mother is still high, but it’s changed. We bump heads a lot more, and it affects the rest of my life, with the women in my life, either personally or in my everyday lives. I get more distant.
Work on your home and family life to open it up for the rest of the world.
I got this list from the book called The One Thing by Gary Keller who is a highly successful realtor and author. When I started to get my priorities straight in taking care of myself, it all began to make more sense, and I felt more grounded and aligned. When I told others that I’m taking care of myself, it really felt like I really was putting my priorities back in line.
It didn’t mean isolating to my bat cave, blowing people off, or killing time.
If you haven’t read The One Thing, I recommend it because it’s been a big game-changer from my perspective.
I can’t help you with spirituality or family matters, but I am certain I can help with your health and fitness goals.
If your health is not a priority but you want to start, and you need help, take the free body design tool. It’s a survey, which will guide you to the right Muscle and Strength program I’ve designed to help you with your health and well-being.