The Power of Putting Yourself First

Me and Zion ready to face the day!

Has there ever been a morning when you have found yourself racing around the house, hanging on by a string, just trying to keep it together? This used to be my morning every day. From the moment I woke up it was go, go, go! Between getting myself ready for work, the baby ready for daycare, caring for the dog, feeding everyone, and watching the clock I used to be a ball of anxiety. I felt like I was in a race for my life every single morning. It didn’t matter how much earlier I got up, it always felt like this. I was trying to do 3 or 4 things at a time while thinking about the next 3 things that needed to be done. One morning I found myself in the kitchen doing deep breathing, trying to calm myself down. I was breathing so loudly my sister came out of her room and asked if I was okay. I told her that I was, just that my regular morning anxiety was extra high that day. I realized that this feeling wasn’t regular and shouldn’t be regular. I knew there had to be a better way to function and get through the morning. The answer was in putting myself first.

As a mother, the thought of putting myself first felt foreign and strange. The needs of my 2 year old son always came first. Wasn’t that what a “good” mother does? But the needs that my son had in the morning weren’t immediate life or death type of needs. The needs my dog had weren’t immediate life or death type of needs. A reorganization was needed. It began with eliciting help from my husband. When I woke up I headed in the bathroom to take care of my needs first. I got myself completely ready before coming out. Next, I laid my son’s complete outfit out and woke my husband up to get him ready. Next, I headed in the kitchen to make my coffee and breakfast for my son and myself. While he was eating I fed the dog, gave her medications, and cleaned up after her. After that I am pretty much ready to get us out of the door. I drink my coffee and eat my breakfast in the car and I’m completely fine with that.

By taking care of my needs first I instantly feel calmer in the morning, Putting on my makeup in the quiet every morning actually feels like a meditation for me. I pay close attention to the process and the steps and it grounds me. By taking the other tasks step by step, I have decreased much of that anxiety I had when I was running around doing four things at once. Every morning is not perfect. There are mornings when we get up late, or the dog makes a big mess, or my husband takes longer than usual to get my son ready. But by making a commitment to make myself the first priority it has helped keep my anxiety in check. I still deep breath when I get overwhelmed. There are times when I have to say out out loud “It will be okay.” And I know the truth. It will be.

Leave a Reply