Many people think of others before they think of themselves. That’s not a bad thing except when it leads to burnout, stress, and illness, which it often does. To really be there for others, we need to be there for ourselves first.Gentry Bronson standing in the French Quarter in New Orleans with the words "To truly take care of others, we need to take care of ourselves first"

I find that every day I need a routine that involves essential self-caring elements. Meditation, reading, writing, and exercise are part of each day for me. I also need coffee. 😉

Choosing not to wake up to an alarm clock and waking up when my body wants has been consistent in my life for years. And I turn off my mobile phone and my laptop every night by 7 or 8pm because I want and need the digital break.

These are my daily rituals. Things I do to be healthy. Simple, conscious tasks. I try not to be extreme and if I’m not able to meditate for as long or my pool gets shut down for a day and I can’t swim laps, I work with it. I may read while waiting at a doctor’s office or jot down notes and plans instead of entire stories and strategies. The key is not to be too tight. It’s about making aware choices and being loose at the same time.

I do these things to be my best. That means I’m happy, relaxed, and more ready to laugh when a stressor comes along. By taking care of myself, I feel I can truly be there for my clients, friends, family, pets, girlfriend, and everyone I interact with throughout the day.

Are you taking care of yourself? If your answer is anything but, “Yes”, then it’s time to do so. Do something for yourself today. Don’t feel guilty for doing it either. It’s your time to embrace you.

Later, you can be there for everyone else.