Vanessa R. Cummings, CAPP

When was the last time you gave yourself a once-over? I mean, gave yourself a full body scan to check yourself out? We spend so much time taking care of others that we often fail to take care of ourselves. What or who comes ahead of you? Your spouse, children, significant other, parents, siblings, loved ones? Perhaps your job or career or educational endeavors.

Today, I want you to stop what you are doing and look at yourself. Close your eyes, look introspectively, and ask yourself how you’re feeling? What are you feeling? Are you happy, sad, confused, overwhelmed, free as a bird, carefree? What is going on around you? How is your environment affecting you?

We need to do a self-check on a daily basis. You may realize you need to talk to someone. Find yourself a therapist. No, that is not taboo or a sign of weakness. Therapy is a valuable tool to have in your tool chest. Maybe you have a close friend or confidant you can talk to. Make sure someone is checking on you and you have a safe place to let go and process your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Flight attendants remind us every time we fly to put the oxygen mask on yourself first. Why, you ask?  Because if you can’t breathe, you cannot help anyone else. You can’t give mouth-to-mouth to someone if your lungs are empty. Taking care of yourself is critical care for yourself.

When was the last time you smelled the coffee, smelled the flowers, looked to the sky and appreciated the beauty of God’s creation? When did you last go out and stargaze, walk along the beach, through the park, or took a bike ride to relax?

If you haven’t given yourself a checkup and a self-care break, please do it today! The life you save may be your own!