I taught a Red Cross Standard First Aid course this weekend. Red Cross has a huge focus on preventing and teaching to avoid emergencies and then how to deal with them. However prevention is key. I start off asking the class who is the most important person at any first aid scene. Lots of people said the victim and one women said me. I got really excited about that, because yes! You are the MOST IMPORTANT person. The very first step in first aid is to stop, check is the scene safe for you? I think that should be transferred to all parts of life. If you are not full of life, safe, and all around good to go; you will have a hard time giving, supporting, and caring for others. So slow down, check in with you, how are you feeling, take care of you!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, in the morning your tank is low and it’s time to fuel it up. Or what lots of people need is a kick start. You truly are what you eat, and what you eat determines how you feel. So how do you want to feel? I can’t think of any better feeling than vibrant and energized. Or on the opposite side of low and tired, it’s a sliding scale. However, you are in control. Most of it has to do with what you eat. It all has to do with what goes into your body.
My mission is to feel vibrant and work with others to get there too.
My main line of work through the summer is wilderness canoe guiding. I feel most vibrant and energized out there, but it takes conscious consideration to keep it up, or my energy can crash down. Sometimes I have to work really hard to get my group across a portage and then set up camp. Sometimes late in the day or sometimes in the rain. I always find ways to push on and get the job done well. I do this by making sure I am fuelling my body correctly and monitoring my water consumption closely. Enough of the right food is what is most important to feeling energized. I always have a snack close by, usually trail mix, an energy bar, dried fruit or nuts. I eat it whenever I need it, lots of the time on a portage. Fruit and vegetables are also important.
Talking with mother friends they all know they can be better care givers if they are feeling good first, but so often it’s everyone else they put before themselves. They love themselves, but their kids, families and pets get all their energy and they get drained because they’re not taking the time to refuel themselves. Then everyone is at a loss. You are number one, you are most important, you need to come first. Then everything else will be easier. You know it, but what do you do to do it?
I find self care easier at work, there are less distractions and the food planning has already been done. I’ve been looking for ways bring those practices to my home life and I think little steps are most sustainable, so to start off water must always be within reach. In a water bottle or a glass, I’m working on never leaving home without water and always have a glass of it next to me. If you have time for nothing else, carry a bottle around and drink water!
Eat food that gives you energy. Think about how the food you are about to eat will make you feel. It’s the reason I made scrambled eggs this morning instead of grabbing the easy muffin.
I’ve made a checklist of the three most basic things you can do on a regular basis to take care of you. When you lose track of taking care of yourself, this is the place to come back and start. Click below to get your checklist.
What do you do to feel energized? I’d love to hear from you in the comments and start a conversation to share tips to put yourself first and energize yourself in your busy life.