Community//

Take Care of Yourself

The Last Words My Aunt Said to Me

I remember the last conversation with my aunt very well. She was sick for several weeks, and my mother was by her bedside. She requested to speak with me before going into surgery.  We both knew that she may not make it out of surgery, but I girded myself up, and stayed strong. As my mother handed her the phone, I listened intently, wanting to respond to whatever she said with care. “Hi Eraina, I love you, you take of yourself, you hear me?” I responded dutifully and as quickly as possible. “Yes, auntie, I will.” Those words have stuck with me ever since. 

That was seven years ago. She never made it out of surgery, and I never heard her voice again. If I close my eyes, I can still imagine what it sounds like. Soft and mellow. One of the most beautiful and deliberate voices I’ve ever heard. I hope that I have made her proud in how I have taken care of myself. I have yet to master the art of self care, but being a mom of three girls, and two bonus boys, an entrepreneur, and a wife, it definitely takes practice. Below are three action steps that I practice in order to take care of myself.

Plan: Sometimes creating a plan seems like a daunting task, especially when you have variables, people, and multiple schedules. But more than planning, I make an effort to stick to the plan. Marking my mental and physical calendar for important dates is crucial. Some dates, events, and appointment are negotiable. Most are not. Though I remain somewhat flexible, even when it is uncomfortable, I keep my commitments. Doing so allows me to trust myself, and maintain the trust of others. This is a great way that I take care of myself. Nothing is more stressful than having to re-book constantly.

Sleep: Though at the end of most days many of my tasks on my list are not accomplished, I sleep. Without sleep, I am anxious, moody, and not the nicest to be around. Since I am still breastfeeding my one year old, and I have a special needs teenager, even when my sleep is interrupted at night, I go back to sleep. It is one of my favorite ways of caring for myself.

Travel: When I lived on the east coast, day trips were my saving grace. Seeing the highway in front of me was therapeutic. It was helpful to gain a perspective that there was more happening around me than just my physical location or personal life. Traveling expands your palette and creates the opportunity to reflect on what is important. Even in small spurts and distances, I make an effort to plan a trip or getaway bi-weekly. It is also great for the family.

Though they seem simple, this regimen of self care has sustained me through both great and challenging seasons of my life. If I lack discipline in any of the above areas, I feel it first, and then my family feels it. In the words of my aunt, “Take care of yourself.” 

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.