I know what you’re thinking. “Lady, I want to take care of myself but I’m too damn busy!” And believe me, I get it! I’m a mom, too. A Special Needs mom at that. I completely understand how incredibly difficult it is to make yourself a priority when you have a million and one things to do for your family, for work, for friends, etc. The list is never-ending, amirite?!

Here’s the thing: if you continue to give and give and give, and don’t take time for yourself, you will eventually run yourself down. Sooner or later, it WILL catch up with you. Think of your relatives. Especially the female ones. Maybe it’s your mother or grandmother. Maybe a tia. Generations before us were taught that being a good woman/mother meant that you had to give every last ounce of yourself. Every last bit of your time, your money, your energy. You know what that’s called? Martyrdom. Look, I’m not saying that these women weren’t amazing and strong. I know I owe my Abuelita so much. But be honest. How often do they complain of aches and pains now? How often do they suffer in silence but you know they are tired and in pain? It’s pretty sad, really.

So, here’s my point: taking care of yourself is not nearly as selfish as you think. Self-care is a necessity. If you want to live a long, happy, and healthy life, you need to make yourself a priority. If you don’t, who will? Take a 15 minute Epsom salt bath once a week. The dishes can wait. Wake up 15 minutes earlier for a meditation session. It will help you center yourself and set up the tone for the day. Stretch 1-2 times a day and get the blood flowing to your muscles. They work hard and need a reminder to leave the day’s stress behind. Once a month, book a massage for yourself and give your mind and body the rest that it so badly needs.

What about the kids? What about everyone else who needs you? They can wait. While it’s easy to think that taking time and resources for yourself is taking resources from your loved ones and tasks, the opposite is true. If you are feeling rested, you are more likely to be in a good mood and have tons more energy and you’ll probably get more done. So, taking some “me-time” is actually giving time to everyone else, too! Who doesn’t want that? Give yourself a chance to feel your best. You have one body and it won’t last forever but you can help it live a long and healthy life.