You might be wondering, why is the Fashion writer talking about this? I’ll tell you why. There is not a single day in my work as an Image Consultant that I don’t have to tell at least one client this message: You are allowed to put yourself first. Somehow in our society, we’ve been conditioned to think that taking care of ourselves is selfish. We’ve been given the deeper message that if you spend too much time on your appearance or body or hair that you aren’t a good person. Heaven forbid you have children, or a career, or a relationship! Then any time spent taking care of yourself is somehow made to look like you are taking time away from “more important things.” I am going to shut this down; maybe not once and for all, but every chance I get. I wish I could scream it from the mountaintops, and you know what, I just might.
In case you needed a reminder: You are worthy of taking care of yourself and being taken care of. Self-care is healthcare. The things you do to take care of your self-esteem, your mental and emotional health, your physical health, to build yourself back up and everything in between are necessary.
If you’ve ever been on an airplane, in the safety video there’s always instructions that if the oxygen level becomes too low, masks providing oxygen will drop down above your seat. Stay with me here, the next piece of instruction is what I want to focus on. You are then advised to put your own oxygen mask on FIRST before assisting others. The principle is this, if you are running out of air, you can’t be expected to reach out and help others to breathe. In this situation, if you aren’t getting oxygen, you will eventually suffocate. This is true of life and taking care of yourself. If you don’t make the time to care for your needs and health, you are not available to make a difference in the lives of those around you. You can’t succeed in your career, your love life, or reach your goals if you aren’t getting enough “oxygen.”
Here is your official permission slip to take care of yourself, whatever that looks like for you. Go get your nails done. Take two hours to get ready in the morning. Wear clothing and colors that make you feel confident. Take a walk in nature. Hit the gym. Talk with a friend. Read a book in silence. If it’s not causing anyone or anything harm, you do you. You are allowed to feel good in your own skin. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel guilty for getting the oxygen that you need to survive. You have permission to be happy, healthy, and taken care of.