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January 26, 2022
Who hasn't been there, right! You just don't have the energy to keep giving, and giving, and giving. What everyone else needs, wants, and demands always takes priority. Your needs go unmet, and each day ends with you feeling unseen and unfulfilled.
Sadly, our societal norm is to think martyrdom and sacrifice is what makes us a good human being. We're told giving and giving without end is what it means to be a good parent, a great partner, a loyal friend, an excellent employee, or colleague.
It's time to call that mindset what it is. It's a LIE!
If we are giving from a well that has run dry, what we're giving is the dried-up sand of emptiness, bitterness, and resentment.
No wonder so many no longer feel fulfillment in their lives or have little to no peace of mind. We think running ourselves into the ground is something by which to measure our self-worth.
Do we really want to demonstrate to our daughters and sons that self-abuse is love? Do we really want to say it's okay to treat someone like an ATM from which they can take without limit?
This is exactly why self-respect, self-care and healthy boundaries are so important. It's not about making everything about me, me, me. It's simply about understanding we cannot give our best or do for others to the best of our ability, if we are empty, exhausted, and over-extended.
If your 'give a damn' is busted, it’s time to make self-care a priority in your life. Please, don't beat yourself up. There is nothing wrong with you if you have reached your limit. As human beings we have finite limits and limited capabilities.
We DO have the power to be the best version of ourselves. This requires developing good self-care habits. It means taking the time for introspection to determine what it is we need to be the best version of ourselves. It requires making self-care habits a priority every single day.
What each person needs will be different. One person may need more alone time to recharge. Another might need social interaction to reenergize. One person might need more sleep, while another may need to get out of bed earlier to have personal time.
Tons of resources exist to learn how to put a self-care plan in place. Just Google "self-care" and you'll see what I mean. More people are becoming aware of the importance of good self-care. But don't try to fix this imbalance overnight. That's a sure way to fail. Instead, make just one slight change and stick with it until it feels like it's part of you. Then move on to the next step. This change in mindset and habits will take time. After all, most of us have believed this martyrdom-lie for an awfully long time.
The most valuable sentence you can make part of your self-care vocabulary (when someone is asking too much of you) is, "No thank you. I'm not comfortable with that," and then follow it with, "but I am willing to...." and express what works for YOU. This simple stand can be a beginning in practicing good self-care and it models self-respect for those around you.
Here's to making your self-care a priority because as we present our best self to those we love, it improves our families, which in turns improves our communities, which then can improve our world.
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