~~Fall in love with taking care of yourself. mind. body. spirit. This is the beginning of self-care.~~ Dena Patton
I know you are a giving person. You take care of your home, your employees, your spouse, your parents, your neighbors, your fur babies. You donate your precious time to volunteer work, to charities, to others. You stuff down your feelings of exhaustion and annoyance to do that one more task that only you can do so well.
And then you take a few moments for a smoke break. It soothes you. It calms you. It makes things ok for a while.
But it doesn't, really. Now you are dealing with high blood pressure on top of everything else. Your breathing is labored. Your bones are getting brittle. Your gums are bleeding. You are cold all the time. But you press on. Things to do. Events to manage. People to make happy.
Where are you in all this? Where is your time to sit and marvel at nature? Where is your time to find peace on the yoga mat? To sip tea and sigh with pleasure? To delight in your grandbabies? To grow brilliant flowers? To laugh with friends? To enjoy solitude?
You may think "I don't have time for all that". It's time to make time. If you want to quit smoking and you want to do it well (so to speak), you need to fall in love with taking care of yourself. You need to slow down enough to make YOU a priority!
You will find true delight in recognizing what makes you happy. You will find joy in doing those things. You will find its fun to discover who you are as a person...not just a parent or an employee or a spouse or a friend. Explore your talents. Create beauty. Have an adventure. Discover hidden skills. Find your spirituality. Love those dimples on your thighs as much as the dimples on your cheeks. Nurture your body as you rid yourself of the chemicals and toxins that damaged it for so long. Look forward to a nap. Find lotions that smell pretty. Get a good workout in that makes your body feel capable.
Quitting smoking should be all about you. Not your kids, not your parents, not your spouse. Focus on falling in love with taking care of YOU. Notice when you start breathing a little easier. Notice when you don't think of smoking for an hour. Notice that the yellow fingertips are fading. Your teeth are looking better. Picture the cells in your body dancing as they discover they don't have to work as hard to keep you going. They LOVE you. It's time to love them back.
And once you fall in love with taking care of yourself, you will get the hang of once again incorporating the world. You will still volunteer...but you may decline every now and then if it interferes with your time. You will still go to work....but you will not need to escape it with a cigarette. You will find yourself ok with your emotions...even the icky ones like sadness or anger. And you fill find yourself feeling.....free. Free of addiction, free of a gigantic weight off your shoulders, free of the expectations of others. You will find yourself in love with you and in love with life.
That is self-care.