If You Don't Take Care of Yourself, Who Will?

By Scott Schimmel

I see someone regularly called a spiritual director. You could think of her as a life coach, if that’s a more helpful term. She asks me a lot of poignant, open-ended questions about my overall health- my relationships, my values, my contributions, my struggles, and my triumphs. She celebrates with me, and she mourns with me. 

She also points out when I’m out of whack. 

You know what I’m talking about-- those seasons, or days or weeks when things just aren’t going well. When it feels like you’re swimming upstream, or pushing a boulder up a hill, or spinning a bunch of plates (pick your own metaphor). It’s those times when the rhythms and habits that keep you sane and healthy and balanced fall by the wayside and you spend your waking moments mechanically reacting to urgent demands; or disengaging entirely and binge-watching Netflix. 

Here’s a true statement: you’re in charge of your life. Really. You’re in charge of how you spend your time. You’re in charge of your priorities. And your calendar. You’re in charge of your conversations, of your attitude, of your mindset, of your habits, whether you eat healthy or numb yourself by eating a whole tube of Pringles. 

You, are in charge.

There might be some friends that take care of you sometimes. You might have a nosy mom, or an expectant significant other, or a toddler who forces your priorities. But no one can make you do things, make you engage, or force you to choose well. 

You’re in charge. 

What are the habits that feed you? Who are the friends who breathe life into you and inspire you? What are your go-to songs that get you fired up? Where are the beautiful spots that remind you to feel grateful? How much sleep do you need? Which foods make you want to take a nap? What's your favorite blend of coffee?

You're the only one who knows what you need, and the only want to go and get it.

Do you know how to take care of yourself? If you don’t take care of yourself, who will?

Scott Schimmel is the President and Chief Guide of YouSchool. He’s insanely focused on helping young people reach their potential. Connect with him: theyouschool.com  and Twitter: @schimmelscott