I don’t just want you to thrive, I need you to thrive. Yes, YOU. 

We may not have met, but if there’s one thing this time of social isolation has taught me, it’s that I thrive when surrounded by thriving people. And, boy, do I stagnate when separated from my healthy, high-vibe tribe. Can I get an “AMEN”?

I’ve been thinking especially of the women in my life. About how much they improve my day-to-day. How they inspire me, lift me up, support me, and encourage me. And I try to show my gratitude, but I often wonder…DO THEY EVEN KNOW?

Did my yoga teacher, when she cheerfully reminded me that “It’s yoga practice, not yoga perfect,” know she was teaching me that vulnerability is brave and worthy?

Did my beautician, when she shared her story of finding her calling in an unlikely place, know she was reassuring me that I, too, would find my true calling?

Did my friend, when she opened up about her much-needed teletherapy appointments, know that she was reminding me that it’s ok to ask for help?

Do we, as women, truly grasp the fact that we are desperately needed by each other? By our families? By our workplaces? By our communities? When we thrive, we pass along all that goodness to other women, most of the time without even knowing it. 

I believe it goes beyond that, though. I believe we have a RESPONSIBILITY to thrive in life.

Just hear me out.

I talk about self-care a lot in my work. And it’s not always received well. Typically, when I ask one of my clients if they’re practicing self-care, they sigh or roll their eyes.

“I’m not good at that,” they’ll say, their voice full of resignation.

They’ve shut the door on self-care for a host of reasons; no time, no energy, other priorities, demanding jobs, out-of-town partners, kids, not enough money, or (my personal favorite) a deep, deep belief that they don’t deserve it. That it’s indulgent and a waste of time.

But they are rock stars when it comes to meeting their responsibilities. They’re totally dedicated to their kids, job, partner, and causes. They follow through and meet expectations. And I bet you’re a lot like them!

So, what if you put self-care on your list of responsibilities? What if you prioritized rest, healthy movement, and hydration the same as helping your kids with their homework, or meeting that deadline at work?

My friends, the world needs you to take care of yourself. Don’t rob us of your gifts, talents, encouragement, example, hugs, jokes, recipes, wisdom, or the YOU that is YOU (to borrow a phrase from the great Jen Sincero)!

If you find yourself in a place of survival, overwhelm, deep exhaustion, sleepless nights, out-of-control emotions, or high stress, you have our permission to take the time, energy, and resources to figure it out. To get help. To show yourself the same grace and compassion that you would show your partner, friend, kids, or sister.

If you don’t know where to start, just close your eyes, take three deep breaths in and out, and repeat the phrase “I am worthy of self-care.”

If you can find a way to believe that phrase, then you can begin to put it into practice. And if you can put it into practice, there ain’t nothin’ you can’t do!

And guess what? There are many, MANY proven, science-based, holistic strategies available to you right now that can take you from “just surviving” to thriving. I promise it’s possible, no matter your circumstances.

Don’t just do this for yourself…do it for all of us!

Dr. Kate Lyzenga-Dean is a holistic stress & wellness consultant who helps busy women discover healthy stress relief strategies that actually work! For some steps you can take right away, download her free guide, “What to Eat When You’re Stressed.”