In taking care of people, pets and places, I find I am one of the people I must take care of. Yes, it seems selfish. Yet you can’t keep up with the rigorous demands of caregiving, let alone life in general, if you don’t take care of yourself.

I’ve had a lifelong struggle with “self” words. Selfish, self-centered, self-willed – this was me for years. Even now, I cringe when I hear “self-love.” I approach the concept of “self-care” with extreme caution.

But I’m learning that you can’t pour from any empty cup. Like an airplane oxygen mask, start with yourself first.

Here’s my Self-Care Kit. What’s in yours?

Caregiving handbooks: Passages in Caregiving, The 36-Hour Day
Mindfulness supplies: 3-minute meditation, yoga mat, journal
Happiness provisions: face spritzer, lavender lotion, magazines, nail polish
Healthcare: protein bars, running shoes, fruit, nuts, water