THE BLOG
07/18/2014 03:22 pm ET Updated Sep 17, 2014

7 Reasons You Should Take Better Care of Yourself

Alexis Meads

I was 22.

Like many young women in their twenties, I got out of college with big hopes and big dreams. I moved to a new city, broke out of my five-year college relationship and got my first "real" job.

I was partying like I was still in college and everything seemed great... for a while.

About a year into it, sh*t got real. The Great Recession hit and many people working in finance like myself lost their jobs. I was fortunately spared, but realized I wasn't happy with the direction my life was going. I had gained about 20 pounds, was constantly exhausted and in and out of a series of relationships.

I wanted to know "Who am I?" "What do I want?" and "How do I get what I want?"

That's when I decided I needed to make some major changes in my life. I went back to school at Harvard University in a program I was passionate about, hired a coach and started taking care of myself. My lack of self-love and confidence as well as my poor self-care habits were keeping me from reaching my goals.

When I focused on taking care of ME, everything changed. I started the business of my dreams coaching other women. I am back to the weight I was in high school. I've married the man of my dreams and more importantly, I have a sense of fun and freedom in my life again.

I hope these seven reasons will inspire you as much as they inspired me.

1. When you treat your body with love and respect, she'll love and respect you back.

Why is that so many of us think if we beat up our bodies enough, deprive her or tell her we hate her, she'll change into exactly what we want? When we learn to treat our bodies with love and respect by feeding her nourishing foods, exercising and noticing all the things that make us beautiful, our body will help restore us to feeling like the goddesses we are.

2. When you don't take good care of yourself, it dampens your inner glow.

Our beauty comes from within, but if we don't take good care of ourselves, throw our hair into a greasy bun and walk around in our sweatpants all day, it dampens that inner glow.

3. Taking care of you is the same as taking care of others.

Ask a pregnant woman this and she'll tell you that taking care of herself is literally taking care of her baby. When you take care of yourself you will have more time, energy and love to give to those around you.

4. Put your own oxygen mask on first.

We have all heard this safety instruction in case of an emergency before a plane takes off. It's the same in life -- you have to put your own oxygen mask on first or you won't be any good to anyone else.

5. "When you allow your own light to shine, you unconsciously allow others to do the same."

This is one of my favorite quotes by Marianne Williamson, and she reminds us that when we take care of ourselves and allow our own light to shine, we are allowing others to do the same. You can literally become someone who inspires others with their love and energy.

6. You can do it all, but you can't do it all at once.

There's a lot of modern superwomen out there who feel pressure to juggle it all -- from the kids, to the marriage, successful career, sexy body, great house, friends, etc. Remember that you can do it all, but if you try to do it all at once, you'll burn out and get overwhelmed.

7. You can go into energy debt just like you can financial debt.

No one would possibly advise that you go into severe financial debt, right? Well your physical energy is another one of your key resources. When you overextend yourself you build up an energy debt, and have none leftover for all the wonderful things in your life!

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