Adopting a Me-First Attitude
Jan 30, 2012 04:08PM
By Dr. Arianna Sholes-Douglas
Dr. Arianna Sholes-Douglas
There is something universal about women who do too much and don’t take care of themselves. It seems irrelevant whether you are a single mother struggling to make ends meet or a well-paid physician, balancing the demands of career and family. We are connected by insidious self-neglect and the desperate desire to create some semblance of balance and order in our lives. The reality is that I only teach what I need to learn as I continue to educate my patients about how to integrate more balance into their lives.
After 14 years of education/ training, 15 years of practice as a highrisk pregnancy physician, 12 years of marriage, two kids, email, Facebook,
financial commitments and growing expectations to do more and to sleep less, I’m burnt out, exhausted and going through the motions of a midlife “awakening.” Many days, I fear that my reality creates more stress and a sense of overwhelm than any modicum of “balance” could ever cure. I wonder if it is realistic to expect that things will ever slow down. Can “balance” ever really exist with the demands of motherhood, work, relationships, etc.?
My journey is not unique. Our desire is universal. We are all on the journey to find and live our passion. I’m told that I should be in “balance,” and that it will be good for me. Yet, as a mother, wife, daughter, worker and friend, I feel constantly torn between giving my all to those I love while balancing the wellness of my mind, body, and spirit.
A “Me First” attitude means that he balance you seek will appear when you begin to change your attitude. My solution to creating balance will likely appear self-centered, maybe even absurd. Invariably, I get disapproving glares and raised eyebrows, along with a fascinated look of curiosity, at its mention. The approach embraces the same intention as the preflight instructions one receives in flight preparation. “In the event of an emergency, if there is a release of oxygen mask, remove your mask and place it first before assisting others.”
In other words, help yourself first before helping others. “Me First” mentality embraces the requirement to address your needs before you continue with your desire or obligation to help others. The reality is simple. You must help yourself before you can really be of help to anyone else.
I suggest three steps toward creating balance:
1. Define destination balance. What does balance look and feel like in my life?
2. Dream of your highest purpose.
3. Dare to adopt “me first” attitude.
I Dream that my practice of medicine will mimic my balanced life, and visaversa. Therefore, it all must change. In 2012, I have demanded a break for myself, moved to part-time and decided to follow my passion and create and integrative medical practice that inspires women to find the tools to create the mental, physical and spiritual wellness they seek. I want to help others achieve what I continue to create for myself. Don’t be fooled. All of my actions have required an enormous leap of faith. In the end, I know that finding my balance ironically requires that I jump off the cliff and trust that I can fly towards my highest good and greatest purpose.
Searching for balance? Write it down! Define destination balance and what it looks like in your life; Dream of your highest good, the life you
have always imagined and one step at a time, Dare to adopt a “Me first” attitude.
Dr. Arianna Sholes-Douglas is a board certified obstetrician/gynecologist and maternal-fetal medicine specialist. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Integrative Medicine Fellowship, founded by Dr. Andrew Weil, and is accepting patients for women’s integrative wellness consultations at Tula Wellness MD. To schedule an appointment, call 520-591-6471. Download a free modified Balance Wheel at facebook.com/DrAriannaSholesDouglas.