Are you putting everyone else first, and neglecting the importance of self-care? Here are 3 crucial self-care strategies you can begin implementing starting today!

Back in 1992, bestselling author and life coach, Cheryl Richardson, was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

The idea of being or having a life coach was still a relatively new idea back in the early 90s. In fact, Cheryl was the first life coach that Oprah had ever invited to be on her program to speak about transformational principles to her audience.

Near the end of the program, Oprah allowed audience members to ask Cheryl questions.

When one audience member asked how to balance taking care of her own needs and the needs of her family, the audience actually booed Cheryl’s response.

Watch what Oprah has to say about the moment Cheryl was booed on her talk show right here:

Cheryl Richardson had the audacity to say that self-care is important. She plainly said that it’s okay to put yourself first on your list of priorities, and that doing this doesn’t make you selfish – you must fill your own cup before you can possibly fill anyone else’s!

While this was long before Life Mastery Institute was created, most of us in this decade understand the value of self-care, for many of us, it remains a concept instead of an actual daily practice.

In today’s world, with so many of us taking care of children, aging parents, our significant others, friends in crisis or demanding bosses at work, our self-care can end up at the bottom of our pile of priorities…

But there are ways to reshuffle the deck and make sure you move yourself onto the VIP list!

Where do you land on your list of priorities?

How do you feel when you hear that you should put yourself first on your list of priorities?

Do thoughts like, “Well, what about my kids?” or, “What about my spouse?” pop into your mind?

If so, I invite you to try thinking of prioritizing yourself and your own needs in this way…

If your gas tank is on empty, are you able to take a road trip? No – you must stop and fill up your gas tank before you can start your journey!

By not taking care of your own needs, the stress in your life can become overwhelming and lower the quality of your relationships, especially the most important relationship of your life – your relationship with yourself!  

Oprah once said, “You don’t have anything to give that you don’t have.”

I love what Oprah is saying here, because the truth is if you don’t have love and care for yourself, you can’t possibly give love and care to another.

Putting yourself first does not mean that you’re ignoring your children, spouse or other significant people in your life. It does mean you are honoring yourself and loving yourself in a way that fills you up.

And that’s when you will have much more to give to others!

self care mirror

The Importance of Self-Care

Here are 3 simple self-care strategies you can begin implementing today

Self-care strategy #1: Take a cue from your favorite two year old and say “No.”

How many times have you been asked to help with something… when you already feel you’re being pulled in a million different directions?

Many of us feel uncomfortable saying no to taking something else on, because we feel if we don’t put others needs before our own, we are being selfish or may disappoint someone we care about. You may want to say no, you just don’t know how.

But the fact is, you can learn to politely and tactfully say no, while still preserving your relationship with the person whose request you are declining.

Here’s an example:

You’re at work and your boss tasks you with an extra project. You don’t want to say no to your boss, however, your to-do list is already very long, and you know that taking this additional project on is going to require you to work evenings and weekends.

You could say to your boss,

“Wow, that looks like a really interesting project! I would love to work on it. Can you please help me re-prioritize the other projects I have on my list, though? I’ve already got a very full plate, and I need my evenings and weekends to rest up so that I can come into work feeling refreshed and ready to give you my best.”

With honest and forthright communication, saying “no” is honoring yourself. You aren’t setting yourself up for failure, you’re setting boundaries that everyone, including your boss, can respect.

Self-care strategy #2: Take a break and meditate.

Many scientific studies have identified the benefits that regular meditation provides for the mind and body, even if you only meditate for a few minutes each day.

Chances are, you’re already aware of the benefits of meditation. But where does it land on your list of priorities? Is it something you know you should do, but you keep telling yourself you’ll make it a part of your life when you have more time?

importance of self-care mediation

Or, if meditation already is a part of your daily routine, do you skip it if you feel your calendar is full of more pressing responsibilities?

One simple way to make sure meditation is a part of your daily routine is to make it a part of your breakfast ritual. As you enjoy your morning meal or even your morning coffee, take a few moments to sit in silence with your eyes closed, and do your best to clear your mind.

Taking some time to stretch your muscles in cultivating deep inner peace during breakfast can make for a great start to your day. Besides helping you feel more grounded and centered, you will most likely enjoy your breakfast that much more!

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Self-care strategy #3: Spend some time alone.

Oprah also once said, “Alone time is when I distance myself from the voices of the world, so that I can hear my own.”

Taking time for yourself is an opportunity for you to explore what it is you love and what you would love more of in your life. After all, you are spending time with the most important person in your life… you!  

Taking alone time to enjoy your own company and just be can be as simple as carving out an hour to have coffee at Starbucks, going for a walk on your lunch hour, or heading to the park for a few hours on a Saturday to read a book.

Next time, and maybe once a week, commit to spending lunch with yourself!

Alone time can be precious to come by, especially if you’re raising children, but it is vital to self-care. Even small amounts of solitude can translate to impressive benefits.

“Love yourself first, then everything falls in line.”
~Lucille Ball

When we prioritize self-care, we enable ourselves to be more present and effective in our personal relationships, with our clients, colleagues and everyone else in our life.

Taking the time to fill your own cup replenishes your energy and vitality, and will allow you to give more of your best self to others…

And, as you can see from the examples I’ve provided above, implementing self-care strategies into your regular routine doesn’t have to take a lot of time!

If you’ve not been taking care of yourself…

If you’ve not been taking care of you in your job, or have been ignoring what might be your life’s calling towards becoming a life coach yourself, now is the time to take a step in that direction.

Since self-care is truly important, and a healthy well-being impacts all areas of your life (including your work life), it’s important to do work that is truly meaningful to you and impacts the world in a positive way.

For step-by-step tools and proven strategies for starting a highly successful life coaching business in 2019, one that makes a profound and lasting difference in the lives of others and allows you to earn an abundant income while working from anywhere that you choose, click here to download my FREE ebook, Are You Meant To Be a Life Coach? >>

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7 Responses to What the First Life Coach on Oprah Taught Her About the Importance of Self-Care

  1. Tomika Johnson says:

    I’m just Thankful how I’m learning to say “No” and to become Awesome by just setting boundaries for myself. I’m So Greatful to know that it’s Very Important to put self First also to believe that Everything will be Victorious after you have took your Failures and preserved them into Lifetime Experiences. That can turn to Your HIGHEST ACHIEVEMENTS. While you sit back and look and just say: WOW how AWESOME THE EXPERIENCE THAT ALSO LEADS ME TO A LEGACY OF SELF WORTH. STRUGGLING IS REAL BUT KNOWING THE GENUINE REALITY OF YOURSELF THAT WITHIN IS A GIFT. ABSOLUTELY AWESOME AND TRULY HOW GREAT IT IS. “TOMIKA” CHATTANOOGA,TENNESSEE

  2. That’s so true Oprah Winfrey. Wonderful message.

  3. Pauline Tsukamoto says:

    Thank you. I am very grateful. It was what I wanted to hear, again.

  4. CARA says:


  5. Lovely! Thanks and Many Blessings!

  6. Sharon L Stout says:

    Hi Mary,
    I’m not sure this is the right place for this commentary. I listen to many of your videos for inspiration. I don’t really have any desire to be a coach. I am what I describe as a self help junkie. I strive to improve myself daily. I am some times successful and sometimes not. I guess you could say that I do have a sense of “importance of self”. I feel that it’s hard to help someone if you are feeling helpless.
    I was at my lowest of lows about four years ago. My relationships were not working for me. I had recently transitioned into retirement and was terrified. I had no goals at the time and was lost. I needed guidance, but didn’t know where to start. I was emailed a video of yours as I am on the mailing list. I don’t recall the lesson in it,perhaps manifesting, but I know there was a message about what it is that you wanted in life. The instruction was to right a list. I wrote that list, as what you were saying made sense. The things that were on that list, I know, on that day, were totally unattainable for me. I was that low. After I wrote that list I reread it and then tucked it away with all my other “wise information” I was saving to revisit and forgot about it. I continued on trying to find me and grow and learn what was good for me.
    About Three plus years later I was forced to go through the stack of self help notes I had made over the course of those years. Clutter overwhelmed my desk. Some I re-read and some I put aside. Towards the bottom of the stack I came across the list you said to make in that long ago video. To my amazement, I had accomplished EVERYTHING I jotted down. I didn’t even realize where my life had taken me. I want to thank you for the guidance you provided, without even knowing me. I am a believer in your teaching.

  7. Norma Kenley-Barber says:

    Thank you

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