The Top Priority

We are in crisis mode. Not a personal crisis, family crisis, local, regional, national, but a global crisis. What can you do?

What’s our top priority in this case? Is it taking care of each member of your family as everyone gets stressy in isolation? Is it creating a tight schedule of exercise and learning a new language and playing an instrument and redecorating the house?


All of those things are important, and many other things too, but they can’t all vie for top priority. The one and only item at the top of the list right now is taking care of yourself.

What does this mean? Starting with the basics. Get enough food but not too much. Get some of the right foods without adding pressure on yourself. Move your body in pleasurable ways. Let yourself rest. Get some sunshine when it’s safe to do so.

You’ll notice they are often in contradictory pairs, e.g., move and rest, get the information you need and don’t consume too much news. To quote Gretchen Rubin, we are “embracing both sides of the paradox”. As always, it’s about balance.

What else does it mean? Doing whatever you need to feel safer. Let your bare feet touch the earth, let the floor support your weight, use that special scent, carry that stone in your pocket.

The list of what to do is actually the easy part. The hard part is making it happen despite the pressures for other things.

You have permission to let your partner fend for themselves, to take time out for yourself, to choose a meal that’s easy, to take a bath, to put your headphones in, to go into another room and close the door, to watch something different. Take care of you.

You’re number one.

photo by Felipe Silva via