'The Art Of Showing Up' For Yourself, With Rachel Wilkerson Miller You can't fully show up for the people in your life until you know how to do the same for yourself. In this episode, we talk with Rachel Wilkerson Miller, author of The Art of Showing Up, about how to take care of yourself.
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An Illustrated Guide To Showing Up For Yourself

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An Illustrated Guide To Showing Up For Yourself

An Illustrated Guide To Showing Up For Yourself

An Illustrated Guide To Showing Up For Yourself

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  • Transcript

Before assisting others, put on your own oxygen mask first.

It's a simple phrase you hear on airplanes, but if you're not at 30,000 feet, you've probably heard it in reference to self-care.

Prioritizing your needs is important, Rachel Wilkerson Miller says, but it's often easier said than done. "Most people think that is true for everybody who is not them. And they sort of think that they're the exception to the rule."

Miller is the author of The Art of Showing Up: How to Be There for Yourself and Your People, a new book in which she stresses that you can't fully show up for the people in your life until you know how to do the same for yourself.

Especially during a time when all our routines are out of whack, it's easy to overextend yourself at work or with family. But, as Miller says, going into emotional or financial debt to help others doesn't serve anyone in the long run.

Our comic below will walk you through some exercises to help you show up for yourself.

Title image for illustrated guide. A circle with text in the center that reads: "How To Show Up For Yourself, from the author of The Art of Showing Up, Rachel Wilkerson Miller.
Clare Schneider/NPR
Image of a woman sitting at a table with a vase of flowers. Text reads: "You need to take care of yourself before you take care of other people. Rachel recommends sitting down and asking yourself: What do I want? What do I need? How can I ask others for help? Once you answer these questions, it will be easier to be kind to others.
Clare Schneider/NPR
Image of a woman sleeping, image of a woman on a computer, image of two women talking. Text reads "Figure out how you're actually spending your time."
Clare Schneider/NPR
Image of a clock, a dollar and a sneaker. Text reads: "We spend time, money and energy. Rachel says these are our most valuable resources."
Clare Schneider/NPR
Image of lots of little objects like shoes, a soccer ball, a car and more. Text reads: "Try conducting an audit over the course of a week. How are you spending your time, money and energy?
Clare Schneider/NPR
Image of a woman on the phone, a woman doing a headstand, a woman reading in bed. Text reads: "At the end of each day, reflect and ask yourself, 'What three things felt good today?' "
Clare Schneider/NPR
Image of a phone screen with a photo of someone on vacation, image of a computer, image of a table at an office. Text reads: "Also notice what makes you feel drained."
Clare Schneider/NPR
Quote card. Text reads: "There are so many things in the world that are going to hurt our feelings. We don't need to do it ourselves."
Clare Schneider/NPR
Image of a paint palette, a stack of books, a violin, and friends talking. Text reads: "From your audit, figure out your values."
Clare Schneider/NPR
Image of two friends sitting on steps. Text reads: "Knowing what you value will help you show up for yourself and those around you."
Clare Schneider/NPR

Once you figure out how to put on your own oxygen mask, you can better support those around you. Miller has tips on how to show up for your friends, here.


We'd love to hear how you're coping during the coronavirus pandemic. Leave us a voicemail at 202-216-9823, or email us at LifeKit@npr.org. Your tip could appear in an upcoming episode.

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The audio portion of this story was produced by Andee Tagle, who also wrote the introduction on this page.