How often do you wake up feeling exhausted and dreading the day before it even begins?
You’re not alone. Women around the world are encouraged from a young age to give and to nurture. We have an enormous capacity to love and serve and it is one of the parts of being a woman I most cherish.
In the last one hundred years or so, women have made unprecedented advancements in their quest for equality. Today women can do just about anything men can. And they do. Everyday around the globe women work to support their families, study towards qualifications or vocations, vote, you name it they do it. They do all of this without letting go of their intrinsic nurturing abilities. For the most part today women balance traditional roles of motherhood and creating a safe and stable home environment with any other responsibilities they choose.
The results are that women are more stretched than they’ve ever been. If we come from a depleted place of scarcity for ourselves, a place where there is not enough time or space then there is little if anything left for us to give to others. For many women this can lead to feelings of resentment and anger which can build when we give more than we have to give. When this happens there is a very real risk of burnout, as so many women can attest to.
In a world that places such demands on men and women the one place where we can practice actively receiving is in our intimate relationships with our partner. When we make time and space for our own needs and to take care of ourselves then we come from a place of abundance. Learning self-care and self-compassion will help you fill your own cup and have sufficient left to overflow to others.
Here are three ways you can practice self-care
Practice putting yourself first
Put time into your diary every day for an activity that fuels you, even if you start with only 10 minutes. The activity itself doesn’t matter; as long as it is something you enjoy doing, and you allow yourself some time to focus on you.
Learn to say no
When we are hardwired to care and nurture, as women are it can be incredibly difficult to say no. Learning to say no is a skill, and a very important one to learn. If you say yes when you mean no you will experience feelings of resentment. Even worse, the more you say yes when you should say no, the more overwhelmed and exhausted you will become. Allow yourself to put you first, and learn to say no.
Cut your to do list in half
Make your to-do list. Then take five minutes break and revisit it. What is absolutely essential to do today and what can wait? Remove all none essential items. Delegate to others where you can. Get your kids and your partner to help out at home. By reworking your to-do list you can slow down long enough to hear what you really need. You won’t hear your body if you run yourself ragged. If you don’t make time for yourself in your daily to-do list you will never have time for yourself. Put self-care on your list, in pen and don’t erase it!!!!
When we believe that there is more than enough to go around and we make sure we take good care of ourselves then it is amazing just how abundant you feel. When you begin to feel abundance in your life, you are more equipped to share that abundance with others.
We need to find a way to balance the care we give the world with the care we give ourselves. For most women it will be a difficult task to begin with, but like everything in life, if we practice and persevere, it will get easier. We have to find time to take care of our body, our mind and our soul. Once you get started on your journey to self-care and you make it a daily activity then you will create a habit of caring for yourself as you care for others.