You did what?
You took care of yourself?
As a woman, have you ever found yourself, wearing out your life like a badge of honor; some twisted notion of strength and valor that somehow got stuck in your head, about how women should be all, do all, have it all… Yes, that idea that is preposterous to every one of us, yet we fall for it every time?
We are women. We have been given a unique role to nurture and care for the world around us. There’s no better feeling than the satisfaction of fulfilling a duty of love and kindness but it can come at a price if we aren’t careful. Before long, we can burn ourselves out on being benevolent. Sometimes, taking care of ourselves before others, can come with a tangle of emotions that feels more like selfishness than survival.
What are the benefits of taking care of you? Here are just a few, but there are many more…
- Ability to replenish your energy
- Changes your perspective on problem solving
- Increases productivity
- Allows you time to rest
- Clears your mind
- Energizes you
- Better self awareness
- Increased feelings of connection
So, what’s a girl to do when there is nothing left at the end of a day or a week to give to you?
Here are some tips for indulging in a healthy routine of self care that will help release negative energy and replenish our reserves. By routine, I mean something you can count on. It doesn’t have to be time consuming or even done daily, but it needs to be a regular activity at intervals of time you can depend on, even if it is only once a month.
- Determine how often and when you want to set aside time for self care. Perhaps it’s a Saturday afternoon or every Thursday at 9, once the kids are all in bed. Choose the parameters that work for you.
- Commit to it, write it down and let your family in on your plans.
- Decide on the purpose to this time for yourself…is it to relax? Learn a new skill? Retool your education? Knowing what you want and hope to accomplish during this time will help you stay focused and committed to yourself.
- Don’t invite technology or social media to your time…that is a counter productive tool to self care.
- Keep a journal as you spend more time with yourself.
- Remain flexible and relaxed in your quest to take care of yourself.
What does self care look like? Here are some unique ideas…honestly, it’s tailored to you so it can look however you want it to.
- For 10 minutes, do some mindful breathing exercises to relax
- Start a gratitude journal
- Create a vision board
- Go for a quiet walk, absorb the fresh air and sunlight
- Take a nap
- Take yourself on a date to the bookstore, catch a movie, sit in the park with a good book
- Indulge in a treat or a massage.
- Have a spa night complete with face masks and bubble baths
- Get together with good friends
- Binge watch your favorite show
- Listen to a podcast
- Find a fitness class
Self Care doesn’t have to be a companion to Guilt and Shame…it’s a necessary and healthy part of life we have a bad habit of avoiding, especially as women. It may not feel comfortable at first but at least give it a try, see what happens when we step away from the pressures and responsibilities of life, even for just a few minutes…you may be pleasantly surprised by how invigorating life feels when you show up again.