Often, as women, we feel the need to take on the world’s problems, and somehow turn them into our own. We want to make it better and take away the struggle. We often do this by putting our needs last. We stuff our schedules so full that we cannot even imagine having the time or energy to take a bubble bath. The problem with this model is that often by the end of the day we’ve gotten everyone else a glass of water but have forgot to drink one ourselves. The list could go on and on how women will often meet the needs of others while putting their own needs on the back burner. It’s one of the things that often is considered a strength, but it is also the very thing that tends to burden our souls so heavily that we feel suffocated beneath its weight.
To be at the top of our game, again both physically and emotional we must take care of ourselves. Care of self is not a selfish act of indulgent. It is a vital act, so we can take care of others! It is a healing act that will enable us to help others.
To be there, to be present, to authentically show-up for our families, friends, and the larger communities we all interact with daily, we must first be there, be present and show-up for ourselves. This is the definition for Self-Care.
Each day we want to feel alive, well, inspired, happy, calm, peaceful, loving and kind! Is it possible? Yes!
Take a minute and dive deeply into how you are feeling, both physically and emotional daily and maybe even hourly. Here are some questions to get you started:
Do you wake each day with vigor and vitality?
Do you have any aches or pains upon waking?
Do you often need to take pain medication, even over the counter ones, to get through the day?
Are you so exhausted that if you sit down for a few minutes you feel like falling asleep or even worst, you do fall asleep?
Is your digestion just, not right?
Is it hard to perform your best at work, at the gym, time with your family or friends?
Are you quick to feel anger, sadness, frustration, melancholy, or any other negative emotion?
Do you often wish things were different?
Do you feel helpless and hopeless in your life situation?
At the end of each day how do you feel?
Take a minute and think back to the last time you felt alive, well, inspired, happy, calm, peaceful, loving and kind. What were you doing? Who were you with? Where were you? Can you remember the sights, smells, sounds and other sensory details? How old were you? Has it been a while? Do you even remember what it is that makes you come alive?
Here is the challenge. Take some time this week, all for yourself, and do something that makes you feel alive, well, inspired, happy, calm, peaceful, loving and kind, special, deserving, and pampered. This is not just referring to a spa day. It could be hiking to the top of the tallest mountain or devouring a brand new fiction book. The WHAT doesn’t matter so much as the HOW. Give yourself permission to be present and to fully engage with whatever it is you choose to do.
Let those thoughts about the million other things you “need” to get done drift away and truly connect with the feelings that come up for you. It’s okay to relax into it. It’s actually better than okay, it’s fantastic! If you start to feel guilty, just remember this: We are all kinder, more loving and happier in our connection with others when we are coming from a place of self-love. If you can’t seem to wrap your head around doing this for yourself (and that’s okay, it takes practice), do it because the world could use kinder, more loving, happier people. Do it because it will make everyone around you feel just a little bit lighter. Do it because it makes you a better woman, mother, sister, employee, wife, friend etc…
Health and wellness are not all about strategy and science. Lasting change requires a much more holistic approach. It requires taking a look at the beliefs we’ve embodied so far that have gotten us to this point and challenging them. Sometimes it’s not always pretty and could even be considered a wrestling match. But it’s always, always worth it.