Self-care is not selfish is a popular statement these days. Women are starting to realize that time for themselves allows them to be better wives, mothers, sisters, friends and coworkers. Women often fall into the trap of not embracing self-care because the idea of putting themselves first is a difficult concept to grasp. But why is that? It’s because, historically, women have always taken care of others before themselves. Women have been taught this behavior and it has been reinforced by society for many years. Unless women break the cycle, they are going to pass down those behaviors and beliefs to their daughters and also their sons who will then have those same expectations in their marriage.
What is Self-Care?
It’s self-love and it’s self-respect. It’s a commitment you make to yourself to take care of your mind, body and spirit. Self-care is as necessary as the air you breathe, so it’s essential that you reject the belief that taking time for yourself, equates practicing self-indulgence.
Self-care is real, and it matters.
Self-care is how you replenish all that you’ve given away and sacrificed. It’s the mindset, activities, practices and habits you embrace to guard yourself against stress, illness, depression, anxiety, and many more negative conditions. In the medical field it’s called practicing prevention. To care for yourself, you first have to know what you need and then go get it.
Practicing self-care can not only change your life but it can save your life. So, what happens when you practice self-care? What would that look like?
As with the scenario of a plane that has lost pressure, the right thing to do is to always help you first. Then, when you have your mask in place, you can assist others. The reason for this is simple. Until you are taken care of, you are likely to cause more problems and become part of the overall problem rather than being part of the solution. This is what self-care looks like. It’s about taking care of the things that matter to help heal you so that you can become part of the solution.
So how do we get in the mindset of putting ourselves first and practicing self-care?
These are the tools women must have:
1. Boundaries: Understand what it means to create boundaries. We have all heard that we must learn to say no. And I truly believe that it’s crucial to be comfortable with saying no and knowing when to say it. But the truth is that most people get uneasy just thinking about having to tell someone no. So, the key is to not concentrate on the negative connotation that the word no may bring. Don’t dwell on the feeling that you are going to hurt someone’s feelings if you say no. You can approach saying no with the intention of honoring the request of the person by letting them know that you understand their needs and would be happy to help if another opportunity arises, but now is not a good time. No explanation needed.
2. Gratitude: Put self-care before your daily grind and wake up in the morning with gratitude. Practicing gratitude will get you in the mindset of what it means to take care of yourself. The fact that you wake up each morning and can live to see another day and be given another chance to make it better or make it right is the ultimate form of self-care. To continue the gratitude practice, you have to pour into yourself what your body needs in order to continue waking up each morning.
3. Self-love: This goes back to #1 because you must love yourself enough to set boundaries. You must cherish your time and energy. When you love yourself, you will do whatever it takes to protect your mental as well as your physical health. You know how important you are and what you’re worth.
4. A voice: A woman who puts herself first, is someone who has found her voice. She is able to know and verbalize her wants and needs. She does not let mommy guilt, wife guilt, or daughter guilt rule her decisions and she is unapologetic about taking time for herself.
5. A schedule: Learning to schedule your time and prioritizing is the ultimate form of self-care. It allows you to be able to make time in your schedule for you and the things you love to do. Being able to let go of things that don’t serve you will allow you to make time for the things that really matter.
Self-care comes in many forms-physical, mental, spiritual and social. Developing a self-care plan that covers all these areas, that is easy to maintain and that gives you the results you need is important to your physical and mental wellbeing.
Before you lose your way and continue to live in survival mode—before you get into the habit of not checking in with yourself—let’s make a commitment to plant
the seed of a wholesome self-care routine.
Ready to start planting the seed? Register for my Signature Course, The Ultimate Roadmap To Finding Time For Yourself. The kick off for the course is July 23rd. The first 10 registrants will receive as bonus, in addition to the online course, weekly live group coaching sessions with me. Find out more here