Self-care needs part of every woman’s life and most of us were not taught how to do it! In fact most of us were taught NOT to. ….And, it can feel like another thing to do. That’s when you know you really need it! We often have trouble putting ourselves on the list of priorities. Or, we “ask” for things, “hope” our partners will offer, or “wait” for the right time.
I remember as a child hearing people celebrate women who were selfless and were always so available and reliable. This was something I aspired to, but it was a flawed premise. I am proud to say that I have become quite good at self care. It took a lot of work to overcome feelings of guilt, unworthiness & worry. It is an ongoing practice.
A lot of my work with women revolves around making space in their lives for themselves. It isn’t easy to let things go or change how we care for others in order to take care of ourselves. Often it requires a deep shift in mindset. Self care is not indulgent, selfish, or a luxury. Self care is about having time for the activities and relationships that all humans need!
Self-care is about that which flourishes life! What flourishes your life?
What must be in your life to take care of your basic human needs for connection, contemplation, and enjoyment ?
Calling something self-care, gives the impression that it’s optional and it’s only up to you – something that happens when everything and everyone else is cared for. But really, self care is a basic life necessity and others can help you get there.
Self-care is what keeps us connected to out true priorities such as our relationship to ourselves and those we love. Self care allows us to remember that we are human beings, not human doings. Self care takes us out of survival mode and keeps us connected to other humans and the needs of our communities. Self-care makes us more emotionally & mentally available to do the important work we value, whatever that is.
Over the years I have gotten to know what is most important to me and what makes the biggest impact on my overall well-being. I have slowly built a list of “must – haves”. Yours will look different, and it changes with the demands of our lives…so please don’t compare!
Here is my list:
-daily meaningful conversations with my partner
-Lots of down time with my kids, especially for those spur of the moment conversations
-cooking my own meals
-decent sleep (doesn’t have to be perfect)
-movement – doesn’t have to be an exercise class, just time to dance, walk, bike ride
-my Sunday night women’s gatherings (supportive, honest friendships with other women)
-a spiritual practice and time for contemplation such as meditation, yoga or reading inspirational books. Helps me process life’s challenges, make changes, gain perspective.
-at least 1 day a week where I have no obligations to clients, family or doing things that “are for my own good”
-personal coaching for myself
-giving myself a break from perfectionist thinking. Doing things for the joy and not the outcome
Guilt, fear, worry, not feeling good enough, being tied to productivity…all of these can be worked on and we can find a healthy place for them in our lives. Self-care is more than just slicing a tiny sliver of time in your already overflowing life. A recent client wanted to create more connection in her life, but her life was so full of obligations, that we couldn’t make space in the current configuration…so we got creative. It is doable, and the payoff is enormous. Most of us can’t do it alone. The old beliefs tend to creep back in. Working with a coach will help you identify your core needs and values, and keep you on track. I would love to be a part of your self-care team. You are worthy! We can get started with a free discovery call.
PS. If reading this article makes you feel more tired and more overwhelmed, maybe we need to explore letting go of things before we talk about self care. Read this article on the signs of Motivation Fatigue