When is the last time you engaged in self-care?
If your answer was to laugh out loud at the idea of taking time to invest in yourself, then this article is for you!
Why do we, as women, find it so hard to take care of ourselves? It can be argued that the difference is in our cellular makeup. Women are preprogrammed to be caregivers, to put others’ demands before our own. And while that is applaudable, it usually results in us ignoring our own needs. We justify this by convincing our minds that we don’t have the time, resources, or energy left after taking care of everyone else. The irony is that we don’t seem to realize that if we do not take care of ourselves, we will not be able to care for others. We will have nothing left to give.
So how can we overcome the challenges that stand in the way of self-care?
Let’s tackle the easiest one first: Money. It is very hard to justify using money on ourselves when there are so many necessary expenses and bills. Making room in your monthly budget for self-care can help. If there is truly no money to work within your budget, self-care can be free! Painting your nails, reading a good book, chatting with friends, meditation, or going on a walk or run all cost nothing.
Next is time. Time is hard to come by with all the roles we play as women. One idea is to start small. Take ten minutes before bed to do something for yourself. It can be whatever speaks to you: a nighttime skincare regimen, breathing, stretching, or watching silly Facebook videos. Then, slowly see if you can schedule in a bit more time as you get used to it. Scheduling time for ourselves can make the act itself intentional and routine. This can change the way we view self-care, by recategorizing it from being a luxury to a regular part of our week or day.
Sometimes, time can cost money. While some women can get their husbands on board so they can get a break, that does not work for everyone, especially single moms. Budgeting babysitters into your monthly figures can help. And if money is too tight, then you can ask for help! Family, friends, neighbors; there are so many hidden angels in our lives that we can connect with. The hardest part is learning to ask.
Energy. The point of self-care is to find things that refresh you, that reignite you, that add to your energy rather than take away from it. Meditation is a great example of self-care that can actually add to your energy and reinvigorate the spirit. Exercise is another great example, as it can increase your stamina. Even meal-prep can act as self-care and can help keep us fueled all week. Once you make self-care routine, it should alleviate stress, and add to your emotional, physical and psychological reserves, giving you the wherewithal to give not only to yourself, but to others as well.
So there you have it. No more excuses left. The only thing standing in the way of self-care is OURSELF. And once we change our mindset, and realize that we need to be a priority, we can start to take self-care seriously and see real results in our level of physical and emotional wellbeing.