There are many reasons we neglect ourselves, the important thing is to recognise what’s holding you back and implement some simple steps to start looking after yourself.
Recently I was chatting to a friend and she has been having some serious stomach issues. She needs to do a series of daily checks over 3 days and then present the results to her doctor.
In order to do this, she needs complete peace and focus as one of the activities needs to be done every 20 minutes.
So you want to know what’s stopping her? Her need to be there for her family and finding 3 days she can get to herself. Now her kids aren’t babies and they can cope for 3 days so I asked her a question?
“How would they cope if you ended up in hospital because you haven’t set aside
3 days to look after yourself?” Her response … “You’re right!”
Sometimes we sabotage ourselves. 99% of the time, your family will be fine and they would be beside themselves if they thought that they were the reason you weren’t looking after yourself.
Let’s look at the main reasons why we neglect ourselves…
There are many real barriers keeping women from taking care of themselves and its important to understand, whilst they do exist, sometimes we allow them to be all consuming and there are ways to get around them.
Women become conditioned to believe that they have to sacrifice every bit of their time for others, whether it be because of culture, upbringing or tradition.
Sometimes, women need to take a step back and look at where all their time is being spent. A bit like cleaning out your handbag. Do you really need 5 lipsticks in there? Or will 1 be enough?
Working women try to prove themselves by being Superwoman. But this is at the cost of their health. The multiple roles of mother, daughter, partner and a worker, forces her to compress 24 hours into 12 hours.
She becomes Queen of multi-tasking, thereby putting herself under a lot of stress. Our own expectations are higher.
We prefer to be superwomen and attempt to play perfectly, all roles of a partner, mother and a paid worker.
At the back of our mind, there is guilt if any of these roles suffer. And this stress contributes to infertility, diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Whatever a woman eats today determines her future health.
We should be taught to take care during adolescence in order to prevent adulthood diseases and complications.
It’s amazing, in the workplace today and in this modern century, that many women still need to prove themselves and do more than their male counterparts to receive equal opportunities for career advancement or just to be recognised on a level playing field.
The amount of women who put in unpaid hours just to be perceived as being loyal and worthy of a position, creates an enormous amount of pressure and increases the expectation that she will be willing to do this on a recurring basis. Ultimately this only adds to her fatigue and stress, which she will ultimately bring home with her at the end of her working day.
A friend of mine was way “too busy” because of work commitments and did not go to the doctors about a recurring cough which she had suffered for over 2 months. A colleague, tired of hearing the cough, dragged her to the doctors only to find that she had a malignant lung tumour, Thankfully it was removed successfully.
How many cases do you hear like that? Your position at work will be replaced. YOU CANT BE!
More and more women are becoming the primary carers of not just their immediate family but also extended family. Some women, by virtue of wanting to be there for everyone, create for themselves a matriarchal position, which in the long term becomes very exhausting and draining of your health and time.
People soon realise that they can go to you for everything until you reach the point of meltdown, and then who do you turn to? You couldn’t possibly turn anyone down, could you? Oh no there’s that guilt creeping up again!
Guess What? It’s actually OK to say “NO” sometimes. Especially when it comes to your children, saying “NO” helps to build resilience and they learn that if they want something they may not always get it or they can learn to do something for themselves.
How many times have you needed and delayed your Pap Smear or Mammograms because there just doesn’t seem to be enough time? Or you take your kids for a haircut and leave yourself for another day when you “have time” and that day never comes?
Your family, loved ones and work colleagues become accustomed to your obliging behaviour and you become consumed with heart wrenching guilt if you are unable to fulfil their expectations.
Time is a gift you give to others, but it is yours to spend. It is your most precious commodity. You choose where and how to spend it. Any time you save, use wisely. It cannot be stored and you cannot take it with you.
I love the saying, “Yesterday was history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift that’s why they call it the present” Remember that, every day is precious.
SO HOW DO I CHANGE THIS?
Lets look at 5 simple tips you can do to start taking care of yourself…
It’s all about changing your mindset. It will take time, just be kind to yourself.
. TIP 1 Get used to saying “NO” It’s Ok to let a few things go.
- TIP 2 Ask for HELP!
- TIP 3 STOP or minimise negative conversations/situations
- TIP 4 Leave work on time everyday unless you’re paid
- TIP 5 Clean out your handbag!
Decide TODAY to live for TOMORROW!