Self-care is the process of nurturing yourself. But in a fast-paced and often chaotic society, many women tend to put their own needs on the back burner. So many women constantly put everyone else first, allowing their own needs to suffer. Some women may even become resentful because their personal needs have been neglected.
Self-care for women is imperative. Follow these self-care strategies to help you take care of yourself and achieve balance your life.
Recognize that self-care is not selfish
The concept of self-care refers to taking personal responsibility for one's physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual health. Practicing self-care is preventative, not selfish. Yet the concept of making self-care a priority remains controversial. For most of us, if we do not take care of ourselves, no one else will. So, self-care is anything but selfish. When women don’t make self-care a priority, they often feel like victims of something outside of themselves, in a position of restrictions and limitations. This prevents women from having rich and fulfilling lives.
Be your own best friend
What would happen if you treated yourself the same way you treat your best friend? You would likely be more attuned to your needs, your problems and your goals. You would be generous to yourself, as you are to others. You would love and honor your health and well-being. You would put aside all else to be your own best friend. One of the most important things you can do for your family and friends is to care for your own health. You can start by being a great friend to yourself today!
Spend time alone
Spending quality time alone is anything but lonely. Spending time alone allows the rest of the world to continue spinning while you rest, refuel and regroup. Time alone can be as simple as sitting quietly outdoors, reading a book at the park or sitting in your favorite comfortable chair with a cup of tea (having a favorite comfortable chair is essential!).
Create supportive surroundings
Look around. Do you feel inspired by your surroundings, or do you feel tension and chaos? Create supportive surroundings by clearing the clutter of the stuff that drains you. Clear the clutter in your home, car or office. Clear clutter in relationships too, like one-sided relationships. Find a partner who also wants to redesign their life for the better. The support will be empowering for both of you, and a model for others around you. It will also help you balance the multiple roles you play as a woman.
Believe that saying “No” is okay
How many times have you said “yes,” “sure” or “no problem” to a request, only to immediately regret your response? Have you ever committed your energy, time or money to a project, even though you have little or no desire to participate? Learning to say no is a skill, and it is a key self-care habit that can ignite your confidence and free your inner strength.
Rewrite your routine
If you can relate to the previous five suggestions, and you acknowledge the need to make changes in your life, then you may need to radically alter your daily or weekly routine. Begin by scheduling your own priorities into your routine first. When your own priorities are fulfilled, allow others’ priorities on your schedule. Other people in your life may notice these changes. Share your plan with them, and explain your need for self-care. They will see the benefits of self-care reflected in your attitude and approach to life as well as the direct benefit they will receive from being in relationship with a more balanced you!
If you or someone you love needs help, contact Centerstone at 888-291-HELP (4357) or visit http://www.centerstone.org.
If you are in crisis, call Centerstone’s 24-Hour Crisis Intervention Hotline at 800-681-7444.