It is impossible to take care of others before we take care of ourselves. Here’s why self-care should be top of your agenda.
We can’t be all things to all people all of the time.
As women, we are oftentimes faced with the difficult job of being Superwomen: Super Wife, Super Mom, Super Business Owner, Super Employee, Super Friend, Super Daughter and Super Sister – all in one day! Wow – that’s a LOT for one person to handle.
Here’s what I know for sure… self-care needs to be at the top of the list for each of us. It is impossible to take care of others before we take care of ourselves. However, that is not the way we are used to moving in the world. Regardless of your ethnicity or nationality, as women we are all challenged with how to truly take care of ourselves before taking care of others.
Here are 3 steps you can immediately start practicing to ensure you make self-care a priority in your life.
#1. Your ‘no’ is sufficient
One way to start implementing self-care in your life is to take a stand for yourself and start using the power of the word “NO.” It is perfectly fine to stand in your “No” without explanation because your “No” is sufficient.
It is not rude to decline an invitation if you really do not want to attend. And, it is perfectly fine to admit you do not have the bandwidth to take on a new project or volunteer assignment. It is acceptable to admit the timing is not right for you to do something you really do not want to do in the first place. Men have learned the power of “NO” and use it effortlessly to manage their time and resources, and lower their stress. We need to learn how to do the same without feeling guilty for putting ourselves first.
#2. Use your resources
We do not have to do it all by ourselves.
There are so many resources available now to help you manage your time and focus on the things that are important in your life.
- Look for resources to help clean the house and do chores
- Have groceries and complete meals delivered to your home
- Use mobile services for dry cleaning, pet grooming and other services you would normally spend time commuting to handle
Admittedly, these services are not free, but how much is your time worth? I tell my clients if they can pay someone less than $100 per hour to handle any of the chores listed, then it is well worth the investment. Plus, in most cases, you will be supporting a small business, which is a benefit to the entire community. Now you can transfer that time to work out, get your nails or hair done, learn a new skill by investing in personal or professional development, read, learn how to golf or spend quality time with friends and family.
Most men have this last step down to a science. When I ask my clients to tell me what their average day looks like, here is what most of the women share with me.
They work a full-time job, then go home, or stop by the grocery store, and immediately start prepping for dinner and cleaning up after their children and/or spouse. Meanwhile, their husband is sitting down relaxing, watching television or on his computer.
I then challenge these women to do something different. Ask their husband to start prepping dinner and cleaning the house if he arrives home first. Also, do not bring the groceries inside if you did the shopping, have the kids and husband do that.
Learn to relax and decompress before jumping into chores. Also, give yourself permission to let some things wait. Everything does not have to be done in one day…Rome was not built in a day, so why put more pressure on yourself than the Romans did?
By putting these steps into practice, you will soon start to realize how easy it is to implement self-care in your everyday life.
Once you start setting these healthy boundaries for yourself, I promise you others will have no choice but to honour them and meet you where you are in this new level of self-care. Remember, none of us can pour from an empty cup!
What are some of the ways you make self-care a priority? Please share your tips with us by leaving a comment below.