Women are many things.
We are professionals, mothers, daughters, spouses, chefs, teachers, lovers, and fighters. We work HARD! We are multi-tasking BADASS women! We are resilient and strong and can overcome anything. We are AMAZING nurturers and care deeply. Why is it then, one thing we are not so good at is taking care of ourselves?
Conference call- CHECK!
Volunteering at school- CHECK!
Attending three parties in a week- CHECK!
Cooking and cleaning- CHECK!
Homework help- CHECK!
Running a business- CHECK!
Playdates and Pampered Chef parties- CHECK!
Women do SO much. All. The. Time.
Admit it. You don’t do enough for YOU!
Perhaps you think if you take some time to eat a nice meal or put on make-up and real pants that you are neglecting your other responsibilities. Why buy that pair of shoes on clearance that you have your eye on when you can spend the money on your kids? Maybe the thought of taking an extra 20 minutes to relax in the tub makes you feel guilty. OH, and don’t even get me started on why there is no time to work out or make healthy meals.
I’m here to tell you it is more than OKAY to do something just for you! You need to take care of yourself because if you don’t you are no good to anyone else. You will burn out faster than a candle on a birthday cake.
The normalcies of life are enough to cause us stress and provide a need for self-care. Add to that the fact that many of us are self-isolating thanks to this global pandemic (COVID-19) and we’ve just created a MONSTER of a reason for some self-TLC.
So, what does self-care look like?
Self-care is taking time each week (ideally each day) to do something JUST FOR YOU. The beauty of it is it can be anything you want it to be. Here are some tips for practicing regular self-care:
- Just say NO: It’s okay to say no to things. Part of self-care is learning to say no. Set your limits and don’t be afraid to draw a line in cement. Do not allow people to cross it. SO WHAT if people know you don’t have children or you are off work that day. WHO CARES if all of your other friends are going. You do you.
- Exercise regularly: Not always the most fun, but definitely necessary for a healthy stress-free life. Whether it’s a walk around the neighbourhood or that hot yoga class you’ve been thinking about, get up and move. It is good for you- mind and body.
- Take time away from work: Raise your hand if you check work e-mail outside of normal business hours or while at a kid’s function. Maybe you skip your lunch break on a regular basis. We are all guilty of working a bit too much. It’s all about work/life balance. Of course, you want to give your profession your all when necessary, but ensure you spend a healthy amount of time away from that work mindset. Give your brain a break.
- SLEEP: Think about the amount of sleep that is right for you and then strive to get it. For some of us, young children or working odd shifts can make this a challenge. Just do your best to team up with your support system so you can clock those ZZZZZ’s.
- Do something F-U-N: What are your hobbies? Consider doing something you’ve always wanted to, but haven’t had the chance. The possibilities are endless. Take a drumming or pottery class, try paintball, or attend a concert. It’s really up to you.
- Be accountable: Ask a friend to keep you in check. If you band together to practise self-care, the chance of not doing it is minimized. Take a class with your best friend or schedule a spa date with your spouse or your mom. You’re not only improving your well-being, but you’re also helping someone else too. You’re also less likely to bail if someone is depending on you for company.
Most of us are guilty of taking on more than we should. While we may be super-human (or at least it feels that way) we need a break sometimes. The thing is, I can tell you why self-care is so important, but unless you really believe it, you won’t take the time you need or make any changes. It’s about learning and growing.
The hope is you do something before burnout happens. If you already feel burnt out, do not fret! Take some steps above to begin the road back to a happy and relaxed you. This week I plan to take a walk each day during lunch and get some fresh air.
Life is short. So, go out there and buy that sexy piece of lingerie you’ve been eyeing or take an hour to pamper yourself. Not only do you need it, but YOU also DESERVE IT!
If you have a steady self-care routine, please share some tips in our Facebook community!
- Jessica Pierce is a coffee-obsessed Michigan native, spending 18 years living all over the United States while serving in the US Air Force. She and her husband (also an Air Force member) enjoy spending time with their kids, trying various cuisine, laughing, and attending baseball games.