As women, we often take on the roles of caregivers and nurturers within our families. The only issue is that we nurture and care for everyone but ourselves.
We've developed a culture where we view it as noble to neglect our health and wellbeing for the benefit of others. This often leads to resentment and feelings of unfulfillment. The key is not to neglect your family or responsibilities within them, but to make sure that your wants and needs are also accounted for.
This is easier said than done with our busy schedules, but the truth is if we don't make the time, we'll never have the time until it's too late and we're battling stress related issues such as depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, fatigue etc. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Give yourself permission to dream and then pursue those dreams. Although being wife, mother and caretaker may be the most important roles of your life, they don't have to be the only roles you play.
- There are many dimensions to you as a person, nourish and develop all of them in order to create balance and wholeness within yourself. Neglecting different aspects of your life (physical, psychological, spiritual, professional, and relational, etc.) could create feelings dissatisfaction and unfulfillment, which can lead to depression.
- Remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish. If you aren't around, who will care for your family? By making yourself a priority, you will set the example of self care for your family. They will also learn to respect and honor you when you respect and honor yourself.
- Step out of the background; it's ok to take center stage in your life. When you allow yourself to fade into the background, it gives others permission to overlook and bypass you. Your thoughts matter, your voice matters, your desires matter. Do not make yourself an extra in the story of you own life.
- Give yourself a break and focus on what you have some success instead of your areas of struggle. You are not perfect and never will be so remind yourself that you're doing the best you can. Continue to work on the areas that need improvement without letting them overwhelm or discourage you and take the time to celebrate your accomplishments.
- Finally, take a deep breath and relax. If you don't get it right or get it done today, it's not the end of the world. That's why you have tomorrow.
I hope you find this tips helpful and empowering as you begin your journey of self-care.