By: Victoria Baylor, Mindset & Clarity Coach, TEDx Speaker
Why do you think women struggle so much with the notion of self-care? Why do women struggle with taking time for themselves, honoring and fulfilling their own desires? Research has shown that self-care promotes positive health outcomes, such as fostering resilience, living longer, and becoming better equipped to manage stress. In short, it keeps us sane and enjoying life.
Despite that fact, there are many women who don’t know they need it. They are so wrapped up in the constantly swirling details of their lives that by the time they come up for air, just a little, they are pulled back into their ever-evolving and rotating daily tasks and responsibilities.
Then there are other women who know they desperately need it. They struggle to break away from the madness of their lives to have a moment of solitude or reprieve–any for that matter–no matter how few or far in between they come.
And then there are women who reject the notion altogether, choosing instead to throw themselves with nun-like devotion into the care and focus of others while sloughing off the notion of self-care as weakness and abject selfishness. I can tell you the truth, as a Mindset and Clarity Coach, with a focus on helping women overcome their mental blocks to achieve more rewarding professional and personal lives, I’ve personally encountered and helped these 3 types of women. Unfortunately, I’ve seen the negative side effects that each of these types of scenarios creates, and the ultimate toll it takes on a woman’s confidence, clarity, and satisfaction in life.
There can be many culprits to this problem. Women are known for putting unrealistic and high pressure on ourselves, that leaves us fending for everyone but ourselves. Others think that somehow society has managed to convince women that self-care is a sign of weakness, and that a woman’s ultimate job is being a nurturer- even if, in excessively doing so, it leads to her detriment. Not to mention how each woman has different family dynamics, experiences, and personality that influences the way she sees her role in this world, and how much of her time should be devoted to herself.
Look, it doesn’t matter where you point the finger, it still doesn’t solve the problem. The truth of the matter is, due to self-care neglect, women are worn out, tired, and overworked like never before. The challenges of 2020 alone (i.e. CO-VID and other issues) have left women dealing with anxiety and stress on unprecedented levels. Research is showing that women are drinking and self-medicating more than ever before.
Ladies we have to wake up! We can no longer afford to tiptoe around the notion of self-care and treat it like it’s optional, or like it’s that fancy pair of shoes that we only wear on special occasions. Enough is enough! It is a NECESSITY of the highest magnitude and should be respected and daily observed as such.
The biggest issue I’m finding is that, once women buy into the importance of self-care, they are oftentimes ill-equipped to defend their “self-care territory”. Many women will cave in or lose the battle because they haven’t reframed their thinking on the subject, or don’t know how to emphatically put their “foot down” and demand the time and space they deserve. With that in mind allow me to offer you a few helpful perspectives and tips.
#1. Embrace being a little selfish
Focusing on yourself through self-care should never make you feel guilty. In truth, self-care is the most caring thing to do. It is a way to honor your energy, mental state, and limits while at the same time recharging so you can better fulfill your other duties and roles you serve others in. So ladies, the next time you take that nature walk, go for that pedicure or grab your favorite meal & movie, I want you to think of how the investment you’re making in yourself, is one that honors you and ultimately serves the greater good of your purpose, mission, and goals.
#2. Claim your limits
It’s interesting enough that we are careful to not let the bathroom tub water overflow when filling it, or we won’t let the water in a boiling pot overflow, but we will allow ourselves to work beyond our own capacity and not consider our own limits. So what are your limits? Have you considered them? Your limits are when you no longer have the energy or focus to give to something. Now is a time to establish your limits with boundaries. One great way to protect your limits is by politely saying “no” when it’s necessary. One way to say that is “I greatly appreciate you for thinking of me, but unfortunately my plate is full at the moment, and I can’t commit to anything else”. Try practicing saying that a few times until it feels natural and you have no more guilt around it.
#3. Show your claws
In nature, animals show their claws often as a healthy defense mechanism. This is the part where I may get a bit of raised eyebrows, but I’m going there anyway. If you think that people are just going to roll over and make sure you get the self-care you need, that won’t always be the case. For you Mom’s out there, you already know that kids are inherently selfish. They don’t mean to be, and oftentimes adults follow suit. This is where you may have to, in essence, “show your claws” or ” put your proverbial foot down” and maybe even stomp it a few times to show you’re serious. Hold your ground ladies! If no one else around you believes in meeting your needs, you make sure you do it for yourself!
If you can take away anything from this article I hope it would be the realization or elevated understanding that self-care is the greatest form of self-love. It’s necessary to ensure you function at your best. It’s time-out for thinking that it’s optional. It’s time to take back your peace of mind, health, and focus. It’s time to love yourself better, and start giving yourself the grace, compare and compassion you give to everyone else.
Need coaching help creating a self-care plan or boundaries? Email Victoria at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a Mindset & Clarity consultation.
Victoria Baylor is a Certified Mindset and Business Clarity coach, TEDx Speaker, & Amazon Best Selling Author. She works with HIgh Achieving professional & entrepreneurial women helping them remove their mental blocks, gain clarity to unlock their Brilliance, and go after their Bold Dreams & Visions!