“Taking good care of YOU, means the people in your life will receive the best of you, rather than what’s left of you”- Carl Bryan, Tennis Coach
Are you the kind of woman who puts everyone’s welfare before yours?
Are you always there when someone needs you but often neglect taking care of yourself?
You are not alone! Most of us grew up being taught to put the needs of others before the self. We sometimes get so carried away in caring for others that we forget to care for ourselves. What we fail to remember is that self-care isn’t selfishness, and if it is, then every woman needs to be a little selfish. Caring for the self does a lot of good not just for us but for those we care for.
Most of us fall into the category of women who consider sacrificing everything and sacrificing oneself as we think that’s what would make one the ideal wife, the ideal mom or the ideal daughter. But does that really make the ideal “you” that you want to be?
All of your decisions directly or indirectly affect others in your life but the one that is actually impacted by the decision the most, the one that actually lives in the consequences of the decisions is you. So by taking a decision just because it is going to make someone else happy, you would actually be making things a little more complicated. If you aren’t entirely happy with the decision, in the beginning, it might make you happy just because you made someone else happy. But in the long run, when things get tough and you have to handle them yourself, you might end up blaming the situation or the people whom you made the decision for.
Another thing that could go wrong when you entirely give up on caring for yourself in the process of caring for others is that your expectations might increase. Just because you are selfless, you cannot expect everyone around you to be selfless too. When you go out of your way doing things for someone, while neglecting yourself, you might not realise that you start expecting the same from them too. And in the long run, when you keep giving but get nothing in return, it might lead to unnecessary bitterness. The whole meaning of selflessness and loving unconditionally is then lost. This would not happen if you keep yourself happy before trying to make others happy.
Your Body Needs You
Your body cannot take care of itself on its own! Most women, in the rush, in the process of running behind life and taking care of others, often forget to take care of their own health. To take care of your family, you must first take care of your health. It is meaningless trying to pour from an empty cup!
If you could relate to any of the above situations, stop there! When was the last time you took a break? When was the last time you thought about yourself? When was the last time you did something just because it would make you happy? If answering any of these questions took you more than a moment, you are one of those women who is selfless without caring for the “self” first. Remember that you are awesome because not all can put others before self. But also remember that doing something for yourself doesn’t really make you selfish.
So, how can you be a little selfish?
You cannot give what you don’t have, so take care of your health, keep yourself happy. The process is a long one but you could start out with small little steps:
- Wake up early
Start waking up early daily not just for the long day ahead but for a little “me” time for yourself. Wake up before everyone else wakes up. Drink into the silence of the early morning. A day started well is a day that goes well. Write a journal, read something positive, meditate, listen to your favourite music, or do anything that would make you happy.
- Mind your health:
Don’t quote your busy life as an excuse for not working out or for skipping your meals. Eat healthy and work out. This would give you all the strength you need to run for others. You need a healthy body for a happy mind!
- Have a hobby and find time for it:
Most often we give up the concept of “hobby” as if it was meant only for the school days. But having a hobby actually reduces the stress. Finding time for your hobby can actually show a marked improvement in your productivity and keep your happiness scores high.
- Reward yourself:
Start rewarding yourself even for your small daily achievements. Buy a gift for yourself, go on a trip all alone, do something that would really make you happy- you deserve it!
- It is ok to ask for help.
You struggle to be a super woman without realising that you already are one. Asking for help would make you no less awesome! And asking for help is not a sign of weakness at all. So stop over loading yourself and ask for help when you need it.
- Learn to say “no”:
Jumping to help everyone is nice but knowing when to say “no” is nicer. Saying “no” once in a while wouldn’t make you a mean person. Listen to your head and start saying “no” when you should!
So what are you going to do for yourself? Every now and then stop and refuel yourself before running in life’s race. Calling out to all those selfless women out there, care for your “self”- be a little selfish, it’s ok, as that is what will lay a strong and happy foundation for your well being, your success, and allow you to give of yourself in a way that doesn’t deplete you, but energizes you.
About The Author
Abirami is an engineer by profession and a writer/photographer by passion. When she decided to quit her career and welcome motherhood with both hands, she decided to bring back to the front seat, her passion for writing and photography. And now she is a freelance writer/blogger and a full-time mom and her son’s personal photographer. When she is not running behind her toddler and her puppy keeping the duo away from trouble, you will find her hiding in her reading nook with a crime fiction or with her notebook penning down anything and everything that flows through her mind! She also loves baking, traveling and crafting and recycling old stuff!