Daily Self-Care is the Secret to a Life of Meaning, Purpose & Optimal Health
By Celia Ward-Wallace–
The Demands of the Modern Woman
Modern women today are so busy juggling the demands of family, friends and their professional lives that they easily forget to take care of themselves. By trying to be everything to all people, women are end up sacrificing their physical, mental and emotional well-being to the detriment of themselves and their loved ones. As a result, this self-neglect often leads to fatigue, depression and often illness.
It’s time that women put themselves first and learn to practice self-care. Self-care means honoring your mind, body and soul—taking care of yourself from the inside out. To maintain optimal mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health, it is imperative that modern women implement daily self-care rituals. They must shift their priorities and make themselves number one on their to-do list!
The Trap of Gender Socialization
However, many women struggle with the guilt factor when focusing on themselves. They have been socialized to be nurturers and to put others needs before their own. While nurturing others is a great benefit to our society, women will not be able to take care of anyone if they don’t take care of themselves. It is only a matter of time until the stress, neglect and overwhelm catches up with them and they are faced with burnout, anxiety and chronic illness. How long are we going to continue to put ourselves on the back burner before we end up unable to do our work in the world? We must prioritize daily self-care rituals to offset the stress of day to day demands.
It is imperative that women learn to practice self-care in order to be as whole, healthy and happy as we possibly can be. We need to understand that taking care of ourselves is the number one thing we can do to stay strong and maintain the ability to take care of others in our lives. When we put ourselves first we teach others how to treat us and everyone figures it out and makes the necessary adjustments. If we are healthy, happy and whole our family will thrive.
When we continue to think “I’m good, I’m okay, I am just going to continue to do everything for everyone else” nothing changes because people view this as the norm. It is important for us to realize that in order for us to show up the way we want to in our lives — in a good mood, present, energetic — this is a direct result of how well we treat ourselves on a daily basis. If we are feeling angry, resentful or stressed out it is an indication that we are out of alignment with our needs. In that situation we can ask ourselves, “what do I need in this moment to feel good, happy and whole?” And then here is the key, we must listen to the answer and take action! The answer may be that we need to workout, or take a bath, or call a girlfriend, or connect with nature. Once we have the prescription of the natural way we can heal ourselves we need to take action and do what we were told! Then we can then rejoin the world feeling refreshed and everyone around us benefits from our self-care.
3 Steps to Create a Powerful Daily Self-Care Practice
- SCHEDULE SELF CARE: Schedule time daily in the morning, evening or both for regular daily self-care rituals such as exercise, reading, meditation, prayer, nature connection and sisterhood.
- CREATE HEALTHY BOUNDARIES: Let your family, friends and co-workers know about your shift to self-care and self-love. Do not jump to control everything for everyone in your life but allow them to manage their own lives. It is ok to say “no” when asked to do something you don’t want to do. Do not tolerate abusive or toxic relationships. As you begin to set healthy boundaries in your life others will begin to treat you better and ask for less from you.
- MANAGE YOUR MINDSET: At any moment of the day you can practice self-care by managing the thoughts you are having. Stay conscious and pay attention to the thought floating in and out. When you notice a negative thought such as, “I will never be able to get the promotion,” learn to replace the negative thought with a positive affirmation such as “I will work very hard to prepare for the promotion and put forth my best effort.” This step is the biggest of them all because we are constantly having negative thoughts that are the result of programming we received throughout our life and we must actively reprogram our thought patterns.Making the shift to prioritizing our own well-being requires a huge mindset adjustment. We need to change our mindset as women to realize that when we put ourselves first by implementing a self-care plan it is not selfish but self-honoring. This is a huge step in the self-love journey, valuing ourselves and taking care of ourselves. Our value and meaning come from within, and when we are not practicing self-love it is no wonder that we do not love the life we are leading!
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