“When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.”
– Benjamin Franklin
How often have you let your well run dry? Are you always the caretaker, placing others needs before your own? It is not uncommon for women to find themselves running on empty for this very reason. We are mothers, daughters, sisters, wives. We are nurturers. We are caregivers. Yet all too often we don’t take the time needed to improve our own selves.
Perhaps you need to lose a few pounds. Your doctor has warned you that your cholesterol is too high. Your co-workers notice the dark circles under your eyes. You are chronically tired and anxious. How does a woman, strapped with so many responsibilities make time for herself?
The answer is easy, make time. But the real issue comes with your willingness to make the time for yourself. Many of us just don’t know how to even begin to care for ourselves or feel guilty when we do. Here are some tips to help guide you on your path to caring for yourself.
Self Compassion – simply show yourself the same care that you would for others. Ask yourself every day what you need and be sure you receive it.
Love Your Body – make time every day to treat your body with love. Move it, make sure it stays the well-oiled machine it was meant to be. Take a walk every day, meditate, do yoga, prepare yourself a meal that is nutritious and satisfying, pick up a dumbell and build some muscle.
You Are Only Human! Accept It! – Don’t beat yourself up. We tend to be our own worst critics and that is not always healthy or helpful. Realize that as a human, you too are allowed to make mistakes. Nobody else cares that you overindulged at dinner or forgot to pack an apple with your kid’s lunch today.
Take Time – It is amazing how wonderful you will feel when you just slow down. Take time to do something that makes you happy, or do nothing at all. I find reading a good book to be an amazing escape and helps me forget about my problems temporarily.
Set Boundaries – You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept. Learn to say No. Learn to say yes to yourself.
Surround yourself with what makes you feel good – choose your people, colors, sounds and smells wisely. Make sure that what you allow into your life makes you feel good.
Ask for help – we all need a helping hand from time to time. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If the household chores are too much, ask your spouse to pitch in. Your workload too cumbersome, delegate some tasks to coworkers to alleviate the pressure. You are useless to others and yourself if you are burnt out.
The message is simple, if you don’t make time to take care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually you will become an empty well. You do no service to yourself or those you care about if you have nothing to give.