Sometimes it can feel like a dirty word (or more accurately, two dirty words)
Taking care of yourself can feel like yet another thing on your already full plate.
If you’re a caregiver/caretaker for others, you may not have anything left over at the end of the day for yourself. Boy have I been there and done that!
As a woman, a mother, a wife, I had been conditioned to nurture and nourish others, to put myself last. Oh, no one TOLD me to do that, but I got the message over and over again – modeled in the behavior and choices of the women around me.
This pattern is not confined to women only. Men who are socialized to “take care of their families”, often don’t have healthy self care practices either. I’ve coached many a resentful man who felt taken for granted and burned out too!
In my previous career as a physical therapist and massage therapist, I helped people with their physical and emotional pain all day long. It didn’t occur to me to turn away someone who came, desperately seeking help, at the end of an already long, tiring day. I’d just dig deep and give some more.
The result? I was so depleted that a simple case of gastroenteritis nearly killed me! (Literally. I ended up in the hospital for 4 days!)
For many of us, putting others before self is a habitual, deeply ingrained, pattern of behavior. It’s an automatic response that feels normal and natural. Heck, it’s something we even feel great pride about!
That’s why it can be challenging to recognize the need for self care and give it to yourself before you reach a breaking point where you get sick or burned out.
So, how do you recognize when you are in need of an extra dose of self care?
Generally, you feel out of sorts, tired or easily overwhelmed. You may feel resentful when someone asks you to do something that would normally be easy and joyful for you.
Here are a few specific examples:
- You’re exhausted before you even start your day.
- You’re up later than everyone else in your home because you’ve got so much to do.
- You can’t remember the last time you took a vacation or had a day off
- You have trouble connecting with your body or emotions (you feel numb)
- You feel highly emotional and
- You feel angry and frustrated – a lot.
- You have a hard time relaxing.
- If someone does something nice for you, it makes you want to cry.
- You want to run away from your life.
Recognize yourself in any of these statements? Then it’s time to make self care a priority. It’s time to rejuvenate and renew. To fill your cup!
It’s YOUR responsibility to to that!
Don’t know where to start?
In next week’s post, I’ll share “54 Ideas for Ways You Can Rejuvenate and Renew Yourself” so you can make (or expand) your own self care plan!
Self care includes developing your ability to set (and hold) healthy boundaries, teaching others how to treat you by speaking up and expressing how you feel and asking for what you need.
If you know this is an area you would like to improve upon, join me for the Powerful Communicator Intensive, December 7th & 8th. Click here to learn more.