March is women’s history month. I launched this months blog talking about March madness ( see last post), I feel like I’m on an exposure spree. Exposing lack of self care.
In the news lately there has been a lot of talk about women and our bodies, etc., and whether what we need should be paid for by others. What I hear is an opportunity for women to define what is important to us. It’s a chance to use our voices to create a healthier place for us to learn and grow. It is also an opportunity to help others learn and grow.
The last few days, I’ve come in contact with women who know they need to take care of themselves but can’t find the time. It’s true that we have a hard time caring for ourselves. What is more true is we feel guilty when doing it. There are so many reasons why we can’t find the time. The biggest one being because we don’t place value on ourselves or our needs. We want to save the world and take care of ourselves later. I know because I was the “queen bee” of this game.
As the oldest child I felt it was my responsibility. Not sure who told me it was mine, but clearly I took on the roll. I was the go to person. If you want something done call me it doesn’t matter what else I’m doing. Sound familiar. Yes I can drop whatever it is I’m doing and take care of your “stuff”. What I didn’t realize was that while I was taking care of everybody’s stuff, no one was taking care of mine.
There is a history of this behaviour in families. What it has done is weakened us as caretakers instead of empowering us. True caretakers understand the importance of taking care of themselves first. (Think airplane safety in case of emergency put your vest on FIRST). We must put our vest on FIRST. Our actions are the best teachers for those who want to learn self care and how to care for us.
Here is one strategy I’ve incorporated into my life.
Solitude is one of the best tools for self care. It gives you an opportunity to get quiet and care for self. It positions you in a state of being not doing. It’s an opportunity to quiet the mind and to calm the busyness of life. Solitude is a great place to sit and hear what is being said when you listen. When was the last time you found time for solitude? You can start small 5-10 minutes in your day is a great starting point. Use it as quiet time to hear yourself think. Tune into your mind/body, listen to what it wants to tell you.
It’s not the big things that always make a difference. Small daily acts of targeted time of self care can lead to big rewards. Do it consistently over a period of time and you create a habit. Here’s to Solitude and time built into your schedule for “just you”.
Savour the moment and enjoy your quality time alone, you’ve earned it!!