By nature, women are caretakers and caregivers. Whether our children, our spouse or partner, our parents, friends, co-workers, women expend an enormous amount of energy that at the end of the day, there is little left when it is now their turn.
There is indeed something to be said about the analogy of the oxygen mask. When it falls we need to grab it first. We need to inhale deeply oxygen to replenish our minds so that we can continue to be there for everyone around us. To some, the concept of self-care is as foreign as the language and customs of faraway lands. The idea of putting their own needs first feels somehow wrong, or even selfish.
The good news is that it’s never too late to learn to treat yourself as you do others; to put yourself first in a healthy, energizing way. Here are some ways you can rewire your brain so it becomes increasingly easier to put yourself first, thereby recharging your life.
Learn to Say No
Being a caring and compassionate person is wonderful, but sacrificing yourself by saying “yes” all the time to other people’s needs will deplete your energy. Learning to set boundaries and say no is not only your right, it’s your responsibility. Try to start saying no more often, free of guilt.
Ask for Help
When you’ve taken on the role of helping others, it can feel uncomfortable asking for help when you need it. After all, you’re the one people go to when in need.
The thing to remember is, all of these people who come to you for help feel no shame or discomfort in asking for it. They need help, they ask for it, they get it. Try to do the same. As soon as you release the pressure you’ve put on yourself to handle everything alone, you will feel a tremendous weight lifted.
Get to Know Yourself!
Do you know what makes you tick? What do you like and dislike? People who are wired to neglect their own needs don’t typically know themselves very well. Knowing oneself is seen as a luxury they can’t afford.
Self-love and self-care require you get to know your SELF. Take some time to discover what you enjoy. Once you find what it is that pleases you, commit to doing it more often. Having more pleasure in your life will make you a happier person.
Taking these actions will have a tremendous impact on your life. As you get better and better at putting your needs first, you will feel happier and more empowered. You will know, deep down, that your own needs matter and you are worth the effort.