Why do we struggle so much as women with self-care?
I know first hand that I will always put everyone's needs above my own and will tell myself its ok because I am being there for my family, my friends, my clients... But then, at some point, it will all come crashing down. We carry the weight of the world on our shoulders and I know I feel like I am always running behind, chasing time - meetings, deadlines, school drop off/pick ups, homework, laundry, and everything in between. Struggling to keep up let alone finding this imaginary thing called "spare time" - I envision spare time to be somewhat of a mythical creature like big foot or a unicorn... As women we are constantly reminded how important self-care is to our mental health and physical health. And even though I KNOW that to be true... finding that time feels like climbing Mount Everest - an impossible mission that I am bound to "fail".
I recall now just how much my lack of self-care has affected me over the years... always sick in my corporate life (and rarely taking time off unless I couldn't find the energy to open my laptop or go into the office), feeling burned out and no energy to find time to be with friends and family outside of my day to day routines, and just an overall sense of un-wellness. Even with the pandemic I have not made myself and my health a priority - working harder, longer hours, trying to be a full time parent with two young kids at home while balancing the needs and demands of running my own business.
It wasn't until recently I realized just how much I have neglected myself and that eventually it all catches up to you... but still, even with that epiphany, I struggle to make the time to get out for a walk, to take a bath, to cuddle up with a book, to unplug and just be. I know I can't be the only one out there feeling this... I know that as a community of entrepreneurs, mompreneurs, and some pretty kick@$$ women we are all striving to have it all. To be everything to everyone. The reality is we rarely have time for ourselves. Even if it is just a moment where we can breathe and release the stress of world we are carrying on our shoulders.
As I write this I am finally feeling a little of that release... like a little weight has been lifted... a light at the end of the tunnel. This post wasn't planned - it was actually a photo I found this morning while scrolling through my Instagram feed that inspired me to share this truth about my own struggle with self care and putting myself first - even if it is just once in a while.
As entrepreneurs and business owners we have all sat through many presentations, network meetings, online sessions, read the blogs, done the research - we KNOW we need to find time for self care and yet... we don't. Or at least I don't. Is anyone else with me??? Sometimes I feel like I need to "fake it till I make it" with self-care... I do find little moments here and there like drawing, or reading business books, taking a walk with a client, because I can convince myself that it is "work" so I don't feel guilty... but there has to be a better way... Sometimes I manage to find time for a few days and start to feel better, but then fall back into the hamster wheel trap of working with no breaks, just taking care of the kids, the house, and failing to find a moment for me. It's a struggle - internally and externally - to carve out that time. I know working out or taking a walk, or practice yoga or mediation, or grabbing a coffee with friends, unplugging and playing with the kids without feeling guilty that work and emails and social media is piling up... I know it will help me be a better version of me. To deliver better results to my clients. To be more present with my kids... and yet... there is still a block, something holding me back, making me feel selfish for taking or wanting this time to myself... And if I am being completely honest, many times I am just too exhausted to figure out how to make the time to eat right, to squeeze in a workout, to take even just 5 minutes to just be...
Ladies - we do so much for so many, let's be there to remind and support each other that it is ok to take a moment, a breath, a day to just be for us. 💕 It will make us stronger and will help us deliver better service, products, experiences, and grow our business if we can just figure out how to make that time to indulge in a moment of tears, laughter, or quiet... To starting making the time - even if it is just a small moment - to give ourselves what we need to replenish ourselves so we can be there to support our kids, our families, our friends, our community.
We all have our own path to walk but let's not forget to stop and enjoy the moment and breathe.
I would love to hear from our amazing community on how to find ways to focus on ourselves without the guilt, without it feeling overwhelming, or like another task on my to-do list. Thank you for listening... Perhaps this blogs is a little of the self-care I needed this week. If anyone is in need of someone to listen (without judgement) or someone to vent to... I am always here. 💕 We are not alone. We are all in this together.