Women are expected to have everything under the control; whether you’re the CEO with a jam-packed schedule returning from a maternity break, a housewife who runs the household and still ferries the children everywhere including attending your husband’s social work meetings, or a career-oriented woman who holds down a full time job with a lot of other side gigs. Juggling all these different roles are exhausting, so how earth can we make room for all these, on top of making sure that our mental health, physical wellbeing and social life remain active and unaffected?
In fact, many women experience so much pressure from work, families, relationships and societal norms that they often put themselves last. They go on the back-burner and before you know it, they’re worn out and neglected. So here are some things to remind yourself about self-care.
You’re worth it
The dishes need doing, your partner wants attention, so do the kids, all those meetings require your contribution… the list goes on. To make sure that they’re all completed to the highest standards that you’ve set for yourself, know that looking after yourself comes first. Self-care must be prioritised to maintain a healthy relationship with everyone around you, and most importantly, yourself. It produces positive feelings, up your self-esteem and boosts confidence. Your needs must always be taken care of before others. Get that yoga session in, do not cancel that drinks meetup with your girlfriends, register yourself for the workshop you’ve always wanted to attend. If there’s time to squeeze in others, there’s always time to squeeze in yourself.
A healthy, balanced work-life
Gone were the days when people love to boast about working long hours, or relish being labelled a workaholic. Now, it’s about working smart. Overworking and long work hours lead to stress, fatigue and you’ll find that you’re not as productive. Your health suffers, and some people end up suffering from anxiety, depression, insomnia and heart diseases. There are many workers who have admitted to feeling more anxious during and post covid, because they have ended up working at odd times, and often find their minds wondering about work when they should be resting. If you find yourself in this dangerous loop, take some easy steps to counter them. Set the alarm for lunch time and take a proper lunch break. Call your friends or family to catch up and just for a chat, it’ll take your mind off work. Better still, set professional boundaries with colleagues and employees.
Live life to the fullest
There are many of us who fall into the same routine day in day out. Wake up, work, do the school run, cook, get some more work done, plonk in front of the TV and fall asleep on the sofa. That happens from Monday to Friday, and the weekends are filled with children’s birthday parties, house chores, food shopping, before the dreaded week starts all over again. Life is about being unpredictable, fun, adventurous… life is about living. Pick up that new hobby or revisit an old one that’s given you many happy memories, take that road trip although no one’s keen to accompany you, walk a different path to work if it means you might see something different, take a shot at something risky and exhilarating, talk to the man whom you’ve been interested in for a while – there are so many things that you’ve held back from because of calculated risks. Do all of them!
Spend that hard-earned cash
Yes, saving money for rainy days is important. Having a healthy bank balance makes you feel more secure. But, research has shown that people interviewed at their death beds, wished that they had followed their hearts and cared less of what others thought. Instead of following the norm, live less conservatively. If you want to lead a life in a mini van, do it! If you choose to spend your money on a nice luxury watch, perhaps a classic Rolex Lady Datejust, buy it! Be authentically you, and you’ll live a life that you truly want, not what’s expected of you.
Finally, here are some small steps to take for self-care.
- Soak up the sun.
- Exercise once a day.
- Take small breaks, often, and without having to apologise for it.
- Laugh and eat heartily.
- Eat your greens.
- You can say no and not feel bad for it.
- Stop overthinking.