Here’s an anonymous quote I read today, “Exercise: you don’t have time not to”. Yet, the #1 reason my clients tell me that they don’t exercise is …. “I don’t have time.” Looking at their schedules, it does seem like there isn’t any time for them to exercise.
Women are busy people, especially if they’re a mom. Their days often start at 5:30 a.m. and they don’t wind down until 10:00 p.m. or later, and who wants to get on a treadmill at that point? It’s more like pour a glass of wine, put on some comfy clothes, and watch t.v. – maybe have a snack, fold some laundry, remember that forgotten task to do, and may as well pick up those toys, clean the pee off the toilet rim …. Oh wait, we’re supposed to be relaxing because now it’s 11 p.m. Damn! 5:30 a.m. is going to come awful early! Do it all again tomorrow. Sound familiar?
Why is the caregiver unable to commit to practicing self-care? What I’m discovering is that many women feel guilty allocating time for themselves. ‘There is just so much to accomplish, how can I possibly fit in a workout?’ Often their own needs don’t make the perpetual to-do lists. So the care-giver becomes a tired, over-weight, cranky, caffeine-a-holic, who doesn’t feel good in her own skin. It’s hard to give graciously of oneself when you’re not feeling so cool about who you are. Something has to give.
Ladies, self-care isn’t selfish, it’s self-preservation! This is an important point to remember. Taking time out to treat your body like the temple it is can be very beneficial.
- It can remind yourself and others that you and your needs are important, too. Having a well-cared-for body can make you feel good about yourself and your life, and conveys to others that you value yourself. This can contribute to long-term feelings of wellbeing.
- People who neglect their own needs and forget to nurture themselves are at danger of deeper levels of unhappiness, low self-esteem and feelings of resentment. Sometimes people who spend their time only taking care of others can be at risk for getting burned out on all the giving, which makes it more difficult to care for others or themselves. Taking time to care for yourself regularly can make you a better caretaker for others.
- When you don’t take care of yourself, you can get sick. From headaches to catching every virus in the vicinity to developing heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and other illnesses…
You CAN find (manage) the time. Scrutinize your schedule to look for holes. My clients often discover:
- They say “yes” too often, adding excess to their already busy schedule.
- They’re not delegating enough.
- The need to make time for themselves is imperative in order to reconnect with their authentic self; to be happy in their skin.
In addition to taking time being physically active, remember to pamper yourself as well:
- Take a bath
- Spend an evening with friends
- Read a book
- Get a massage
- Arrange a date night
The importance of self-care has been known for a very long time. I found this quote by Chuang Tzu (c. 360 BC – c. 275 BC) “The perfect [wo]man of old looked after [her]self first before looking to help others.” Obviously I changed it from masculine to feminine, but the meaning is the same: we MUST take care of ourselves in order to care for others.
My specialty is helping clients in becoming more active, losing weight, developing a healthier eating style, setting, implementing, and achieving their health & wellness goals. If you need help getting started, please contact me. I work with clients in person and via phone.
Holistic Health Coach & Wellness Educator