The eternal plight of the caregiver is that once all the caring is done, there is no one left to tend to the caregiver. This also begs the question, when will all the caring ever be complete? There is always another scraped knee or bruised ego to handle. If we, as women wait until our calendars are free and clear, we’ll be waiting an awfully long time to get a piece of the pie that not only deserve, but also baked.
I know as a woman, myself, that I constantly face this conundrum. There are so many other people who need and rely on me, that oftentimes the only solution seems to be to neglect any time that benefits only me. I simply cannot waste time on myself when there are so many other things that need to be done and no one else to do them.
But during this month of women’s wellness, I’d urge you to turn this notion on its head. Yes, we are rock stars of caregiving. We can anticipate needs, we remember appointments, we muster up patience for all sorts of issues, and we do it all without breaking a sweat, but there’s one problem. We deserve to be on the receiving end of our care, at least some of the time. And there’s no shame in owning that truth and prioritizing it.
When we do so, we not only improve our health and mindset, but as it turns out, we enable ourselves to be able to give even more. This is true ladies. When we turn the mirror toward ourselves and send a little nurture our way, we don’t deplete our time and resources, we actually expand and refuel.
Just imagine if you were feeling well rested vibrant on a given day. Wouldn’t you naturally pick up a treat for a loved one while at the store, bake cookies for a struggling friend to boost her mood or cook your husband’s favorite meal? Of course you would. You would do these things because that’s who you are, someone who cares about the people around her and wants to make them feel good. When we are overworked and stressed, we brush these types of things off. We are feeling used, neglected and unappreciated, and so it’s more difficult to summon generosity of spirit.
When we are full on an emotional, mental and physical level, e do these kinds of things with ease. WE are brimming with energy and so our natural inclination is to share it. But if we’re in conservation mode, living in a space where time and energy are scarce, we feel frustrated, over-extended and withholding.
Self-care might be single most important thing you can do to benefit everyone in your life. And self-care can mean many things. Take that morning walk, schedule that massage and plan a girls night, but also get that mammogram, go the dentist and see someone about the persistent pain in your wrist.
We can’t rely on anyone else to take care of us. To be our best selves, we must treat ourselves as the worthy individuals that we are. Take care of you, and you take care of the world.