If you were to take just five minutes to scroll through your Instagram feed, you will no doubt come across many snapshots of gorgeous women immersed in steaming baths adorned with flowers and bubbles.
These posts all feature beautifully manicured feet conspicuously sticking out the water, and expertly applied the facial mask and even a glass of sparkling wine to complete the picture. You are sighing, saying to yourself that will only happen to you when you win the jackpot, right?
Possibly, but hang on there!
Self-care for yourself as a woman is vital, it is not meant only for the fortunate few. It is a necessity, in fact, no matter what kind of a lifestyle you lead, and no matter own much money you have or don’t have.
Self-care in women isn't selfish – it’s imperative
Self-care is a term which when simply defined means taking care of one’s own health and needs.
Let’s explain it better here:
- It’s a true story, the one of Poppy Marler. She had a realization when she decided to look at herself at 40; to change her life and begin a new journey head-on.
- She says that when she was a young mother, she just put everything on hold, being hyper-focused on her child’s care. She actually put her own life on hold. She neglected friendships and bored anyone who’d listen with baby stories and pictures.
- When she got into real social situations, she found she could not add anything to the conversation because all of her current experiences were about her parenting experiences. She had no life or interests outside of motherhood.
- She didn’t notice that she had put on a whole lot of weight either because she no longer dressed in her professional or party clothes. In fact, there were very few times when she wore anything nursing and spit-up friendly. She gradually realized that she had no life outside of her child.
- Finally, a dear older and wiser friend of hers told her that it was an essential thing, apart from taking care of her family, to take care of her own needs because her own health and happiness directly impacts her ability to care for her family. She then realized the consequences of her self deprioritization :
- Weight gain
- Lack of socialization
Poppy eventually realized that just like how in an airplane, you are instructed to put on your own oxygen mask first, then help others; in order to help others, you need to take care of yourself first. It was then that she discovered how taking steps to care for yourself each day should be a top priority.
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She went on further to start involving these important aspects of her life:
- Exercise, because moving your body keeps your blood circulating, keeps you strong, and keeps your mood happy.
- Eating well: She says she learned to eat 5-7 servings of fresh fruit and veggies, ensuring that she got all her nutrients in, removing all the junk foods.
- Maintaining relationships outside your family. It was important that her family remained her top priority, but she also learned not to under-estimate the power of good friends. She found that just having someone to talk to was a great help in advancing feelings of well-being.
- Getting enough sleep: Without good and enough sleep, the quality of your life deteriorates rapidly. Sleep is what is needed to help your body recover and repair itself, and also to avoid television as well as snacks which are high in sugar and fat before bedtime
- Getting dressed every day: Working and walking around all day in sweats and slippers is not good for anyone’s self-esteem. We know that when we look good, we feel so good.
- Having a positive attitude: A positive, mindful attitude used on yourself and others will change the way you view life. It gives you a reason to get up in the morning and face whatever challenges come your way!
- Have a hobby: You need interests of your very own outside of the home and family because it maintains your individuality.
- Spend some time alone: Just taking a relaxing bath for 30 minutes or a few hours out to do your hair and nails or reading a book you have been meaning to read, these are what boost your morale, your spirits, and make you feel good about yourself and life.
- Ask for help: If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help, because it’s true, we can’t do everything alone – no man is an island.
“Learning to take care of your own needs isn’t selfish, it’s downright essential.”
It makes you a better caretaker because after all, happiness and health are top assets to have, aren’t they?
It’s a lifetime investment – how are you really doing?