There are many things about women that seem obvious: they are beautiful, smart, talented, often overworked and underpaid, do-it-yourself kind of people who can dig in when the going gets tough. Women can do a lot of things. But the one thing that continues to elude women is their ability to put themselves first. And it’s not an ability so much as they don’t give themselves permission to be on their own “to-do list”. Women work so hard to make sure everyone else in their lives are taken care of, and their own self-care falls to the wayside.
Here is a women’s checklist for self-care. If you have to put yourself on the to-do list, here’s a great one to consider.
- Eat your breakfast first. Michelle noticed as her son was growing up that she never had a hot breakfast anymore. She was living on bowls of sugary cereal and granola bars. She decided to get up earlier than the rest of the family to enjoy her hot breakfast in peace and quiet.
- Take walks. Julie found herself getting really irritated at her family because she knew she should be taking time for herself, but she felt obligated to spend time just sitting around watching television, if that is what everyone else was doing. One day, she got up off the couch and took a walk. She decided it was a much better use of her time and it was good for her mind, body and soul.
- End your day with a bath. Dawna spent her days rushing around and couldn’t find a single moment in the day to relax and just be. So she started taking baths before bed. Warm water helped her feel at ease, and she would add peppermint oil, like the kind you can find here, to the tub in the summer to help her feel cooler before bed. She knew she needed to slow down and take some time for herself.
- Phone a friend. Ainslie was feeling run down and needed a pick-me-up. She started a weekly ritual of calling one of her friends that lived in other parts of the country. She enjoyed the release from her everyday life, and was excited by what was happening in her friend’s lives. She looked forward the time to reconnect with the people that were important to her. It helped her slow down and build strength into those relationships.
- Take Yourself Shopping. Not grocery shopping. Breanna was caught up in the hustle and bustle of life just as much as the next woman. She never seemed to have the time to take herself out for a day on the town. She decided that she would take herself out once a month to buy one or two new pieces of clothing. And maybe she would go to lunch by herself as well. Women should spend more time with themselves and show themselves more love. An afternoon spent sipping your favorite flavored coffee and browsing the sale racks must just be the thing you need to unwind and reset.
Whatever it is that you wish you had more time for, put yourself at the top of that list. Above all else, you can’t help others if you are running on empty. You might not feel like you can do all of these things all the time, but start with one thing. And make sure you do it for yourself, without feeling guilty.