Does Self-Care Elude You?
Do you take good care of yourself?
Of course you do!
At least you think you do.
You may not realize it, but the level of care you give yourself is sub-par. Most times, borderline neglect. And if you really think about it, if you treated others the same way you treat yourself, you would probably be in a world of trouble.
I know there may be circumstances that may force you to spend less time on yourself than you would like. In fact, you may have dozens of reasons. I get it. Life sometimes throws curve-balls that you didn’t see coming, and in the busyness of it all, maybe all you can muster is a response.
Something has to change.
However, before you can attempt to improve the level of care you give to yourself, you need to realize the areas of deficiency. Self-care may elude you if you do any of the following things:
You Are Amazingly Selfless to A Neglectful Fault
If you put everyone’s needs above your own, you are exhibiting a classic sign of self-neglect. By prioritizing the needs of everybody except your own, you may feel burned out and/or resentment.
As a mom to three active kids, starting a business and pursuing my education, I was constantly on the go. I often did all-nighters just to finish everything. I would forgo doctor and dental appointments. The outcome of my self-neglect was dental issues and burn out. I should have made time to take care of myself.
Women are often conditioned to put others’ needs above their own. But it’s important to balance helping others and self-care. Put yourself first sometimes. Especially when you have to care for others. If you’re not healthy, you’re no good to those you help. If you continue to neglect yourself at this rate, you may become unable to do anything for anyone, not to mention resenting those you sacrificed your needs for. An unhealthy and neglectful combination!
Your Challenged Appearance Does Not Reflect Your Amazing Abilities
If you feel guilty for adorning yourself, self-care may evade you. It’s your right to spend time on yourself, whether that means soaking in a bubble bath, getting a massage, getting your make-up done, or doing weekly manicures and/or pedicures. If it improves your well-being, these activities are a necessary part of your overall care.
You may also neglect yourself if you have a habit of “wash and wear” dressing when conducting business with others. As comfortable as you may feel, this type of dress can undermine your authority and makes it hard for others to view you as a competent leader. This may mean making sure your clothing is neatly pressed. Take some time every weekend to prepare your clothing for the coming week. If you work from home, make sure you have a neatly pressed shirt ready to throw on when you have to jump on a quick Zoom call. You are qualified – dress for the part.
It’s Painstakingly Lonely At The Top, But Not That Lonely!
Having someone you can share your losses and celebrate your wins and other experiences, thoughts and ideas can make a vast difference in your well-being.
Do you have a small group of close friends who you can trust? Lacking an inner circle of friends is another symptom of neglect. Your inner circle is essential – they are there through good and bad times and can be an invaluable part of your living well. Whether a lack of friends is by choice or forced by family, it’s damaging to your state of health.
You Only See Epic Failure When Everyone Else Sees Great Success
Everyone may view you as a success – you have a significant job, and the trappings and finances to live comfortably, but you still feel like a failure. This could result from personal dissatisfaction for never getting the chance to complete your college education, to pursue a passion or maybe you do not find your career to be rewarding.
Guess what? There is no better time than now to get up and go after whatever would fulfill you. No one can achieve this for you, so go get it.
You View Exercise As Cruel And Unusual Punishment
A lack of exercise increases the likelihood of negative health, including aging, muscle loss and reducing your quality of life through illness. This form of neglect has serious consequences.
Integrating physical exercise does not have to be complicated. Start where you are – just move! Taking a 30-minute walk after dinner can make a difference on your emotional, mental and physical health. If you enjoy dancing, dance to your favorite music. Combined with a balanced diet, these small gestures can improve your physical health and contribute to a positive emotional health. Exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
You’re Anxiously Letting Life Pass You By
Another symptom of neglect is a lack of joy. Living brings you no genuine pleasure; you’re just going through the motions of life, without finding joy in the day-to-day moments.
You don’t stop to take in the scenic views on your way to work or if you’re at home, you don’t take in the nature around you; you don’t experience joy from the things your kids or grandkids may do and only look forward to going to bed. Feeling as if life has no purpose can be not only sad, but can start a cycle of negativity and depression.
It’s doesn’t have to be that way.
Though self-care should come naturally, we have replaced these instinctual behaviors with “politically correct” habits and accepted a robotic way of living to survive in society.
Life is so much more than living the way you think you’re supposed to live.
It’s not wrong to care for yourself. When you meet your needs and desires, you equip yourself to provide a better quality of help to others. When you feel fulfilled and refreshed, you can be intentional with how you want to serve others without feeling forced.
There’s freedom in living whole, and you can’t become whole if you’re broken from neglect.