I’m a recovering over-achiever, people pleaser, perfectionist, and workaholic. I used to be consistent at neglecting my own needs in favor of trying to meet everyone else's expectations and needs.
And when I did take a little time for self-care, I would feel guilty – I believed there were other things I "should" be doing with my time.
And then I realized how emotionally and physically unhealthy I had become. I was no fun to be around.. I was impatient, cranky, and irritable most of the time and my relationships were all strained. I was beyond the point of exhaustion to complete burnout.
Our society emphasizes achievement and results. Women are sometimes made to feel like if we aren't "doing it all" all the time, we aren't doing enough. Yes, we have responsibilities and commitments to family, friends, work, and others. But this does not mean that we need to consistently put our needs below everyone else's or neglect our needs altogether.
Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with setting ambitious goals and driving for results. But when we focus *only* on activity and results, or on meeting other people's needs at the expense of our own without time to rest, refresh, and recuperate, we’ll burn out.
When we are busy “doing” all the time, we miss the cues alerting us to what *we* need. We then react from auto-pilot, repeating unhelpful behaviors.
We can't "checklist" our way to self-care or self-love, however. What works for one person may not work for someone else. We need to explore our unique path to self-care, self-nurturing, and self-love.
As we start to make changes, we may feel guilty or selfish about making time for rest or fun, or caring for our own needs in other ways. We may worry about what others think.
But, it is *not* selfish to love and care for ourselves. We can fulfill our responsibilities and to others - AND fulfill our own needs, too.
After I shifted the relationship I was having with myself and reordered my priorities, I started doing self-care my way. Now I schedule my self-care time FIRST and book everything else around that. I've learned that if I'm depleted, I'm not going to be fully present or effective with anyone or anything else anyway. So better to take care of me first, so I can better care for them.
If you need support in clarifying your needs, coming up with your customized self-care approach or integrating new habits, reach out. We can do a discovery session to see how I can help.