We live life at a fast pace. It’s not a secret that every invention gives us a way to do things faster and in a more efficient way. Technology is evolving at such a rapid pace that even supermarkets have checkouts that are self-service. With the world moving so fast, we scramble to keep up with every new development which can leave us emotionally drained and externally exhausted. Those with a family and a high-powered job can find themselves buried under what they give to other people – emotionally, financially and physically – and this can cause a balance to shift inside.
Address Your Personal Needs
We each have our own needs that need to be met: basic rest, love and support. If these needs are not being met effectively enough we end up burning out. A busy mother, for example, consistently puts her own needs on the back burner in favour of her family first. This is fine for a while, but it can end up as an overwhelming pressure and the ‘fight or flight’ response within us is awakened.
This is caused by severe pressure and stress. There are only so many pieces of yourself you can give away before you end up left with nothing, confused about what you do next. You need to increase your self-care and if you are especially stressed, solutions like this can really help.
Identifying how you can take care of your own needs may feel selfish. When you spend so long putting hours into your career or putting time into your house or children, the feeling of guilt when you focus on yourself is almost instant. Don’t torture yourself about it; it’s very common to put everyone before yourself and almost forget what you need.
We are raised to value the contribution that we give to society, to family and to employers and yet somehow, we are not raised to focus on ourselves. However, we cannot truly care for others, care about what we put into our daily lives, without being able to care about ourselves.
Identify your Emotions
Your emotional batteries are depleted easily without caring for yourself. Learn to identify your emotions and how they make you feel. We each have an instinct, an inner voice, that tells us when something isn’t quite right. Listen to that instinct. The pain that radiates down your shoulders or that headache you’ve had for a few days? That is caused by tension and is your body’s way of trying to protect itself.
You’d put a child in a timeout to calm down if they were over-emotional, so it’s time to put yourself in one. Have a nap, make the time for a half an hour workout. Take that brisk walk or night away just to regroup and refresh your body. Remind yourself how to reset your physical and emotional needs and remember that while there are only 24 hours in a day to be superwoman, that means you take at least 30 minutes to breathe.
You can continue being there for other people while ensuring you are there for yourself. Your self-care matters, so listen to it.
What are your favourite self-care tips?