Self Care as the Way to Truly Care for Others
I don’t know about you, but for me the word nurturing has not been a huge part of my vocabulary. That is, until I became involved with The Woman’s Network. After listening to Lois’ vision about how we nurture each other by coming together and supporting one another, I began to reflect on my own personal relationship to nurturing. It occurred to me that I have been a natural nurturer since I was a very little girl. I would care for and listen to my parents, friends; almost everyone I came into contact with I wanted to support and give attention to. For a long time in my life, my focus would lie on the other, and I would nurture myself last.
Read our blog “Creating Space for Myself”
This may sound like a wonderful way to live, caring and supporting other people, and it is. It’s also a trap that many women find themselves in sooner or later in life. In my experience, nurturing on the outside, and putting myself last has been one of the hardest changes to make in my life, because focusing on other people’s wellbeing has become so ingrained in my behavior. I realized that by constantly caretaking others, I was robbing them of developing their own nurturing skills, while relying on me for a dose of loving care. More importantly, I was robbing myself of the care of the one person who truly knows what my needs are; myself!
In my book, nurturing goes hand in hand with self-care, and it is my core belief that self care is the most loving and powerful acts that we can perform. Not only for ourselves, but for others as well.
Read our blog “Giving Birth to My Fullest Potential”
Scenario number one: Mommy comes home from work, on the way back she has picked up the kids, gone food shopping, she even remembers to buy those pretzels that daddy loves so much, she also picks up flowers for her co-worker who just got a promotion, she listens to her kids in the car, while figuring out what to make for dinner. Once home she makes sure the kids are doing their homework while she’s putting away her groceries and making dinner. Daddy comes home and mommy listens to what is going on for him at work, extending her sympathy for the stressful situation he’s in. At 10:45pm she falls into bed exhausted, only to wake up at 5:40am by the baby screaming, to do it all again. Two weeks later, mommy is diagnosed with exhaustion and depression.
Scenario number two: It’s Sunday night and the kids are sleeping, mommy has her calendar out and is diligently putting her self-care routines on the calendar. Yoga on Tuesday, meeting with girlfriend on Thursday night, and two-hours to herself to do nothing on Sunday. She wakes up Monday morning and realizes she has totally overbooked her day, and calls one of the people she’s supposed to meet and explains the situation, they are disappointed but understand and there’s no problem rescheduling. She picks up her kids and decides to screw making dinner and picks up some pizza, and adds a bunch of healthy toppings. When daddy comes home, she asks him for help with the kids’ homework and gets to bed at 10pm, taking a few minutes to remember all that is beautiful and awesome in her life. Two weeks later, mommy takes two-days off and goes with her women’s circle into the woods to create some magic.
OK, check in with yourself. Are you more like woman number 1 or woman number 2? (If you don’t have kids, you can use your awesome imagination and create two scenarios that work for you!) It could be that you have been like woman 2, but you’ve moved into a doing, number 1 mode lately. Then, this is your reminder to start paying attention and nurture yourself again. Or, self care may seem like a foreign concept that you possibly can’t fit into your super-busy schedule. I assure you you can, but probably not alone. For you I recommend finding women who can support you in the process.
Find our about TWN’s Mindful Gatherings
5 self care tips for your powerful self:
– Make sure to schedule in time for self care every week.
– Take a moment to journal about what ways you love to be nurtured and communicate that to the people in your life.
– Cultivate your grounded no, knowing that your no is a YES to the things that matter to you. You are also setting a powerful example for your friends and kids.
– Practice grounding, embodying activities such as eating grounding foods, being in nature, taking a bath, practicing dance or other forms of movement you enjoy, take deep belly breaths, or just laugh or cry.
– Do one thing that makes you feel naughty per week (this one is my favorite.)
Know this, a woman that is nurturing herself and feels deeply fulfilled will AUTOMATICALLY nurture, support and love on others. It’s our nature and once you cup is full and you give from that place, everyone wins and gets empowered in the process.