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Do you get the feeling that no one is really there for you and you’re left to take care of yourself? Do you seem to be rushing around, considering others’ needs, and it seems like you’re always being neglected?
If you run around looking after others, and when the shoot hits the fan you are left to take care of yourself, by yourself, then you need to read this useful post on how to take care of yourself.
Perhaps I’m being a little overdramatic. When life seems to you to be a series of quagmires, perhaps you really do have the support system of family and friends. I digress. This is a post on how to take care of yourself when no one else will, or when you feel like no one else will.
Let’s face it, even if you do have a support system, it is worth knowing how to look after your health and well-being.
“No one can take better care of you than you yourself.” –
Lois P. Frankel
Why is it important to take care of yourself anyway?
Why You Should take care of yourself
Below are just a few reasons why it’s important to take care of yourself.
1. Prevent Burnout
This is a feeling of severe physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. When one neglects to take care of themselves, they run the risk of burning out.
Burnout can be characterised by feeling most of the time, prolonged headaches or migraines, lack of motivation to get out of bed, isolating oneself from others, and many other symptoms.
As a mum, you are dealing with the needs of your children and possibly a partner or husband, as the case may be. You may put your family first, and be at their beck and call; you are the nurturer.
All this is well and good and can be very rewarding. However, you won’t be much help to your family whilst you are experiencing burnout.
Burnout saps your energy and replaces it with negative energy. You may feel helpless, hopeless, bitter, and resentful.
Burnout, left unmanaged, can make one susceptible to illnesses and a weakened immune system. It is therefore vital to prevent burnout by taking care of yourself.
Related Post: 15 Important Ways To Prevent Mum Burnout
2. Your children Look up to you
Generally speaking, children look up to their parents. They may not always admit it, especially when they become teenagers, but they watch what their parents do, and tend to emulate them, albeit in secret!
Research has highlighted that children learn through observing others, so it is important that parents are careful about how they behave and speak around their children.
Showing your children that you take care of yourself is a very important empowerment tool, as they will likely learn this and emulate it in their own lives. They would hopefully learn not to overwork or over-exert themselves and would attend to their spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.
Imagine a generation and descendants of peaceful and well-rested people who love themselves enough to take care of themselves. Wouldn’t that be awesome, and a great legacy? I believe so.
3. Your incapacity may have a detrimental effect on your children
I remember when I had a nervous breakdown – or a spiritual awakening as Brené Brown’s therapist calls it! Well, maybe I didn’t have that exact type of breakdown Brené Brown had, but I count my experience as the beginning of my spiritual journey, or awakening.
I can say that now, but back then I neglected to take care of myself and broke down. For those few days, I couldn’t look after myself let alone look after my children!
I didn’t know what was going on outside of my head. Did my children brush their teeth twice a day? Did they eat vegetables with their meals? How about brushing their hair before leaving home to go to school? Speaking of school, who’s helping them with their homework?
Did I think of those important occurrences when I was out of it? Not a chance! In order to recover, I was forced to get over the present hurdle and take each second at a time. My focus was on getting better.
Those simple everyday occurrences that we often take for granted were neglected. Of greater importance, was the potential psychological trauma that my children had to overcome during that time. Thankfully, I am over that incapacitated state, and my children are well.
Please, please, please save yourself from a lot of heartache. The point is, failing to look after yourself can lead to your ill-health, which can have a detrimental effect on your loved ones.
So, how do you take care of yourself when no one else will? The following are by no means an exhaustive list, but they have helped me tremendously.
How to take care of yourself
Prioritising provides focus on where and when to conduct tasks. It also ensures that you deal efficiently with your most important tasks.
Without prioritising you could become overwhelmed. Not prioritising could also lead to a series of haphazard, inefficient behaviours.
Significantly, prioritisation will help you to see which of your tasks can be put off for another date and time, or discarded altogether. This will allow you to focus on your most important tasks.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
There are things that are worth dwelling on, and there are some that are just not worth it. Letting go of past hurts will lead to peace of mind and a peaceful life.
Whatever we experience in life contributes to our purpose and makes us stronger. We cannot control what others do to us, and what others do to us can be painful. However, we should learn from them and use them to shape our futures for the better.
We need to ask ourselves “will it matter” in a year’s time. If not, they are probably small stuff and we should forgive and move on.
I know all too well that this can be easier said than done.
Related Post: Strategies to find inner peace – Part One
Ultimately, sweating the small stuff can be detrimental to your health and even reduce lifespan. So please, don’t sweat the small stuff!
Have a written plan
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail –
Whilst we don’t know for certain what will happen in the next five minutes, let alone the next five years, failing to plan can leave us roaming around aimlessly, and perhaps overwhelmed.
Having a written plan helps to reduce life’s uncertainties because you can anticipate the time and resources required for any given task or goal. Planning also allows you to look back and evaluate the effectiveness of your actions and will help you see where you need to make any adjustments going forward.
Having a written plan can be as simple as writing a shopping list prior to going grocery shopping, or writing down a list of tasks to accomplish each day and ticking them off as they get done.
Start small, and grow from there.
Whatever stage you’re at in your productivity journey, writing things down can be of tremendous benefit to your health and wellbeing.
The benefits of journaling have been widely documented. It is a way of getting thoughts out of the head and onto paper. For those struggling with anxiety, depression and stress, journalling may be beneficial.
Keeping a journal can help you to analyse your feelings and triggers, and help you learn ways of controlling them. When triggers have been identified, you can plan towards solving the issues and relieving stress.
Journaling can be relaxing, meditative, and empowering. They can be written in a calming and soothing space. Some people use it as part of their spiritual practice.
How and where you write and in whatever detail you write is up to you. The main thing is to consider journaling and begin doing so, as a way of taking care of yourself when it seems like no one else will.
Deeply. We often take breathing for granted as long as we are doing it. We don’t even need to think in order to breathe.
Deep breathing is the more natural way for us to breathe. As we inhale, our lungs fill with air and our lower bellies rise. This encourages gas exchange, which is the transfer of oxygen from our lungs into our bloodstream, and the elimination of carbon dioxide from our bloodstream into our lungs.
Not breathing deeply – shallow breathing – leaves more carbon dioxide in the body which can cause symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, high blood pressure, dizziness, and the inability to concentrate or think clearly.
A simple yet effective method of breathing is to sit in a quiet place and breathe in through your nose for four seconds, holding for seven seconds, and breathing out through your mouth for eight seconds. Repeat this up to four times.
Deep breathing aids in a feeling of relaxation and evidence has shown that it helps relieve anxiety.
The benefits of sleep on the mind and body cannot be underestimated. Not getting enough sleep can wreak havoc on the body.
Not getting enough sleep can also negatively affect concentration and problem-solving skills, not to talk of the ability to run a home efficiently. It can also negatively impact both short-term and long-term memory.
Sleep deprivation can also affect body weight. This is because levels of the hormones in the body which control feelings of hunger or fullness are affected by sleep.
Sleep deprivation also causes the release of insulin, which leads to increased fat storage and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
The consequences of sleep deprivation can also include swollen, sunken eyes, dark circles and dehydrated skin. The saying “get your beauty sleep” is a very relevant one when it comes to taking care of yourself.
Everyone is on a journey unique to them. Some of these tips will resonate with you more than others.
You may have other practices you swear by, as a means of taking care of yourself and preserving your sanity.
Ultimately, your life is yours to preserve and uphold to the best of your ability. Are you taking care of yourself?
How do you take care of yourself? Do you have any self-care practices you can share?
- Strategies to Find Inner Peace – Part One
- 10 Self-Care Practices For The Busy Mum
- 7 Simple Self-Care Sunday Suggestions
Please share this post if you found it useful.