Many of us are such givers, we give everything and some of us give so much that we start to lose ourselves!
This trait is embedded in our conditioning: to always help others and to put ourselves last. However, this way of being is often unsustainable and unhelpful; both to ourselves and to our relationships.
In not caring for ourselves we send a message out that it is ok to put ourselves last and to ignore our needs. This message does not serve anyone; people don’t know where they stand with us and we never get our needs met.
I learnt a few years ago that if I didn’t look after myself everything fell apart- I would become a cranky, resentful wreck and I didn’t enjoy living from that place. I had to learn how to regularly check in with my needs and myself and make sure that I had enough resources in my tank to meet the constant demands made upon me. I had to learn to ignore the conditioning that said looking after me was selfish and I had to learn how to care for myself so that I could care for my family.
Here are 9 ways to support you in your journey.
- Let go of having to be perfect. Trying to be perfect actually gets in the road of discovering who you are. We start to become who everyone around us wants us to be, we become great at meeting everyone else’s needs and fantastic at forgetting our own needs. When you lose touch with what you need, life can feel like a version of Groundhog Day without any sense of purpose or meaning because you are not allowing you to show up!!
- Give yourself permission to take time out for yourself everyday and check in with yourself, ask yourself: How am I? What do I need? – Even just 10 minutes sitting outside enjoying a cup of tea without anyone placing demands upon you. Simple things nourish and restore us.
- Learn to delegate without the guilt – get clear on tasks, roles, chores that you need to do and tasks that you can delegate to others. You are empowering them to do for themselves.
- Try out new things; we get lost in our roles as and forget who we are and what makes us tick. Explore your world and what nourishes you, what inspires you and what makes you- you.
- Make time for relationships that nurture you. Go on date nights, or go to lunch together, take the time to catch up with friends. Friends are vital for our mental health and wellbeing and all relationships require time and connection to stay healthy.
- Practice receiving – allow others to give to you and be open to the different ways that people try to do this. Learn how to get in touch with what you need so that you can let those around you know.
- It’s ok to say no, it doesn’t mean you are a bad person; it just means you are prioritising something else and looking after yourself. Saying no to things you are not keen on will give you space to say yes to what you are interested in, and people will be clear on where they stand with you.
- Learn how to honour and respect your time and your energy and to set limits and boundaries to ensure that your life is your own, not somebody else’s. When you respect yourself, you teach others to respect you as well.
- Learn to put yourself first. Look after yourself, eat well, move in a way that feels good, surround yourself with supportive people, laugh lots and enjoy each day as life goes so fast.
Lastly, please don’t make this list another chore; use it to support you in your life. Allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to ask for help, being vulnerable lets others in, so it actually supports healthy relationships.