As a woman in my late thirties I struggle with the concept of taking care of my self. Women by our very nature are inclined to be caregivers, whether we give care to our children or loved ones or if you are like me and your paying work involves caring for others. While I don’t provide direct care to the hundreds of kids and their families that take part in the programs my center offers; at the end of the day I make decisions that affect these families. It’s an awesome responsibility but at times it’s tiring.
I woke up this morning only to realize that my monthly cycle had started and honestly the first 1-2 days of my cycle drain me especially as I have officially entered the perimenopausal stage of life. I also had a very important though not critical meeting this morning for work, yet after getting my daughter off to school I realized that my Pamprin wasn’t working nearly as fast as I would have liked it to so I made a decision. Just say no. I admit this meeting would have meant a lot to my organization but it also required me to give a lot of my self on a morning when I need to draw inward and conserve my energy and ruminate on my truths. Yet I chose to say no and instead opt for rescheduling to a time where I have more to give.
Lately I have been involved in discussions both online and offline about the issue of self care, yet for many us self care seems to have evolved to a point where in many cases in order to be valid it requires perhaps spending money. Yet what if you have no money for a yoga class, a massage, a new pair of boots, etc? Are you not actively taking care of yourself? Of course not, yet too many of us and I have been guilty of it as well think that taking care of self involves extraordinary measures. Don’t get me wrong, I feel great when I can make it to my yoga class or score a treat for myself but on mornings like this, allowing myself a leisurely wake-up process feels pretty good too.
So as we enter what for many is no doubt a busy season with the holidays upon us, don’t be afraid to say two simple words…no. Sometimes saying no and recognizing our limitations is just as valuable to our self care and mental state as a massage, maybe even more. In a society that values busy work, allowing ourselves to get off that busy treadmill and simply have a slower pace feels good. Realizing that while a 5 course meal is tasty; perhaps just eating leftovers or even a quick meal from outside and instead choosing to use our time cuddling with the kids is even better for our mental well-being.
Reclaim the power of the words no and being willing to accept our limitations is a powerful step in taking care of ourselves.