Its been a busy few months in my world, and truthfully I’ve felt my self-care habits slipping.
I’m sure you know what its like to be have a life that is full and overflowing, with a constant flow of dreams, desires, to-do’s, day-to-day tasks and short term projects.
Most women can spend a great deal of energy juggling the needs of our family, career and day-to-day tasks before repeating it all again the next day. But as I realised recently, sometimes we get so caught up in the stream of daily activity that we don’t allow ourselves to acknowledge when we are feeling over committed, over burdened and needing a pause.
While I’ve shared on this topic before #permission to pause, it still makes me wonder why so many women and mothers struggle with this “boundary” – which means knowing when to say “no”, or when to pause before we agree to take on further commitments.
Do you struggle to say NO to others, when your plate is already quite FULL?
Personally, even though I am much better at saying no than I ever used to be, there are still times (like recently) when I realise something needs to shift to make space for me to look after me.
Times when I realise my self-care cup is bone dry and that I’m the only that can replenish it!
An example is recently, when I had the realization that I was giving more too others than was healthy for me to do while maintaining my personal self-care balance. And when that realization hit, I suddenly understood why the wheels had begin to fall-off my self-care wagon! I was doing and giving too much for others.. I had lost track of the ability to say no, to slow down and to priorities myself in among the mix of everything else that life brings.
The good news is that I have only one person to blame. Myself!
You see it doesn’t fall to anyone but me to say NO when I need to… I believe it is my responsibility to “check in” with myself before deciding to commit to anything – which I do. But sometimes that just isn’t enough. Sometimes life’s priorities have changed and all of a sudden things get off balance which causes me to notice I’m feeling over committed.
When this happens, this is the exact moment it becomes my personal responsibility to re-assess what I can offer others, and then decide how to do that WITHOUT compromising my own needs, values and self-care priorities. That is part of what emotional self-care means to me. Having a clear understanding of what I can and cant do, what I will and wont do for myself, and for others.
Do you do that in your life too?
Do you say yes when you want to say no? Or do you over-commit but then martyr yourself by “following through” on a commitment at great personal expense to yourself because you don’t want to feel foolish for backing out? Why as women, do we allow ourselves to continually fall into this trap of wanting to make everyone else happy?
Being a people pleaser seems to come naturally for many of us, yet how much deep down satisfaction does it REALLY bring when we are constantly giving to others??
I suggest it brings very little and certainly for me, pleasing other people can become a dangerous cycle in which I never really end up happy, satisfied or fulfilled from taking part in.
What can you do when your self-care habits are getting wobbly from too much giving?
Here’s five simple steps to reclaim balance
- Notice it!
- Acknowledge it to yourself (both gently and honestly)
- Sit with those feelings for a while, before you decide what you do next.
(Sometimes just the acknowledgement of how we are truly feeling is enough to shift the energy. Other times we need to move on to the next step.)
- Decide what action you feel most comfortable with (regardless of what others may want) and then take steps to put that in place.
- Congratulate yourself on getting clear on your boundaries and prioritising yourself
Give it a go and see how that works for you.
About the author
Bree Taylor Molyneaux is a Brisbane based women’s self-care coach specialising in fertility, pregnancy + birth, motherhood + beyond. She is trained a HypnoBirthing® practitioner, hypnotherapist and personal renewal facilitator with a passion for helping women bring more self-care into daily life.
Bree runs weekend retreats, offers a range of self-care classes and is also available for personal coaching. She also has a range of and hypnosis downloads available on iTunes. You can read more about Bree here.