We’ve all skimmed articles, listened to podcasts and read books on self-care. Some people define it through taking long baths, getting their hair done or trying yoga. Others use essential oils, sit with herbal teas or cook a beautiful and nutritious meal. Now all of these things are wonderful rituals and activities helping to connect back to you, but why is it so hard for us to make time for them and commit to ourselves?
No matter how often we hear the message, “Put your own oxygen mask on before helping others” women all over the world still struggle daily with taking time out. This mentality is not only restricted to a certain life stage either. Unfortunately, this way of thinking doesn’t change for many of us, even when we become sick with life threatening illness.
No matter who you are in the picture, there will always be a never ending to do list. Is this why we struggle to put ourselves first at any given moment of the day? Because we feel guilty if we stop even for one second to think about what we want?
We’ve been conditioned over generations of women, to be the nurturers and heart of our families. Our mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers were most likely the selfless carers through times of war, poverty and struggle. They were told that their sole purpose in life was to keep the family together, healthy and alive in extreme cases. There was no time to even think about who they were or what they wanted. Fulfilling all domestic duties and taking on the emotional baggage of the family was prioritised over education.
Fast forward to 2019 and we are the richest we’ve ever been in civilisation. Convenience is at an all-time high and our basic needs are met a thousand times over. We are well educated, informed and connected in more ways than we could ever think possible. This leads me to believe that our “lack of time” excuse runs so much deeper than we realise. It’s an inner programming of what we have inherited through DNA, who we think we need to be and what we’ve consciously or unconsciously been told from as early as 0-3 years of age. Some of us don’t even think we are deserving or worthy of self-care and blame it on time.
To help you dig deeper into your inner dialogue, ask yourself the following questions and journal the responses:
- How do the women in my family approach self-care?
- How did my family approach domestic duties when I was a child?
- Do you remember any lasting phrases said to you or others in the family involving responsibilities and expectations?
- When was the first time you felt guilty for speaking up or having an opinion?
- What beliefs are carried from childhood that don’t feel comfortable to you anymore?
When we start to understand our family belief system and our role growing up, we gain more knowledge about ourselves.
More importantly, we need to be asking “What are we teaching the next generation of women when it comes to self-worth?” Only then can we start to change our own behaviour and value who we are in this world.
Written by, Melissa Wood | Life Coach & Reiki Practitioner | Time To Exhale