Many of us have been taught to ignore our negative feelings – to suck it up, pull yourself together, and get on with it. For most people, especially those in a caregiving role, (and unfortunately most of these tend to be women,) ignoring how you feel can actually cause physical pain, lead to stress, illness and bouts of depression. Anger, sadness, resentment and frustration are all valid feelings, and they need to be acknowledged and respected just as much as the positive emotions in your life.
It is time to choose yourself over the other priorities you have, give yourself permission to meet your own needs, and refuse to neglect the most important person you know – you.
Give yourself a break, and show some self-love. This means catching your breath, finding a quiet place, and focussing on yourself. Breathe, take time to concentrate on yourself, and to recover from stressful situations. Diet and exercise are two factors that can combat stress and negative feelings in your life – even a simple act such as going outside and screaming as loud as you can will relieve tension!
Listen to your inner voice, and be confident that what you are doing is right for you, as it is all about creating a life that has integrity, is honest and is right for you – not a life that looks good to everyone else looking in from the outside. Having a good day or a bad day is often down to choice – you can choose how you react to stressors and negative influences – and remember life is too short to spend it at war with yourself!
There is a huge difference between the exhaustion that comes after a day where you feel you have accomplished great things, and the total fatigue caused by frustration and negativity. Somehow women seem to have decided that they are responsible for everything, and as we are often caregivers for our children, possibly elderly parents, and sometimes even incapable husbands, we fall into a pattern of tending to those we love before we take care of ourselves. One of the easiest traps to fall into is trying to do everything, and taking on responsibilities that could be better managed by someone else. If you always put others first, there is a tendency for those same people to rate you as second best – as that is exactly how you have valued yourself.
A good life is one where you care about yourself first, and do something every day that shows you care, because there is nothing selfish about doing this. There are twenty four hours in a day – if you can’t invest one hour of that time in yourself, maybe you should re-set your priorities! It is an investment in your total wellness, because we can’t give to others what we don’t have in ourselves – you can’t pour from an empty cup.