When “Doing It All Mom’s” Often Neglect Themselves
Who Runs the World? Girls!
Beyoncé said it best in her hit song “Run the World (Girls).” Woman these days are professional multi-taskers that really can do it all. They raise children, advance their careers, care for extended family members and friends and manage their households. It is no wonder being overworked and exhausted is a popular topic among women.
Women will ensure everybody in the family is healthy, physically, mentally and emotionally, except themselves. This self-neglect can leave them more vulnerable to depression, anxiety and physical ailments as well. There is always something or someone to attend to, but mom is often abandoning or rearranging her own appointments to accommodate someone else’s schedule.
Research has revealed that it is not surprising that women do not make time to care for themselves. Dr. Gail Saltz, Psychiatrist, says many women often feel guilty about taking time for themselves. “There is some maternal ideal of being self-sacrificing that just isn’t consistent with having time for yourself,” she said. She believes the women need to distinguish between being selfish in a bad way and being selfish in a healthy way. “You have to put on your oxygen mask first,” she says. “If you go to pieces, everyone is going down with you. So you have to give time to yourself. That is healthy, not selfish or narcissistic. That is a tough concept for a lot of women.”
Not having enough time always seem to be the culprit for why women put themselves last. However, studies reveal that even taking as little as 15 to 30 minute a day will help women relieve stress. The most effective way to allot time for you each day is to build it into a schedule. To achieve success, you must know what works for you. Activities such as exercise, meditation, listening to music or taking a bath can promote relaxation.
Dr. Janet Taylor, Psychiatrist, recommends a writing exercise for women who find taking time for themselves to be challenging. Begin by listing everything you do during the day on one side and then list everything you would like to do on the other side.
Lastly, compare the two sides and adjust your everyday routine to incorporate at least one item from the “would like to do” list. “It’s about changing your mindset,” Taylor says. “We have to learn to put ourselves at the top of the to-do list.”
As a final thought, if you were going to pick one activity for yourself, what would it be? Master how to take care of yourself before attempting to care for others. Consider the critical message that a flight attendant makes prior to takeoff. Secure your own safety first. In that same vein, consider your needs as well as others as you prepare to tackle each new day. Living in a chronically exhausted, unhappy, frustrated, and distracted state is not doing your loved ones any favors. Only then, will you be stronger for it.