Women are often their own worst enemies when it comes to taking care of themselves.
From working long hours to taking care of family members, there are countless reasons why we put ourselves last on the list. Unfortunately, this can lead to burnout and other negative consequences in the long run.
But what if I told you that women often sabotage their own self-care without even realizing it? That’s right – through certain habits and behaviors, we can inadvertently be getting in our own way when it comes to taking time for ourselves.
In this blog post, we’ll explore:
- the vicious cycle women tend to put themselves through that causes burnout
- 4 common ways that women tend to sabotage their own self-care practices
- the right way to approach self-care and wellness
The Vicious Cycle Women Tend To Put Themselves Through
As busy professional women, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. We’re often so focused on our jobs and family obligations that we neglect our own well-being.
We tend to push ourselves until we hit the wall – and only then do we start looking for a cure.
How Women Neglect Themselves
Here’s what we tend to do – we put everyone else’s (our family, friends, and colleagues’) needs before our own. We take care of everyone else’s physical and mental health – but forget about our own. We often neglect ourselves by:
- Regularly skipping meals or eating unhealthy foods.
- Neglecting to exercise or engage in any form of physical activity.
- Not getting enough sleep.
- Not taking time for ourselves and engaging in activities we enjoy
- Relying on caffeine, alcohol and/or drugs to get through the day
How Our Bodies and Minds React
Over time, our bodies start to feel the effects of this self-neglect and we start to experience the following:
- Exhaustion and fatigue
- Mood swings
- Lack of motivation and enthusiasm
- Physical aches and pains
- Depression or anxiety
- Becoming sick more frequently
The Quick Fixes We Go For
Eventually, the lack of self-care catches up to us and we start searching for a solution – and usually a quick fix of some sort, such as:
- Seeking pharmaceutical relief with medication
- Visiting a physical therapist for aches and pains
- Seeing a mental health practitioner
- Going on an extreme diet or exercise regimen
- Booking an expensive holiday trip
While these quick fixes can be helpful in the short term, they don’t provide lasting results.
More times than not, these quick fixes don’t actually fix anything. Instead, it only masks the problem and allows us to ignore the real cause.
And thus the vicious cycle repeats itself until one day, we realize that we’ve got to make a change – because the problems we sweep under the rug keep resurfacing and getting worse each time.
How To Break The Vicious Cycle
Rather than playing this game of catch-up, why not focus on prevention instead?
That’s right – instead of searching for a cure after the problem has surfaced, let’s look at how to prevent it from happening in the first place.
The key to this is to prioritize our own wellness and self-care. This means:
- Making sure we get adequate rest every night
- Eating healthy, balanced meals to nourish our bodies
- Making time for physical activities that make us feel good, such as yoga and walking
- Engaging in mental health practices, such as meditation or journaling
- Staying connected with friends and family
- Doing fulfilling activities that bring us joy
- Treating ourselves with compassion and kindness
By giving ourselves the attention and care we deserve, we can create a strong foundation for our physical and mental health. This is what we need in order to lead a vibrant life, and it’s something that can’t be achieved with quick fixes.
We must invest our time and energy into prevention so that we don’t have to rely on cures. That way, we can stay ahead of the curve and prevent problems from occurring in the first place. Prevention is key – it’s the most powerful and sustainable approach for achieving optimal wellness.
4 Common Mistakes Women Make When Approaching Self-Care
Having said all that – there are several wrong ways to approach this.
Wrong Way #1: Binging on Self-Care
One thing women can do after neglecting themselves for too long is to overcompensate by binging on self-care activities. For example, they might sign up for a 10-day yoga retreat, get a massage every week, or splurge on expensive spa treatments.
Remember what we said earlier about quick fixes? While these activities can be nice treats, they are not sustainable as long-term solutions to self-care. They should be used in moderation and combined with other lifestyle habits that promote wellness.
Wrong Way #2: Doing Things That Don’t Suit You
Another common way women can get this wrong is by prioritizing self-care activities that don’t really suit them.
For instance, if someone hates running but forces themselves to do it anyway because some one-size-fits-all online fitness program said they should – that doesn’t count as true self-care.
Wrong Way #3: Doing Too Much, Too Quickly
Another common mistake is to try and do too much all at once. For instance, we may decide that we’re going to start exercising every day, meditating for an hour a day and eating healthier meals starting tomorrow.
This approach can be incredibly overwhelming – and it’s easy to get discouraged when we don’t feel like we’re making progress. That’s why it’s important to be gentle with ourselves and start small. Build up slowly and focus on creating lasting lifestyle habits, rather than reaching a one-time goal.
Wrong Way #4: Not Doing Things In The Right Order
This point is related to the first wrong approach of overcompensating. Most women who try to prioritize their own wellness and self-care, start by jumping straight into things like tough exercise plans and restrictive diets.
While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, that’s not the best place to start. Think about it – if you’re already overwhelmed, burnt out and lacking motivation – would it really make sense to start pushing yourself even harder?
The key is to tackle the underlying issues first. Start by getting enough sleep, reducing stress and nourishing your body with healthy meals. Once you’ve developed a foundation of self-care habits, then you can slowly add in things like exercise or other activities that challenge you.
There’s a right order to go about this process and it’s important to be mindful of that.
The Right Way To Approach Self-Care And Wellness
So now that we’ve talked about what not to do, let’s talk about how you can create a sustainable self-care and wellness plan that works for you.
There’s 3 overarching steps involved in this:
- First, you must have a look at your current lifestyle and figure out what needs to change in order for you to become balanced.
- Second, come up with a plan that involves making small changes that are easy to stick with.
- Finally, set yourself some achievable goals so you can track your progress and keep motivated. Remember – self-care is not meant to be a one-time thing, it’s an ongoing process to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. It can be intimidating to start this journey – but if you take the time to figure out what works best for you, and make sure that your plan is tailored to fit in with your current lifestyle – then you’re already winning!
Now, having worked with many women in the past, I’ve come to realize that this isn’t always the easiest process to undergo by yourself – especially if you’re currently at the stage of experiencing overwhelm and exhaustion.
If that’s you, and you’d like some help creating a self-care and wellness plan that will work for you – then don’t hesitate to reach out by booking in a FREE Energy Optimisation Plan Session with me.
It’s a 45-minute 1-on-1 personalised call with me, and together, we’ll work out an action plan that you can follow, as well as explore any other areas in your life where you feel like you need support.
So if self-care and wellness are something that’s on your mind – then book your session now and take the first step to becoming a happier, healthier version of yourself!