Do you take good care of yourself? Of course you do, or at least you think you do. However, you may not realise that the level of care you give yourself is far from enough, in many cases even being regarded as neglect. Yes, circumstances may force you to spend less time on yourself than you would like, and there are usually a bajillion reasons why. Menopause brings with it a whole lot of challenges and this can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
Before you can make a conscious effort to improve the level of care you give to yourself, you need to realise the areas you’re dropping the ball in. Sef you find yourself doing any of the following things, it’s probably a sign that you need to up your self-care game.
YOU ARE SELFLESS
If you find yourself putting the needs of everybody and their granny ahead of your own, you are exhibiting a classic sign of self-neglect. By prioritising the needs of everybody except your own, you’ll find yourself being burnt out or resenting doing things altogether.
Though nobody likes a selfish beeatch, let’s be realistic – you have to put yourself first sometimes. You may end up being no good to anyone if you continue at this rate, not to mention resenting all the people you give up things for. A totally unhealthy cocktail. And not the good kind.
YOUR APPEARANCE IS “LACKING”
Do you feel guilty for doing things for yourself and your appearance that make you look and feel good? If so, you need to remind yourself that you have the right to spend time on yourself. That can be whatever feels good for you and that might be indulging in a bubble bath for an hour, or moisturising and doing weekly pedicures, or putting on make-up. Whatever it is, it’s a necessary part of your overall care.
Another typical symptom of this is the chronic habit of dressing in comfies all the time. I’m a massive lover of pj’s and tracksuit bottoms but I have to admit, I feel so much better when I put on “proper clothes”! To be fair to me, I do work from home all the time so it’s not the end of the world. Some days though I feel more productive when I actually get dressed properly. Little things here can make a big difference down to stuff like wearing nice accessories or jewelry, making sure shoes are clean and ironing your clothes. You’re special – dress the part.
YOU DON’T HAVE FRIENDS
Not having a small circle of closely knit friends is another obvious symptom of poor self-care. Good friends are there not only through the good times but also the bad and can be an invaluable part of your wellbeing. Whether this is your choice (or excuse) or something forced upon you, it is not healthy and ultimately affects your wellbeing. You can feel very isolated without friends and this can massively impact your wellbeing.
YOU FEEL UNFULFILLED
You may be a proper grown-up, have a home and money in the bank, but you can still have that sinking feeling that you have achieved nothing or not enough in life. This could be the result of personal un-fulfillment because perhaps you never got the chance to complete your education, to pursue a passion or maybe your job just doesn’t float your boat anymore.
Well, guess what? There is no better time than now to get up and go after whatever it is that would fulfill you. This is a new chapter in your life so start making it all about you! No-one can achieve this for you, so decide what you want and go and get it.
YOU DON’T EXERCISE
This is one of the more serious symptoms of poor self-care, as it directly affects your wellbeing on an emotional and physical level. Lack of exercise boosts the likelihood of negative health effects developing, reduces your quality of life, and affects how you look.
Exercise performed just 3 times a week can help you maintain a healthy body weight and body composition, and is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
LIFE FEELS LIKE A CHORE
The final symptom that sums up the low level of importance you place on your self-care needs is your lack of happiness. Living brings you no real pleasure; you’re just going through the motions of life, without finding happiness in the day-to-day moments.
You don’t stop to take in the views on your way to work, you don’t experience happiness from little things your kids or grandkids may do, and only look forward to going to bed. Feeling as if life has no real purpose for you can not only be sad, but kick starts a cycle of negativity and can spiral into depression.
Though self-care should be second nature, many of us have de-skilled these instinctual behaviors and replaced them with “politically correct” habits and a robotic way of going about our usual day-to-day activities.
You need to be selfish sometimes and to think about yourself, so you can meet your needs and wants, it can only serve to make you happier and more content. And everyone benefits from that. Amiright??
How do you look after yourself? Do you recognise doing some of these things? What changes will you make today? Comment below and let me know.