Most women don’t nurture themselves anywhere near as much as they nurture others…
Not a day goes by where I don’t find myself asking my clients “So how are you taking care of yourself right now? What are you doing to support yourself?” Mostly, I get a blank stare, a look of guilt or shame, or an irritated “what do you mean?” Other times I get “I just don’t have time for myself.”
It is rare that I hear “Well, I set aside time every day to make sure that my needs are met, I make sure that I do things that I enjoy daily. I make time for my wellbeing, my family, my friends and my work (and in that order).” In fact, I have NEVER heard it and that is alarming!
It has become completely acceptable, and even celebrated to work ourselves into the ground. It is a badge of honour that is costing us our lives.
It is costing us our daily opportunities to feel joy and connection.
Why Do Busy Women Fail to Nurture Themselves?
“I don’t have time,” is the most common thing I hear in relation to a woman’s care for herself, and this is a REAL reason, but in my experience it is not that we do not have enough time, but rather that we do not know how to prioritise the time we have and we just simply see our own self-nurture as a ‘nice to have’ and something that we ONLY prioritise when everything else has been done first (which is mostly never) or when we hit burnout and illness.
Self-nurture does not always have to be about taking time out (although having a massage, reading a book, meditation, or spending some time journaling are amazing ways to self-nurture). The most powerful form of self-nurture is practicing self-compassion, this doesn’t take any extra time just a level of awareness and a fundamental change in the way in which we approach ourselves.
When I suggest to a woman that she really is as precious as a newborn, it is nearly always met with tears as she realises just how much she has been abandoning herself.
But there is a way to live a hugely productive life AND feel nourished and nurtured DAILY.
What is Radical Self-Nurture?
Radical Self-nurture means taking radical steps to ensure that you create Soul nurturing environments in which you can live and work.
It involves getting REALLY present to who you are and what has you feeling fully alive and connected to your life, and it involves a willingness to take active, and sometimes not easy steps to put your own nurture at the heart of everything.
The truth is, to live an authentic life you need to master the fear and risk of disappointing and upsetting others and live with the reality that some people just won’t agree with you, or even like you.
It may not feel easy at first but it is critical if you want your life to reflect your deepest desires, values and needs.
Radical Self-Nurture requires patience, commitment and practice. It requires learning to be with some fairly uncomfortable feelings like guilt and fear of being judged by others (you will be).
What appears to others (and even maybe yourself at first) as selfish is actually the opposite. One of the most loving and responsible things that you can do is nurture yourself first.
When we nurture ourselves first, we are able to give easily and without resentment to others and we are at our most inspired and productive.
It is time to stop living from a state of deprivation and depletion, reclaim your life, and accept no less than the highest possible standards for yourself and your life.
Here are my 5 Top Tips for living Radical Self-Nurture:
- Who are YOU? Take a little time to find out WHO you are and WHAT is important to you, when we are clear on our own personal values it becomes clear on where we are not living them in our lives and we can get to work on aligning ourselves with who we REALLY are
- Feelings. Write a list of all the ways that you want to FEEL each day and then compile a list of the activities/experiences that support those feelings. Take active steps to DO THEM and do not wait any longer!
- Get RADICALLY HONEST with your time. Record your time to the second for a whole week with RADICAL HONESTY! Do not leave anything out including unexpected interruptions, mealtimes AND social media. Doing this will give you great insight into where you are currently using your time and you can call yourself on your own BS if you need to
- Allow yourself to be supported. Don’t try to do it all by yourself, that is exactly what has us feeling isolated and overwhelmed. Get accountability on the new things that you want to integrate and have a friend/loved one spot you
- Compassion. Practice moment to moment self-compassion, learning to love and accept yourself is the highest form of self-nurture