March is Women’s History Month and today March 8th, is International Woman’s Day. O
ur next few blogs are going to focus on the obstacle unique to women in regards to addiction and the stressors which trigger relapses. The everyday pressures of a career, work, relationships, family, extended family and friends can drive us all to extraordinary measures in order to cope. One woman in recovery said that it felt as though each person in her life had claimed a “piece’ of her and, when it came time to claim a piece for herself there were none left. Another woman described herself as a well, where her husband, her children, parents etc.would come and draw from (emotionally, spiritually and physically) so frequently that the well ran dry. This week’s blog is about ways to replenish the well- so to speak.
Before we look at methods to replenish the well, we as women have to allow the well to become replenished. Most women, automatically put the needs and wants of others above their own furthermore, if at anytime do they take time for themselves fear that they are being self fish. Nothing can be further from the truth. It is critical that we make our mental, emotional, and spiritual well being a priority because THIS is what fills the well.
We have put together four ways to help you make yourself a priority;
• Learn to say NO: Most women find this very hard to do, and if in some rare moment of strength, when we do say NO; we feel a little bad and often guilty. Thus, in order to avoid these feelings of guilt we never say no, and end up doing things we really don’t want to do. “Just Say NO” this will free up your time for the things that are of value to you.
• Prioritize and Delegate: We as woman are led to believe everything is a priority, our careers, child rearing, housework etc., and that NO ONE can do these things well . This may be true, but in the grand scheme of things does it really matter how well the towels are folded and put away? Or, if once in a while your spouse, partner etc. helps the kids with their homework? Of course not! Learn to prioritize those things which absolutely need your attention, and delegate the rest to your spouse, partner, kids, co-workers etc. This will not only free up some me-time (we talk about that next) you will also empower the people around you. It’s a win, win scenario.
• Me-Time: Next to saying no, this is one of the hardest things we as woman can do. Most of us feel that to put aside time to pursue something which benefits only ourselves is the height of hedonism and selfishness. This is not true EVERYONE BENEFITS FROM ME TIME. Whether you choose to do yoga, meditate, or read a book, this time and what you do with it will help you replenish the well. So Me-Time is not selfish but self care.
• The Grass is NEVER Greener: Stop comparing yourself to others and the better job you think they are doing with their life. All of us have our own struggles, insecurities and dramas which we have to deal with regardless of what our lives look like on the outside. When you feel yourself doing this refocus on yourself and the blessings in your life.
Remember that this is a process and will not happen over night. For example, when you say NO once and realize it is not the end of the world, it becomes easier; you will begin to feel less self conscious each time you schedule your day around a yoga class. Just keep in mind each time you practise self care you are replenishing the well, and this is to the benefit of everyone in your life.