If you’re a woman, you have the unique capacity to give to others. It’s crucial to know that caring for yourself first is a non-negotiable step. Without it, the things you do for others will eventually drain you. Instead, fill your well. Focus on a few key areas of self-care so that you’ll be able to give out of the overflow. Read on for some ways to get started.
1. Get Support
Reaching out for support is crucial. There are so many sources of life-giving support. First, consider your social and family circle. Pick out a few supportive people to who you can turn in times of need. Also, consider spiritual support. Being a part of a healthy religious or spiritual community can be a source of joy and refuge no matter what season you’re in.
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2. Maintain Healthy Boundaries
Personal boundaries delineate where your personhood ends and another’s begins. A key part of thriving in relationships is to have boundaries that are not walls, but aren’t too porous, either. In dealing with loved ones, confusion about boundaries is a basis for conflict and pain. If you take the time to intentionally do boundary work on yourself, you’ll be able to have healthier, more fulfilling relationships that are nourishing rather than draining.
3. Serve Others
A great place to practice boundaries is in service to others. When you’ve determined that serving a particular place or person is a positive thing, pick out where you’d like to serve. It might be a community group, nonprofit, or health setting. Also, rethink your everyday life. Family life, vocation, and the interactions you have every day have the potential for service.
4. Learn Assertiveness
Speech and behavior that is neither passive nor aggressive is the sweet spot of human communication. Get some good feedback from a trusted supporter about your style of communication, and practice assertiveness skills in non-threatening environments. Soon, you’ll build your assertiveness “muscle” and will be able to use it in more challenging situations.
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5. Maintain Healthy Habits
Eat healthily, hydrate, get enough sleep, and design a sustainable exercise program. Make the process as pleasurable as possible; you’ll be able to stick to it and change it up as you get older. Remember to stay up-to-date on your healthcare appointments, too.
6. Prioritize Friendships
Friendships and community connections are tied to happiness and longevity. Even if you’re a homebody, make the effort to identify a few people and connections that are nourishing for you. Staying connected helps you keep problems in perspective, encourages you to lighten up, and provides variety in your life.
Effective care of oneself requires discernment. Consider these ideas as you create your self-care plan.