For Women in our 50s, 60s & Beyond

This is a site where we honor the life work of the women around us - our mothers, grandmothers, sisters and daughters. Without them there would be no past, present or future.

Self Care for Women

by va on 09/09/2009

Girl reaching for the skyBy Kath Schnorr
If you had an extra hour today, what would you do? How would you spend your time? When I ask women this question most answer with something for themselves. They would take time to go for a walk, take a yoga class, visit a friend, read, or just enjoy some quiet time alone.

We as women tend to put ourselves last on our list and it seems that we never get to that last item – which is ourselves. For some of us, as illustrated by the question above, we do not even make it on our list. In our world today we are so busy doing, focused on getting things done so we can check them off our list. Our main focus is the end result. We forget to enjoy the process and our journey or even to celebrate what we just completed and accomplished.

Women are nurtures and caregivers. This is an innate and natural talent that comes easy to most of us. Those of us that are great at giving and are consider givers also have a hard time receiving. Our focus is on the other person and not on ourselves. So how do we begin to focus on ourselves and change this pattern?

Think of the whole airplane oxygen mask thing. We are told to put our oxygen mask on first; that is, take care of ourselves before we put on our child’s oxygen mask. Let’s take a closer look at this situation; by putting our mask on first we can breathe and are relaxed to help our child. By having our oxygen mask on we do not get nervous or fumble. Taking care of ourselves first changes how we feel and how we show up in our world.

The truth is our relationship with our self is the most important relationship in our lives and it impacts everything else in our life. When we do not keep our promises to our self we begin to loose our self respect, our confidence and our self esteem. Begin to keep your promises to yourself. Notice how this one small step; keeping your commitments to your self; changes how you feel. By giving to yourself – you will also allow yourself to receive.

Recently, a friend sent the following quote by Rainer Maria Rilke.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions.”

As mentioned in the quote, the point is to live everything. Live the questions. Live the not knowing. Be present to where you are right now. Stop trying to get everything done and checked off your list. Enjoy the process and the journey of your life. Do something for yourself and notice how you feel. Begin to allow yourself to receive all the wonders and joy that are in your life right now. Focus and enjoy the journey not just the end result. You will live more deeply aware of yourself and what is in your present moment.

So are you looking for something specific to do?  What was your answer to the question at the beginning of this article?  Make that item the first thing you do tomorrow morning. Then notice how you feel and how wonderful the rest of your day unfolds.

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