Women are often endowed with an extra dose of kindness and compassion – a predisposition toward nurturing that comes at the expense of personal needs. Taken to an extreme, we feel spent, unappreciated and quickly become angry when the proverbial straw breaks our weary backs.

Life keeps coming at us: another deadline to meet, a meal to cook, an appointment to schedule. Sometimes busyness becomes the driver of our lives and we look outward for our purpose. Consider looking inward, where creative solutions exist. 

  1. Reassess In an attempt to manage our lives, we focus on what we should be doing rather than on what we want to be doing. Giving to others becomes a burden. We make automatic assumptions or interpretations of events and lose sight of the bigger picture. Take a pause to step out of the daily grind to reassess what stimuli trigger us most.
  2. Reconnect A broader perspective and level of awareness opens us to more options for responding. With new insight, we can make space to emotionally detach from our triggers and reconnect to our personal priorities and deepest values.
  3. Reprioritize Putting our own needs first is not a selfish act. Reprioritizing self-care helps us release the negative victim story and associated anger. Positive emotions fuel inner peace, creativity and a sense of joy – opening us to possibilities hiding in plain sight.

Consider the annual Labor Day family barbecue you host, where you painstakingly plan, organize, and prepare the full week ahead. You lovingly assemble the traditional favorites, broccoli slaw, pasta salad and mouth-watering chocolate cake. That morning, you fill the cooler, set the tables and place candles, ensuring all details appear seamlessly executed. Once your extended family arrives and you’ve served all the food, you finally fall into your seat to enjoy the meal. You become triggered when you notice your guests are ready to get up from the table before you’ve taken the first bite of your own meal.

If you were to pause to reassess this pattern, what emotions would come up for you? Reexamining your “why” for hosting you might realize it taps into values of love, family, connection and tradition.

Reprioritizing self-care can open you up to additional options. Maybe it can become a potluck picnic or you can invite a few close family members early to make prepping and cooking part of the celebration. Look for the win-win where you can reconnect to your purpose and not feel unappreciated, spent, and frustrated.

Self-care is not selfish. Elevating your own needs — putting them at least equal to all the nurturing you give to others — will result in happiness all around.

Special Offer: Download a free exercise to help you to Reconnect to Your Deepest Values and Use Them as Guideposts by clicking HERE.

Alison Deutsch and Wendy Van Besien are Certified Professional Coaches who have each experienced significant transitions, multiple times. Utilizing research-proven assessments, tools and practices, Wendy and Alison help women overcome the stress, fear and uncertainty that occur around making big changes.