I've been having a lot of conversations lately with members of the Prana Yoga community about the topic of self-care. As you know, since the studio is fertility, prenatal, and postnatal focused our students are mostly women. We are diverse in ages, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds and we each have a unique set of experiences and circumstances. But yet what I am seeing and hearing from many of the women who walk through our doors, has a distinctly common thread. It seems the majority of us are struggling with prioritizing our self-care and clearly communicating our needs to others.
I'm challenged by this too. As women, it is our nature to nurture and it is important to us to care for our loved ones. And there is beauty and power in that. Nurturing is one of the qualities of the divine feminine and it is something we should embrace with a full heart. But somewhere along the way, this ideal is getting twisted and we are receiving a message to be sacrificial lambs and neglect our own needs.
It's time to tell yourself a different story and become assertive and unapologetic about your self-care.
What's been working for me lately, is to be intentional and deliberate in the scheduling of "me time." It has helped to enter a recurring appointment in my calendar for one yoga classes per week and a monthly massage. I treat those time slots as if they were an rsvp yes to my best friend's wedding. I build everything else around them and if someone asks me if I am available at those times I decline. Making these times non-negotiable have helped me in being consistent with the practices that I need to be happy and healthy.
If you are partnered, an honest conversation in the spirit of collaboration is essential. Be calm, clear and unafraid to state your needs and boundaries. Some of us have never been taught a language around communication of our needs. It's time to take those first brave steps and speak our truth. Another strategy might be to recruit the support of your friends to hold you accountable. Making a date to meet up for a workout or a movie can help motivate us to follow through.
Making time for self-care can seem extra challenging when we have young children but remember it is precisely then that your well-being is most critical. You cannot pour from an empty cup and when you are able to replenish your energy you will have more to give and more to keep. Also don't forget that now more than ever, we need to be mindful of what we are modeling for our sons and daughters if we are ever to break free of these patriarchal constructs that we are growing increasingly dissatisfied with. Being the sacrificial lamb just doesn't work anymore if we hope to influence the next generation