Four "C" for self-care for today women
As probably most women, I juggle my roles as a mother, a wife, a daughter, my work and just being myself. There are short moments when everything is in a perfect balance but most of the time I am about to drop something. Nothing new is here… The only difference for me now in my 40s vs 10 years ago is that this juggling wears me down faster. So finally, I came to a realisation that I have to make self-care one of my priorities, i.e. have planned and dedicated times for myself to keep me going without dropping the balls.
And I am not talking about quick fixes like binging on sugar or social media. Those only drive dopamine spike and leave us later more tired and stressed. I am focused on self-care that drives my serotine level up.
I liked how Dr Lustig summarised self-care in four “C” in his book The hacking of the American mind.
Connect (religion, family time, conversation, social support etc.) – a powerful sense of connection promotes well being and contentment. My annual ski trip with my girlfriend is my way to connect with me being just myself (not a wife/mother/daughter). Having a coffee with a friend gives me a better understanding that parenting issues are not only exist in my household, etc.
Contribute (altruism, volunteerism, philanthropy, etc.) – contributing to the “greater good” or just selflessly doing a gesture of a random kindness, drives serotine to our brains.
Cope (sleep, mindfulness, exercise, massage, etc.) – all of us know about the importance of sleeping, physical activities and being present in the moment. But the usual excuse is that we don’t have time for it. Now I made it into priority and made space for it. I am now committed to have at least 30 min of physical activity minimum 6 days per week. I do not mean a full on gym session, but at least something like fast walk, short run or a workout on the floor at home. Because it is my priority, I almost always find the time.
Cook (for yourself, your friends, your family) – food matters enormously for our health and emotional wellbeing. I am trying to avoid binging on sugar or using processed food as a shortcut when stressed. I am becoming more thoughtful of what I put inside my body.
Understanding what you need at this moment to feel happier and giving it to yourself is a habit worth developing to thrive today as a woman when so much is expected from us. Take care of yourself.