Take good care of yourself

YOU FIRST

Take good care of yourself

Women are known to go the extra mile to look after their families, but can the same be said about themselves? Ladies, start giving more time to yourself, insists Vijayalakshmi Shivaram

The essence of womanhood is caring, sharing and loving. And in this process, as the caretaker of everyone at home, she is often the most neglected person - not just by others, but by herself, too. Women are so busy meeting every need of their families, that making themselves a priority goes to the back burner. Most of women are conditioned to put the family first - which is a good thing, but not at the cost of neglecting oneself. It’s important to remember that no one else is responsible for our wellbeing; hence we should take good care of ourselves. Here are some things that you could put in your checklist to ensure that your care doesn’t evade you:

Watch what you eat

It’s a common practice in most homes: the lady of the house eats last. In other words, she may either be eating the leftovers, or not when she is actually hungry. It’s time you start eating right. Make it a habit to eat healthy, sufficient food and avoid eating late. Make some time to eat - don’t do it in a hurry, and don’t gulp down too much either. Ensure that you have all the nutrients in your diet and take a multivitamin, if required. As the female body ages, special care needs to taken to ensure that it’s well nourished.

Make time for regular checkups

Preventive healthcare is the need of the hour. Make sure you have a calendar for regular health check-ups and follow it religiously. It could be annual or semi-annual check-ups. Along with the routine blood tests, make it a point to get a mammogram done, if you are post 50, or earlier, if have a family history of cancer. It is better to address the problem before it takes over your life. Never ever neglect your health, as you are the backbone of the family. Taking good care of your own emotional and physical health makes you a more effective caregiver.

Avoid self-medication

Most of the time, even for small health issues of family members, women insist on visiting the doctor, but when it comes to their own health, they often resort to self-medication. It’s time you stop self-medication because it may provide relief from the symptoms temporarily, but the problem may only worsen later. If there is a problem, seek professional help and follow the prescription religiously.

Pamper yourself once in a while

It’s good to pamper yourself once in a while. The best way to do so could be buying a gift yourself - something that you always wanted, celebrating a special day like birthdays, or even catching up with friends. Be independent and have a good time, so that you are energised enough to do the day’s tasks effectively and take everything that comes along in your stride.

Make some ‘me time’

At least once a week, keep aside some free time for yourself. It could be for an exercise, or hobby, or just to relax with some melody, or to do nothing. It’s ideal to do it once a day, but it that is not feasible, in my opinion, it would be good to spare a couple of hours in a week as ‘me-time’ to relax. At least once a week put your needs, priority and requests first. Everything else can wait.

Be assertive

If there is lot of work, speak up and seek help from others. You need to articulate what’s on your mind; most people aren’t mind readers. And the most important thing is learning how to say ‘no’ to tasks you may not have the time for. Saying ‘no’ diplomatically is no less than an art form. It’s good to learn it and ensure that when you do say ‘no’, it’s assertive enough. There’s no need to be apologetic. You are allowed to put yourself first.

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