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Why Nurturing Women Often Struggle to Self-Nurture

Hey you! Yes I’m talking to wonderful YOU! The YOU that is a constant caregiver, nurturer and supporter of all those you know and love. You are amazing at this job - in fact, we'll even give you a 5 star review for your incredible ability to juggle all the balls and miraculously take care of everyone and everything! You should really win the Nurturer of the Year Award. Unfortunately it doesn’t come with much prize money or kudos - but hey - an award is an award right?!

What you don’t seem to be quite as good at is looking after yourself! I bet that most of the time self-nurturing and prioritising your own health and wellbeing takes the back seat amidst your amazing commitment to your family, work and community. Well, if it makes you feel any better, you’re not alone! Your struggle, and the struggle of many other nurturing women sheds a light on an important, yet overlooked aspect of self-care.

The Nature of the Nurturing Woman

Nurturing women possess an inherent inclination towards caring for others. Whether it’s tending to the needs of family members, being a supportive friend, excelling professionally, contributing to their communities - this nurturing instinct is often a driving force in their lives. Nurturing others can bring great fulfillment and joy as they witness the positive impact of their care on others.

The Neglect of the Nurturing Woman

Amidst all this non-stop giving, nurturing women often overlook their own wellbeing with self-nurturing tending to be relegated to the bottom of their priority list. There are multi-faceted reasons for why this might be the case:

1. Feeling guilty: nurturing women may feel guilty or selfish when putting time and energy towards themselves. They feel more comfortable putting others’ needs above their own and may feel that their self-care is indulgent or secondary.

2. Unreasonable expectations: nurturing women often hold themselves to impossibly high standards, feeling obligated to excel in their nurturing roles without considering their own needs. The pressure to meet societal or familial expectations can lead to the neglect of self-nurturing practices.

3. Lack of energy and time: juggling multiple responsibilities and attending to everyone else’s needs leaves little time and energy for self-care. Feeling drained at the end of each and every day leaves little motivation and space for their own nurturing.

4. Societal and cultural norms: cultural conditioning  and societal views can perpetuate the belief that a woman's primary role is to care for others and therefore discourages them from spending time, energy and money on equally valuing her own needs and self-care. 

The Importance of Self-Nurturing

A mindset shift is vital for nurturing women who often put the needs of others ahead of their own needs for the reasons mentioned above. Understanding the significance of self-nurturing is pivotal for these women:

Enhanced wellbeing: prioritising self-care can improve physical health, mental wellbeing and emotional resilience.

Setting a good example: practising self-nurturing not only benefits individuals but sets a positive example for those around, emphasising the importance of regular self-care and ‘me time’.

Sustainable nurturing: prioritising and taking care of oneself allows for sustained and effective nurturing of others. It replenishes compassion, emotional reserves, energy, motivation and focus.

How to Embrace Self-Nurturing When It’s Not Your Natural Inclination

As with many things in life, acknowledging the struggle is often the first step towards change. Do you recognise yourself as a perpetual nurturer who often forgoes nurturing herself? Do you find yourself feeling stressed out, depleted and run-down but with little inclination to do anything about it? If so, here are some strategies that might help you start to put yourself first for a change, even though it might feel a tad uncomfortable.

Set boundaries: learn to say no when necessary and establish some boundaries to protect your personal time and energy.

Self-care scheduling: make sure you schedule in regular self-care activities and treat them as non-negotiable appointments. Make sure you diarise the time for these activities just as you would with any other important activity or task.

Practice mindfulness: incorporate mindfulness techniques such as meditation, yoga or deep breathing into your schedule to help calm and centre yourself amongst all the daily chaos.

Ask for help: surround yourself with a supportive network that encourages you to practice self-care and nurtures your wellbeing. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help if you feel you are struggling.

We understand that the journey toward nurturing yourself for someone who is so intent on nurturing others is not an easy one. It requires a shift of mindset, prioritisation of personal needs and an intentional effort towards practising regular self-care. 

The important thing to remember is that YOU matter. Investing in yourself and refilling your own often depleted cup isn’t selfish. Nurturing yourself regularly will enable you to continue your compassionate care for others whilst maintaining your own health and happiness.

You won’t be of use to anyone if you get sick and rundown and being a martyr is not setting a good example for those  you support. Embracing self nurturing is a vital step towards sustained wellbeing and fulfillment in all aspects of your life.

We can help you start your journey towards self-love and self-nurturing. We’d love you to join us at one of our 2024 MeTreat Retreats to experience what it’s like to fully immerse yourself in a nurturing and transformational experience of wellness, friendship and fun.

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