We stand up for women all over the world.
But do we stand for ourselves everyday too?
Being Danish I am brought up taking myself “seriously” if you can call it that without indicating others don’t, because that is not what I mean. I was brought up to believe that I have completely equal rights with men, not only deserve the same, but also to expect the same. As far as I am concerned it does not matter if I am a woman or a man when it comes to my rights, my opportunities or my expectations of what I was “allowed” to do. In my case it meant pursue a career. Funny enough though, my mom was a home-maker and house-wife with that as her sole purpose it seemed. Even if it drove me crazy that I was her “assignment” everyday, I can certainly also appreciate that I had her support. My dad did too. And we took it somewhat for granted too (I admit that).
But I was free
I was free to explore, seek, learn and grow. I was free to expand my horizon with trial and error. And I did. I always knew I was supported and I would be safe. THAT IS A PRIVILEGE not many have!!
When I look around me and see how many women have to fight for their rights to grow, learn, have jobs that matter and pursue a career without being judged for their ambition. When I see how much women have to juggle to meet not only their own expectations but also the expectations of those around them. How much judgement there is around women’s emotions. Like… when a man gets angry he is powerful and should be feared, when a woman gets angry she is hysterical and unstable.
How can we?
How can we change these perceptions and instead see the good in our differences, while still giving us equal rights?
How can we take care of ourselves as women, and give ourselves the respect that we want from others?
How can we assume the responsibilities that we want to take on without taking on the load of having to carry all the responsibilities of career and home?
How can we everyday take care of ourselves in such a way that we are at least our own cheer-leaders and support system so we don’t have to fight our own negative self-talk everyday but rather stand by ourselves in the world?
We might not be able to change the world for everyone, though we can certainly try. But we can start with ourselves. Every little change matters because they all add up. So let’s take on what we can do and change that is within our reach and with that we can hope to be a stronger force in the world and create more change as we go.
“When we stand up for ourselves, we stand up for women everywhere!”
It starts with a change of attitude
First we need to learn to see ourselves as the most important resource that we have and we can start with our self-nourishment. Then we need to give ourselves permission to make us a important priority.
When we take better care of ourselves, we also allow other women to do so. I see far too many women competing with men in the work-place partly by omitting self-care, as if we have to prove we can survive on pure strength alone. Why should we? We are not trying to just survive, we are here to thrive. And it starts with ourselves. Others are not going to give us what we need and what. We have to figure out how to make it happen.
The Basic Self-Nourishment
We need 3 basic things to survive everyday, but for most these 3 aspects are barely on their schedule: sleep, water, and food.
- Get your 7–8 hours of good quality sleep.
- Drink half your body weight in ounces of fresh, pure water everyday. Preferably drink from a glass, steel, or ceramic container – not a plastic bottle.
- Eat 3 meals per day with about 4 hours between each meal. And plan for it! If you don’t schedule it, it will probably not happen. If you go more than 5–6 hours before your next meal, have a snack. Reproportion your plate to have half of it consist of leafy greens and low-starch plant-based foods (cruciferous), ¼ of your plate starch from cooked wholegrain and/or root vegetables, ¼ of your plate protein. Add fat from plant-based sources to not only help you stay full and satisfied, but also because good plant fat is essential for good health and sustainable weight loss.
- Get mindful about your eating and self-care habits. Do you snack, munch, eat more, or less when stressed?
- Are you making different choices when you are stressed? Instead of healthy options, do you reach for convenience or comfort food? Hint: when you are stressed you need even more superior foods and better self-supporting habits (that is self-nourishment).
- Does your self-talk get you down when you are stressed and you drop all good intentions for self-care… because you are basically telling yourself you’re a no-good so why bother?
- Most people under-eat and over snack. Schedule your meals so you know that you are fitting them in. Plan for how to get food on your plate and into your body. YOU are your most important resource – you need fuel to get through the day well (yes, you can get through the day without it, but not very well).
- Pause. Several times per day you have the possibility to choose how you take care of yourself with food, your actions, and to change a mindless habit. To create change, pausing is essential. It is not just to take a break, it is so you can stop, breathe, check in with yourself, and how you feel, both physically and emotionally and make a choice that matters for you. We tend to take care of ourselves last but the repressed, rejected, and refused part of our Self and our body is how we miss out on the most powerful tool we have; our inner wisdom and our bodies have the ability to heal if we let them (that means remove the obstacles and nurture the circumstances that create nourishment for you).
- Being healthy is not just about food, it is about how you feel nourished. That means to learn about you, what you need, and how to get it. Creating a plan for your daily habits is one part, learning what you need to actually make it happen is how your choices become the new normal.
Enjoy your self-nourishment.
“Our daily choices become the quality of how we feel and live everyday. Choose Self-Nourishment. How you take care of you reflects the relationship you have with your Self.”