Do you listen to the cycles of your body or just try to plow through the day as if you are a machine?
As women, we try to take on the world. We are expected to be wives, mothers, caretakers, chefs, maids, taxi cabs, administrative assistants, and full-time employees/ business owners. And to top it off we are always expected to look and feel sexy, and be ready to always cater to everyone else’s needs, ignoring our own needs if someone else needs something at the same time. We are never allowed to be tired, to express emotion, or to want alone time to just be. Society has placed such a heavy burden on women that it is truly surprising more women haven’t gone on strike. The saddest part of it is that a lot of it comes from other women, especially the older generations who don’t understand that life today isn’t what it was 50 years.
It is time to take a stand for your right to just be. If you have the energy to get things done, great. If you feel like you need a mental health day, take it. You are allowed to stay home in your PJs all day. You are allowed to feed everyone cereal for dinner. You are allowed to take a day, or a few, to focus on the activities that make you happy. If you haven’t figured out what that is, check out my blog post How to Find your Happiness. If that means spending a day or two immersed in a book, then grab your book, a snack and a drink and enjoy. If that means finding childcare for 1 or 2 days a week so that you can focus on your business, then do it. If that means getting your hair and nails done then treating yourself to lunch, make your appointments and go. If it means taking a walk in the park or soaking in a bubble bath, schedule the time and do it.
One of the keys to this approach is to listen to your body. Your body knows how much energy you have to expend. When you wake up in the morning, take a minute to listen to what your body is telling you. If you wake up with energy, identify how that energy can best be used for the day. If you wake up feeling tired, take it easy that day. It is perfectly ok to not leave your house all day and binge watch a new series on Netflix. If that’s how you feel then honor it.
I recently started listening to Do Less: A Revolutionary Approach to Time and Energy Management for Busy Moms by Kate Northrup. So far it is absolutely wonderful. Our society places such importance on being busy that they don’t allow you to just be. And it is especially difficult for women, despite the progress towards equality. Kate talks about how our bodies operate in cycles and she highlights the differences between the cycles of men and the cycles of women. What immediately caught my attention was that men operate on 24-hour cycles while women operate on 28ish day cycles. By understanding and working within the energy of our cycles we can be much more effective, while also feeling less stressed. While I haven’t made it past chapter 2 yet, I am already pulled in. This is one of those books where I am seriously considering buying the physical copy as well. Kate does an excellent job of breaking down her concepts and including scientific research as well. She is not just writing about a concept that she learned about, she is writing about her experience as a new mother and being forced to listen to her body. After realizing that she was able to bring in the same revenue in her business while only being available 50% of the time compared to the previous year, she started doing her research.
So far in just the intro, chapter 1 and the first part of chapter 2, I have learned so much. With the continued push for everyone to do more and more, I highly recommend you get a copy of this book to learn how to do less and achieve more.