We are Responsible for Ourselves

By: Ravin Joseph

As featured on She Wins Society Blog

Andy T on Unsplash

We are called to serve others. One of the many joys of life is to be in a place where we can assist in strengthening each other no matter how small the amount of support we contribute. During this time, especially, it is the time for community. The media encourages us to check on the elderly and keep in touch with loved ones especially those who are quarantined alone. With the drastic changes that are happening minute by minute, we must not forget to serve ourselves. 

As women, we are mechanically inclined to take care of everyone and every situation ourselves because one, we know we’ll get the job done and two, get it done well. Working from home is a dream for many, but for others, especially with small children, it can be challenging, particularly in single-parent homes. It is hard to find the 5 minutes in between meetings or a bathroom break to just breathe. There is no off switch. For some, we are taking care of our elderly parents, or neighbors, making sure to be on call any time of the day to help meet their needs and bring them comfort. 

Although we are taking care of others, we cannot forget to take care of ourselves, which is why it is crucial to set boundaries. Not setting limitations can lead to feeling overwhelmed and stressed, which can take a toll on the immune system. People begin to lose respect and take advantage of those they perceive don’t love themselves enough to set limits. This can produce unhealthy relationships. 

One way to set boundaries is to limit what is allowed to come into contact with the spirit. The best way to create that territory is to say “no”, especially when there are situations that do not sit right with you. If you are feeling anxious or obligated to say yes, and you don’t feel that you can say no because it will bring tension to a relationship, it is a sign that your boundaries are being crossed and that you need to intentionally draw the line so that the parties involved are aware.  

● Be honest about your feelings with those you interact with:

Especially if you are an empath, you need to spend time alone. Sometimes you may have to be honest and let others know that you have to decompress before interacting with anyone, even if it is just a 2-minute telephone call. Use your words, don’t avoid a situation, be clear and don’t feel guilty about it. No one should be made to give when they are reluctant to do so.  

● Always remove yourself from spaces that make you feel unsafe: If you can’t get out of your home at this time, find ways to bring peace to it. Speak kindly to the people around you. Eat together, spread genuine love and pray together. Learn to let go and not hold grudges. Change your mindset about your responsibilities and things you have to get done. Always remember that things are not happening to you but for you. 

Setting boundaries doesn’t always have to include relationships with others. It can also include the relationship you have with yourself.

● Turn off or decrease your media intake: Pay attention to how interaction on social media makes you feel. If you’re feeling overly anxious at the news you read  it may be time to take a break and possibly find another platform that helps more than hurts you. Take that time instead to practice mindfulness or grab a book.

● Set a specific time in the day to recharge: When you wake up and are not woken up by the children trampling on you, think about your day and what part of it you can set aside time to do something that will help you to recharge. Whether it’s exercising, doing breathwork, or taking a nap, make sure you are intentional with this. Share this time with those around you so they respect that moment.  If you can’t think of a time to set aside, try eating a healthy meal instead. It is essential for your wellbeing to make a habit of finding ways to recharge each day. 

Find what brings peace within. What may be okay for some may not serve you, which is why limits are key. Focus on the things that bring you the most energy. If it drains you, shy away from it and don’t feel guilty about it. You know what is best for you, so tap into that. Like the saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup”. Therefore, take care of yourself first. 

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