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"When we truly care for ourselves, it becomes possible to care far more profoundly about other people. The more alert and sensitive we are to our own needs, the more loving and generous we can be towards others." ~Eda LeShan

Most women have been taught since childhood to put their family‘s needs first. In fact, in our society one of the main qualities of being feminine is being selfless. Women have not only become comfortable with looking into other family members needs but also perfected the art.

When women are asked to bring themselves back into the picture, it very often feels as if we are asking them to break some rule of womanhood or doing something forbidden. But think about it for a moment, if you do not take time to nurture yourself and refresh your energy stores, how can you truly care for others?

You wouldn’t send your child off to school hungry or send your husband off to office without his lunch tiffin. Yet you are continually pushing yourself past the breaking point and ignoring the fact that there will be negative effects due to the continual denial of your body’s needs. Think back to the last time you had a disturbance free breakfast or a relaxed lunch or dinner with your family. The reality is, you have to come first- at least some of the times. This may seem an uncomfortable thought, but think about it this way: only if you can take care of your health, can you take care of others.

Taking care of your health and well-being is an essential part of creating a healthy life that you can love. When you make yourself a part of your family equation, you create a healthy balance in your family’s health.

Some tips for you to relearn how to take care of your health:

·         Don’t start your day on an empty stomach. At least have a fruit or a cup of milk within 15 minutes of getting up in the morning. You need the energy to make the breakfast for your family and yourself.

·         Avoid long gaps in between your main meals. Carry some healthy mini snack with you always in case you are working out of home or are in office.

·         Avoid finishing your child’s left over meals. Over eating like this will not help anyone.

·         Avoid always being the one to eat the leftover meals. Try to learn to cook a moderate amount so that there is not food left over for the next day.

·         Try and make a habit of drinking water regularly.

·         Try to prepare a dish you love at least once a fortnight. It’s not always about what your husband or child love to eat. Treat yourself too with the foods you have always eaten as a child.

·         Eating your meals before at a certain time before your husband does is not a crime. Or at least eat your meals with your family and not alone after everyone else has finished their meal.

·         Try and keep regular sleep and exercise timings.

·         Learn to say “no” when you can’t.

·         Always ask for help when you need it.

·         You are a wife or a mom not a superwomen or supermom. Learn to be realistic with your expectations of yourself.

·         Love your body the way it is and don’t indulge in mindless “crash diets”.

·         Practice and you won’t have to preach. Remember your child will learn by observation so if you follow healthy habits your child will do the same as an adult.

·         Don’t feel guilty about being compassionate and kind to yourself.

Remember Health is a relationship between you and your body. Nurture this relationship.

Jennifer Dhuri

Registered Dietitian


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