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The Underlying Reason Most Women Don’t Take Care of Ourselves as Much as We Need to (or Want To)

I’ve been thinking about something for a long time; most women don’t take care of themselves as much as they need to or even want to.

I’ve even noticed that while I know I sleep better if I got to bed at 10:00 p.m. and get up at 6:30 a.m., that I often end up going to bed at 11:00 a.m. and getting up at 7:00 p.m. which means I’m more rushed in the morning.  I’ve been trying to figure this out, especially as someone who can get myself to do almost anything that I know will help me feel better (I know…. this is a lucky gift).

In my meditation this morning, what felt like an answer came to me.  There are many layers to this I noticed that I’ll share in this message.

First and foremost, most women feel like servants to their never-ending to-do lists and commitments.  AND, most of the things on this list and the commitments come from outside of us - other people’s requests, other people’s expectations (or our...

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Putting Others First is the Worst Way to Actually Help Them

Always putting others first is the worst way to actually help them.  In fact, sometimes it can actually hurt them in the long run.

I get why you would think putting others first is the way to go.  As women we have been socialized to put everyone else before ourselves in order to be seen as caring and compassionate.

But the problem is, when we put everyone else before ourselves two things happen.  We start to build up resentment and actually feel less compassionate towards those people we help, often resulting in us eventually being unkind.  Secondly, the people we are helping learn that we don’t trust that they can handle it themselves and learn to rely on us and others for things they could have done for themselves.

It’s like always caring your infant around and never letting them learn to crawl or walk.  You are taking away their opportunities to learn how to move their body from place to place independently and learn from their mistakes (i.e.,...

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The Biggest Mistake Chronically Stressed Women Make that Keep Them Stuck

 

If you’re a chronically stressed woman, I want you to pause and ask yourself this question:

Do you have space for yourself in your life?

Like really think about it.  You might even grab a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle and on one side write all of the space, time, and energy you have for others - the things you do for them.  Then on the other side, write down all of the space, time and energy you have for yourself.

Take a moment, zoom out, and look at both lists.  Notice anything?

If you’re like most chronically stressed women, chances are the list about others is WAY longer than the list of things you do for yourself.

You might be thinking, “but I care about those people” or “I’m a mom, that’s what I’m supposed to do” or “it’s my job to care for others”.  And those things may be true.  And, with all of the societal messages sent to us as girls and now as women, I get...

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The Four Crucial Shifts Every Chronically Stressed Woman Needs to Make to Take Control of Her Own Life

Are you a chronically stressed woman who likes your life overall, but wishes it could be better?

Like maybe you see it could be less stressful if only:

  • you didn’t do more than 50% of household/family responsibilities on top of the mental load of it all
  • your boss didn’t reward your hard work with more hard work
  • you didn’t have to carry the emotional load at work being the “go-to” person for emotional support
  • you weren’t doing more than your share of unpaid labor at work - being the meeting note taker, party planner, and the one management turns to get a sense for the emotional pulse of the team

You want a simpler life - something better - but don’t know quite how to get there, perhaps even questioning if it’s possible.

Of course you do!  The imbalance in workload that women face at home and work is not only unfair - it’s ridiculous!  It’s completely valid to feel angry, frustrated, and even resentful about this...

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Is The Survival Mode Trap Stealing Away Your Life?

 Are you a busy, professional woman who has been trying for six months or more to get caught up so you can relax and have fun, but never quite get there?  If this is you, you may be in The Survival Mode Trap.

May you:

  Collapse on the couch after work with no energy for anything except binging Netflix and scrolling through social media

  Know you need to exercise, sleep and eat well but you just can't get yourself to do it

  Want to do things with friends (sans kids) but can’t find the time more than once every couple of months

  Live life from your “to-do” list which is mostly based off of others’ needs, wants, and demands as well as societal norms, and your just trying to keep up with it all (but never seem to get caught up)

If two or more of these apply, you are likely stuck in The Survival Mode Trap.

The reason this is happening is because you have been putting everyone else’s wants and needs before yourself, have...

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Relying on Willpower to "Just Do it" is NOT the Best Way to Change or Add a Habit or Meet your Goals

Are you hoping to change or add a habit as we approach the new year?  Or maybe you have some goals you are setting this time of year or in your life in general?  If so, read on to avoid a common trap.

If you are wanting to change a habit, here is an essential truth:

Relying on Willpower to "Just Do it" is NOT the Best Way to Change or Add a Habit or Meet your Goals

I get why you might think will power is the way to go.  No one really talks about needing a strategy to build habits.  Instead the emphasis is on "just doing it". 

But if you have fallen into the willpower trap, I am willing to bet you have been able to start new habits, but that you eventually peter out, perhaps leaving you feeling like you failed or feeling shame that you couldn't get yourself to stick with it.

The problem is, we only have a limited amount of willpower and relying on it for meeting our goals isn't effective.

It’s like trying to drive around the entire country on one tank...

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What to Do When the Holidays Aren't Joyful

Growing up, the holidays were always a joyful time for me - so much wonder, fun, and connection; it truly filled my heart.

That all changed in 2019 after my mom died.  That Christmas I learned that she was the shining light and abounding joy for me during this time of year.  I'm not going to share about that particularly, but rather as a psychotherapist specializing in complex trauma, I know plenty of folks for whom the holidays (whatever you celebrate) are no longer (or maybe never have been) a positive time.  And plenty who used to love them and still try to embrace the joy (like me), but find this season darkened by loss or tough times.

So, this ones for you - all of us who don't necessarily find this time 100% positive.

And if you do?  This might still benefit you to support or perhaps at least understand those around you who aren't buzzing with the joy of the season.

You might be someone who has lost loved ones whether through death or disconnection in life,...

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How to Stop Being Overworked, Undervalued, and Under-Appreciated

Uncategorized Dec 06, 2022

 

If you’re a woman who:

Is overworked, undervalued, and under-appreciated

Is tired of wishing your boss would stop putting more and more on your plate when you’re already overloaded

Is at your wits end with how to get your spouse/partner to do their part at home

And feels like everything would fall apart if you stopped doing all of these things

You may have tried....

  Working harder to get people to see how much you do and how much you’re worth

  Staying late and working through lunch trying to get it all done

  Yelling at and even shaming your spouse/partner in attempt to get them to do their part

  Skimping on sleep and your self-care to get it all done

…but have found that none of these have worked.

You are just as stressed and overloaded as before but now you feel bad for yelling at your partner, angry that your boss doesn’t get it, and depleted from lack of sleep, healthy meals, and other self-care.

It doesn’t have...

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“Let it go” is the Worst Advice to Follow for Dealing with the Stressors You Face

“Let it go” is the worst advice to follow for dealing with the stressors you face.

I understand why you might think you need to just “let it go”, and it’s okay if you think that.  We have been told for a really long time that we’re “okay” (even when we’re not) and to just “brush it off” and “let it go”, even in the face of real pain and suffering.  A quick Google search floods the screen with all of the things we “need” to “let go” of, reinforcing these early messages.

The thing is, I’m pretty sure your intention for “letting it go” was to be able to move on and feel better, but if you don’t actively address the stressors causing or contributing to your stress, they just continue to build up often returning in full force at inconvenient times.

It’s like putting meat scraps in the trash, but then never actually taking out your garbage....

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My Blog Hiatus

Uncategorized Nov 17, 2022

Greetings!

For the past six months or so I have been writing for Brainz Magazine, so took a hiatus from my blog here.

To access the content I created and shared during that time, follow this link for the 11 (soon to be 12) articles I posted.

https://www.brainzmagazine.com/executive-contributor/Jen-Barnes 

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