Self-sacrificers tend to put the needs of others before their own. A new mother who has a goal of losing her post-pregnancy weight may find it hard to fit in the physical activity that would help her reach her weight loss goals. A daughter may drive across town to purchase medication for her aging mother, but can't find the time to make a weekly trip to the grocery store to stock her refrigerator with fresh produce for a nutritious and balanced diet. Does any of this sound familiar? If so, you may be sacrificing your weight loss goals for the needs of others.
Noble as it may be, this focus on others can lead to neglecting your own self-care and result in feelings of stress and fatigue. Both of these feelings often lead to unplanned eating. Taking care of your needs — eating a healthy diet, making time for physical activity and creating balance in your life - may leave you with more energy to fulfill other roles. Mother, daughter, professional, spouse, volunteer — whatever the role — make time for yourself first, and you can better serve yourself and others.
For the classic self-sacrificer, this may be easier said than done.
Here are some techniques to help you keep balance in your life and support your diet goals:
Know Your Stress Symptoms: Take notice of how your body reacts to stress. Signs of this can be physical — such as increased heart rate, headaches, or an upset stomach. Symptoms can also be mental — such as anxiety, confusion, anger or depression. When you notice these symptoms try techniques for stress reductions, like breathing exercises, meditation, walking or stretching and find out what works for you.
Plan for Regular Self-Care: Schedule the time into your day to relax, and rejuvenate into your day and fit in other obligations around this standing appointment with yourself. Spend at least 15 minutes per day doing something that helps relieve stress. It can be as simple as taking a 15-minute"power nap", reading a book for pleasure or even flipping through your favorite magazine.
Simplify Your Life: Learn to let go of the unimportant. When you sit down to make a list of the things that need to get done, take a closer look. Are there items on that list that you can eliminate (are nice to do, but don't need to be done), delegate (need to be done, but someone else can handle it) or scale down (need to be done, but not on such a grand and time-consuming level)? If so, make the appropriate adjustments and create more"you time" in your day.