Recently I have been writing about self-care, and the importance of taking time for relaxation. This column is especially for women who cannot relax, and the men who keep asking them why they cannot sit down for a few minutes.
No doubt you have noticed that a man can be very productive and accomplish a lot, yet still will take time to sit and watch the game, or to have a little snooze. Men seem to understand the importance of taking a “time out” now and again.
Many women could not even think of doing this. As long as there is something that still needs to be done, she cannot take a break. The problem is that there is always something more that could be done.
Women seem to suffer more from physical ailments such as migraine headaches, bowel problems, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. They also seem to experience more anxiety and depression than men do.
There is a connection between the need to constantly be working, thinking about all that needs to be done, and physical/emotional health. This constant pressure a woman puts on herself creates a good deal of stress: stress is a big factor in many illnesses, and is also known to compromise the immune system.
It is important to take little breaks throughout the day, rather than to tell yourself you will relax after everything is done. If you wait until the end, either you will run out of time, or you will already be exhausted.
Little mini-breaks will do wonders for the body and the soul. It could be a short meditation, a few yoga poses, a little nap, a cup of tea, or a few minutes of watching the sky and counting your blessings. The work can wait; caring for your own soul cannot.
Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist. For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit www.gwen.ca