Episode 64: Are We Conditioned to Not Care about Our Self-Care?


I have to be honest…the concept of self-care is sometimes a bit foreign to me.

As I gain more self awareness, I start to ask myself, why that is?

Why it doesn’t come-up for me often?

What I am starting to realize is that I have been conditioned to not care about my self-care

Let me explain:

There’s a Somali proverb that says “Nin lagu seexdow, has seexan”

This translates to – If there’s someone sleeping on you, don’t sleep.

In other words, if you have people depending on you, you can’t afford to sleep.

This proverb explains exactly how I feel about self-care

As a young single mother, I often was busy doing everything that I could to meet my children’s needs. there was not much left to think about self-care and my own needs

When I entered the workforce, I felt that I better make use of this opportunity!  I better work my butt off to go above and beyond to show my boss that they weren’t wrong in giving me a chance.

And when I finally became the manager of my Centre, I had 20 bosses that I answered to.  I considered everyone in my team as my boss.  I felt that it was up to me to make sure they were happy. I was the go to person for all their issues at – I had that open door policy for real!

But the problem with that was that I felt their needs were always more urgent than mine.

I did that because I felt, I wanted to do a good job.  Support my people the best way that I could and at all cost.

In the background tho, the story that was playing was, like me so that I can keep my job.

I felt if I talked about my needs, I wouldn’t be seen as a strong person. I would be dispensable.

Can a WOC afford to complain at work and run the risk of being seen LAZY! Or God forbid Difficult! Can you relate to this?

I felt so depleted at the end of the day, I had no energy left for my family and myself to enjoy life. I just came home and crashed! Only to repeat the same thing tomorrow.

And now, As an entrepreneur I find myself at times this mindset showing up in different ways.

The thing that I have to be mindful of is that If I don’t show-up for me and my needs, I can’t expect others to do it.

One mistake that I made as a parent is that  I’ve always sheltered my children from the problems, struggles cause I wanted them to have worry free life.

But what I realize is that even your kids need to understand that you’re human and that you have needs.This is why it’s important to allow kids to understand your needs as a parent and your challenges without traumatizing them.

That helps them understand and appreciate you and have compassion and empathy for you.

As I become more aware of this, I realize that the mindset behind my thinking is the lack.

It’s the belief that my needs are not important.  That I exist only to serve others

As you reflect on your feeling towards self-care, recognize what’s coming up for you:

  •  Do you feel comfortable to say no when something feels too much for you?
  •  Do you feel like you need a strong reason to say no?
  •  Do you resistance resistance expressing your needs?
  •  Do you feel like you have to do it all by yourself?
  •  Is the Strong Black Woman Syndrome showing up for you?
  •  Are you unwilling to do fun things just for you?

Remember, just because you have responsibilities does not mean that you don’t have to practice self-care.

Self-care is a feeling that you matter, and that you’re a worthy of prioritizing your needs above all.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you comfortable to say no? to put yourself and your needs first? How are you prioritizing your wellbeing?


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