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Do you put your own needs after every one elses?

Have you ever heard of the burnt chop syndrome? It’s based on the  on the metaphor that if there are three good pieces of meat and one burnt one the person with the burnt chop syndrome will give the others the best bits of meat and keep the burnt one for herself every time. This is a metaphor for how many women operate in all areas of their lives. In other words, they often make themselves the lowest priority the majority of the time. Reality check! We are now grown women and if we don’t look after ourselves no one else will. Our health and happiness will suffer. We have physical emotional and spiritual needs that must be met. We must build a friendship with ourselves ad attempt to fulfill our needs so we can have fulfilled lives.

Women will often make themselves the lowest priority the majority of the time. This is recipe (no pun intended) for burn-out.  This was definitely the case for me.

After about 10 years of saying yes to every single thing that people asked me to do my health really started to fail.  I became chronically tired and even struggled for energy on my wedding day.

I knew I had to do something different or I was going to develop permanent chronic fatigue syndrome. So I went on health kick and basically became a health food shop junkie – trying out every health food on the market. I decided to become vegan also.

Improving my diet made a huge difference but it wasn’t quite enough on its own to fully restore my health.  I also needed to change mentally.

As I said when I was really struggling in life I’d always put everyone else’s needs before my own. If someone asked me to do something for them, I would automatically make this top priority on my list, even if my own health and well-being needed attention. This was due to insecurity and a desperate to be liked by everyone.

However, this was a deadly habit that really contributed to the level of burnout I found myself at. The reason I found it hard to say no was because I could not stand the guilt I’d feel at the disappointment of others. But,

I needed to learn to care for my own health and needs before I helped others.  I needed to realise that disappointment is a normal part of life and we all need to let people down at certain times.

When I finally started saying no to things and started staying home from some events when I was particularly tired and saw what a difference it made to my health, I began to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

My energy crisis made me realize I had to change how I lived.  I knew I had to learn to speak up when I felt my rights had been disrespected or I’d simmer away with resentment and that affected both my health and happiness.  I knew I had to learn to say no more and I knew I had to look after me better. So I did and that is when everything started to improve.

So what about you? Do you have some lifestyle habits that aren’t serving you? Are you ready to change them?

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