Why a lack of self-care can be detrimental for the woman who does it all
Healthline recently surveyed over 1500 Americans with type 2 diabetes about their day-to-day experiences of living with their condition. The results were published in their latest article, called “The State of Type 2 Diabetes.” Participants were asked how they managed their conditions, if they can afford health care and lifestyle changes and how their diagnosis change their perceptions of themselves and their future.
According to the results, many Americans are having difficulty coping with the demands of managing diabetes along with careers and families. In addition, the survey results also concluded that 70% of the women that responded are more likely than men to put the needs of others before themselves despite living with a chronic illness, and face more challenges with balancing self-care with other responsibilities.
Ladies, does this sound familiar?
This is the definition of the Superwoman syndrome. This happens when a woman stretches herself too thin and neglects herself because she’s trying to do it all.
I tend to visualize this concept as if we’re eating at a buffet. Imagine yourself piling food that you like on your plate. Now you already have enough food on your plate. However, you want an extra piece of chicken. You can’t fit anything else on that plate. Instead of getting the extra piece of chicken after you’ve finished your meal, you decided to get chicken anyway and placing it on top of your full plate. As a result, your plate is overflowing, making a mess.
As women and caretakers, we already have a lot on our proverbial plates. We have homes to manage, families to take care of, businesses to run, and/or jobs to do. When we don’t take the time to properly care for ourselves, our plates will overflow, causing stress, exhaustion, burnouts and breakdowns. Stressful situations and environments are major risk factors for many illnesses, including type 2 diabetes. If you’re already diagnosed with diabetes, then the additional stressful demands of playing superwoman will make it extremely difficult to manage our conditions, causing us to experience more health complications.
Ladies, we need to surrender our capes and take better care of ourselves!
If we want to continue to live a healthy life while managing diabetes, then we have to learn to prioritize our health because nobody else will do it for you. Surrendering our capes is not a sign of weakness, but of great strength. When we surrender, we are implying that we can no longer go on like business as usual. We give up the notion that we can do all and be all for everyone. Surrendering gives us a sense of peace and relief. Surrendering our capes is not a form of selfishness but an act of love and respect for ourselves. It doesn’t mean that we stop caring for people and helping others. We’re properly caring for the bodies and minds that we’ve been given so we can be a blessing to others. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel guilty for prioritizing yourself by taking care of your health first.
Make that doctor’s appointment.
Get your A1C checked.
Have your eyes and feet checked.
Meet with that dietitian.
Go talk to that therapist.
Attend that support group meeting.
Prioritize and set your boundaries.
Ask for help.
Learn to say NO!
Superwoman, free yourself, surrender your cape and put your health first!
Until Next Time,
The Genetic Diabetic