Many women struggle with prioritizing their health because they don’t feel supported. I see this all the time. Work and home commitments seem to take up most of your time, and at the end of the day you barely have time for yourself. Ha, I struggled with this too! Other women get support, but it’s not what they want.
Why women don't ask for help.
There are so many reasons why women don’t ask for help.
First, we’re natural-born givers. We care for and help others selflessly, loyally, without questioning or expecting anything in return. We somehow train ourselves to give and be everything to everyone until there’s no more of us to give.
Many of us were raised to be strong, independent women. As a result, we think that asking for help is a sign of weakness.
The problem with these reasons is that we become resentful of others and unhappy with our lives. So we try to use food to numb our feelings and control the one thing that we feel is within our power to control – our bodies. We also end up raising and mentoring women who struggle with asking for help. Women who would rather please others than do what they like – just go to bed early, join a dance group because they get to meet other women and stay physically active, even eat food that they enjoy.
If you find yourself on either end of that spectrum, there are things you can do to make sure that your health stays top of mind, you get the support that you need, and your family and friends still love you (I can’t promise on this one though).
Here are 3 tips to help you confidently ask for help.
1. Talk about what you’re doing and why it’s important to you.
Sometimes, we assume that the people around us know what we need but they don’t. You know how important prioritizing your health is to you, so talk about it. Focus on how it will benefit you and ultimately, the people around you. For example, if you’d like to go to bed earlier so that you can feel more rested during the day, then focus on the benefits of being well rested. You’ll feel more energized. When you’re energized, you’ll be able to show up and be present. Whether that means being more productive at work and home, having more energy to play with your kids or spouse (wink, wink), everyone benefits, including you.
2. Ask for what you want.
Be VERY specific here my friend. Say exactly what you need and ensure that your partner, kids or family understand what those needs are. For example, saying “I need to go to bed earlier” is not specific enough. It places the onus on you to find that time. Instead, you can say “In order for me to get enough sleep at night, I need to go to bed at (time) o’clock.” Being specific, makes it more concrete and viable. Put it on your shared calendar and keep reminding everyone until it becomes part of your routine.
3. Learn to meet in the middle.
Let’s just admit for a sec that life is unpredictable and messy. Your plans may not always work out and that’s okay. Use hurdles to your advantage by learning what you can about them, then brainstorm easy solutions with your family or friends. When I started going to the gym regularly, I found that the classes I liked were during dinner time. On my gym days, we usually have leftovers or meals that don’t require a lot of prep. I get home from work, change into my workout clothes and head to the gym. My husband takes care of everything else. It’s a win-win.
Don’t underestimate the power of friends or extended family members. Just ask.
Having the right kind of support makes a difference in how likely and quickly you meet your health goals. So, don’t wait any longer, ask for help today. You’ll never know what’s possible until you try.