Recently, our Clinical Director, Dr. Shyamala, was featured on a panel discussion about women, style and self love. If you missed the event, here is a summary of what she discussed:
What is the greatest barrier that women face when it comes to self-love?
Over functioning. Let me explain this concept really quickly. Over functioning is a relational term. When we over-function, meaning, do more than what it reasonably required in a given relationship, we enable others to under-function, meaning, do less than what is reasonably required in that same relationship.
As women, we are so deeply wired for connection that it makes sense that our greatest barrier would be one that is relational in its essence.
Women over-function by nature and are extremely prone to burnout, as we will neglect our own needs in order to meet the needs of those we love.
We set ourselves up for failure and get stuck in a vicious cycle when we exist in relationships that now demand that we over-function. When over-functioning becomes our relational norm, we are well on our way to burnout. Our healing comes when we find the courage to say no to others in order to say yes to our own mental health and wellness.
How can women practice greater self-love?
The solution is also relational, and it comes back to having the courage to choose ourselves and invest in ourselves. When we are functioning at our best, we are in fact better able to support those we love. The single most useful thing we can do is to seek support. Ask for help. Reach out. That could be by connecting with a friend, a mentor or perhaps a professional. Whatever avenue you choose, I leave you today with the charge and challenge of choosing yourself and seeking support.
Self-care is ultimately an expression of self-compassion and self-love.