You can’t have it all!
Did you ever hear about Super Woman Syndrome? The intimacy coach Michaela Boehm speaks about the “Plight of the Modern Woman” in her book “The Wild Woman’s Way” which has inspired me enormously over the last few days.
I’m writing to you from Palma where I’m taking a break from my daily duties and all the noise in my head. I arrived exhausted and stressed and I want to share a couple of insights to help you get through times of stress also.
· Ask for help
· Make space for recovery
· Make clear choices
We have more options than ever and many times that leaves us conflicted, we feel like a failure when we can’t have it all!
Our perfectionist culture focuses so much on the idea of “balance”, but we often interpret this as needing to balance everything, not cutting anything out. Chasing this state leaves us feeling like a failure and trying to find this balance just adds stress to our lives.
I said it many times and I say it again – I think that the concept “work-life balance” is a myth, it doesn’t exist!
We want to have a thriving career, loving family, raise our children on our own, travel, be creative, and maintain a deep intimate sexual relationship without having to give up on anything.
YOU CAN’T HAVE IT ALL!
Don’t believe it when you hear you can have it all, because you can’t. Like Michaela Boehm, I also believe that you need to make sacrifices. It’s crucial for your mental health that you start to make choices about what’s most important in your life.
My personal story
My year began with my daughter having a small accident at a friend’s house, and afterwards I felt a lot of pressure from my friend to care more for her needs than my daughter’s or my own.
She wanted me to dedicate more time to our friendship, especially as I was going to be her witness at her wedding. Our dispute led to her choosing someone else, as I was not available enough.
This was followed by a difficult summer filled with pressure to find time to write my psychotherapy thesis. Then my back gave me a clear signal to slow down when I couldn’t move for a week. Finally I ended up having unexpected surgery on a different body issue – the alarm was really loud at this point and I finally listened!
I had forgotten my most important learning over the last two years: SLOW DOWN. I’m a good example how long it takes to relearn our habits.
How to get through times of stress
It was time for me to ask for help. All I had to do was ask and after the surgery a wonderful woman cooked healthy dishes for me and my family. It was one of the best decisions I made this year!
Another decision, which I can highly recommend, was to leave house and family to go and write my Thesis. I found this beautiful co-working space in nature outside of Berlin: http://coconat-space.com
Around a month ago when I was finally done writing, I decided to gift myself with a trip to Palma with a girlfriend.
“Finding your “tribe” and enjoying the support that comes from being in company of other women is more important than ever. We are no longer living in communities, and most of us are without the support of the women in our family. With our busy lives, many women are deprived of the regular in-person meetings with girlfriends and the seemingly mundane but deeply connective activities of past times. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and e-mail have replaced actual exchange.” – Michaela Boehm
According to Swedish brain researcher Anders Hansen, our stress system is not developed for our modern world, the demand on our time is higher than we can take.
The demand I felt this year to be a better friend, write a thesis in a foreign language, being available for my daughter during her first year of school, keeping a clean house, all while expanding my business – was simply too high.
Looking closer I came to realize that the most important first step is to become aware of stress mechanisms and start noticing how they affect our well-being. Then we must learn the lesson of letting go and make sacrifices.
I finally realized that I needed to make choices: My house will be a mess, some friends will be disappointed in me, I will not be a perfect mother and the expansion of my business will happen once I’ve created more inner space.
What is the most important for me right now is my health, to have a listening ear to my daughter when she needs me and fully show up to the clients I have right now. Everything else has to wait.
“You can handle a lot of stress if you make sure that you take time to recover” according to Anders Hansen. That is what I will do now, go offline and dive into what I really need and enjoy the company of my fabulous travel partner and friend Frida and other women who will take part in the retreat here on Palma.
If you understand Swedish, listen to this fantastic podcast https://www.4good.se/sunshinepodden led by the wonderful retreat organizers Marie & Carina.
Which step can you take right now so that you recover from your stressful life?
If you also want to look at what you really need and learn more ways how to get it, send me an email and we start with a 30-min free of charge coaching consultation: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, I’m Katarina, a Life Coach and Psychotherapist helping women who choose to create big shifts in their lives – personal or professional. Welcome to my blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to live a fulfilled life. Passionate about helping you discover your unique talents and supporting you to create extraordinary relationships with others, as well as with yourself. I also share my wisdom for how to deal with challenges that come your way.
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