The Importance of Self-Care
The following is an excerpt from Fatima Omar Khamissa’s best-selling book “How to Be a Muslim Woman, […]
The following is an excerpt from Fatima Omar Khamissa’s best-selling book “How to Be a Muslim Woman, Divorced and Totally Confident”.
“…when it comes to women, self-care is usually the last thing on the list. I mean you’re probably asking me right now “Come on Fatima. Seriously? My boss is calling, my husband needs this or my ex needs this or my neighbor needs this. The children are crying, my son is sick, the phone is ringing off the hook, I got bills to pay, I have to cook dinner, the laundry is not done and the house is not clean. I’m behind on projects. I got problems in my family and you want to talk about self-care?” That is going to be the last thing I want to think about and then when my life gets perfect then I’ll talk about self-care right?
Why am I talking about self-care then if it’s always the last thing on your list? Well I’m going to be talking to you from a woman who was raised and spent most of my life as a people pleaser. If you’re a people pleaser and you do anything and everything to help other people, you put yourself last and you pretty much a martyr in your life because you were born and raised to serve others and not to care about yourself this is exactly the chapter you need to be reading and implementing right away.
If you’ve ever flown on a plane you know when the woman comes out and tells you about the safety features on the plane. They always say put on your oxygen mask first. Yes I am going to repeat that because it’s important. Put on your oxygen mask first.
Why do they say that? They say that because if there’s an accident on the plane and the oxygen masks have dropped and there are children around you or people around you, if you put their oxygen mask on first there is a probable chance that you will die. If you put on your oxygen mask first you will live to help the other person. In those emergency situations there may only be a small window of a few minutes for you to put on your mask first and then you can breathe and help other people.
It’s been proven that people who have put on oxygen masks for other people, most of them have died but the people who put on theirs have been able to save themselves and also some other people on the plane, including their children and the people around them who can’t help themselves. Why is this relevant in our lives?
It’s relevant in your lives because speaking from my past experience, with the clients and the amount of women that I have worked with now I realized that we continuously are teaching other people and training other people how they should be treating us. Everything you do, everything you say, you are continually showing other people how they must treat you, whether it’s good or bad or ugly or indifferent. We continually do that.
Here’s an example. If you’ve made plans and the people around you call you, your boss or colleagues, and say someone has fallen ill you drop all your plans, cancel whatever you’re doing, get on the bus, get in a car, cook some food and drive over there. Every time you do that you are indirectly sending the message to that other person. This is the message, “my life is not that important. I will drop everything for you.” You see the message? It’s not what you say it’s how you act.
When you schedule things like self-care, time alone, meditation time, time for walking, going to the gym, time to relax, time to go on a holiday, time to go to the movies, time for girlfriends you are sending the message “I am important to me”. You’re also sending a message to your children and the people around you that they also, by you giving yourself permission to care about yourself, you’re giving them permission to care about themselves.
Self-care doesn’t cost a lot of money. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to put on your running shoes and your jacket and go for a walk… It doesn’t cost a lot of money to step away from the potato chips and have an apple. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to turn off a television show that doesn’t serve you and go have a bubble bath. Self-care is something that will relieve you of your stress. When we are stressed, the first thing to go is our self-care because our brains go into fight or flight, and our perspective narrows. Our adrenals get elevated, and things get foggy.
One of the best things that you can do is just stop to breathe. When you’re feeling stressed, a big self-care is just to breathe. Stop and stand there pulsating with fear inside of you and all the stuff that’s not calm and take a deep breath and just breathe and follow your breath. That’s all. Go outside and breathe some fresh air. Snuggle under a cozy blanket. Listen to some running water. Make a fire and sit by the fire pit. Take a nice hot shower. Schedule a massage. Take your shoes and socks off and wiggle your toes in the grass. Buy a nice scented candle. Get some essential oils and put them in your bath or on the stove in a pot of water on 1 or 2, put it in a spray and spray it around. Listen to some Quran. Look at the sun coming through your windows.
Another way to do self-care is take yourself out to eat. I always say to every single woman out there that is divorced, go and start dating yourself. This is part of your self-care. Date yourself.”
If you’d like to read more, check out her #1 Best-selling book “How to Be a Muslim Woman, Divorced and Totally Confident” on Amazon.
For 21 years, Fatima Omar Khamissa was a victim of an abusive marriage which destroyed all the hopes and dreams she had for herself. She took her five children and left that marriage and today, Fatima is the CEO of Spiritual Biz Moms, leading provider of training and coaching for women who feel stuck, frustrated, and tired of living lives without satisfaction, meaning, and progress.
The trauma of abuse, apartheid, and violence was not able to break Fatima’s spirit and as an international best-selling author, Fatima is sharing her message to inspire, motivate, and lead women all over the world to continual growth in both personal and professional life.