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  • Clare Alden

Give Yourself Permission

One of the most common concerns I have about the women in my life and the women I meet, is that they do not take care of themselves. I’m not talking about their appearance. I’m talking about their “self,” their personhood, the essence of who they are. And usually, it’s not a matter of time, or resources, or know-how—it is a matter of permission.

They don’t give themselves permission to take care of themselves.

As women we are often taught that it is our responsibility to take care of others, and this is certainly a heathy part of any relationship—taking care of each other. Unfortunately, we also seem to internalize the notion that it is not OK to take care of ourselves. It’s “selfish,” “self-indulgent,” “self-absorbed,” “self-centered.”

Here’s what you need to know about that—its bullshit.

Just as it is essential to be mentally prepared to put the oxygen mask on yourself first in the unlikely event of cabin de-pressurization on an airplane, you need to ensure that in the inevitable event of “life im-pressurization” you are prepared to don whatever mask will serve, from a gas mask to a facial mask.

In my experience, women are more than reluctant to give themselves permission to nurture themselves. I’m not talking about spending $200 at the spa when the kids need shoes. I’m talking about identifying those things that lift your spirits, ease the tension in your neck, and help you rest and rejuvenate, so that when duty calls, and it will, you are prepared to answer without depleting your precious reserves of energy, enthusiasm and empathy.

Whether it’s a solitary jog in the fresh air or a group walk at the mall, reading a book or calling a friend, writing in a journal or wearing your favorite colors—

giveyourself permission to do whatever restores and rejuvenates you.

You know your family deserves the best possible care, and I know you deserve the best possible you.

Message from Clare,

Because I care.


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