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The Hidden Cost of Sacrifice: Women, Stress, and Self-Care

It happens quite often in my private life that I meet a service provider, mainly women, that stress themselves out. It looks normal and good to us because we live in a culture that promotes it, who ever sacrifice themselves on the altar get credits.

In our fast-paced world, it's become almost a badge of honour to juggle numerous responsibilities and sacrifice personal well-being for the sake of others.

This culture of self-sacrifice, often glorified as a virtue, particularly affects women who find themselves navigating the complexities of relationships, careers, and societal expectations.

It's common to witness women, whether as service providers, caregivers, or professionals, stretching themselves thin in pursuit of fulfilling multiple roles. We've grown accustomed to this norm, even praising those who seem to "have it all" and still manage to give more. But we rarely stop to question the toll it takes.

Over the past decade, I've worked closely with numerous women who have followed this path of sacrifice, only to find themselves facing the consequences on their health and well-being. It's not that men are immune to this, but there's something uniquely challenging for women.

In a society that often places higher expectations on women to be caregivers, nurturers, and maintainers of harmony, the pressure to sacrifice becomes amplified. Women are taught to put others' needs before their own, and the idea of self-care can sometimes feel indulgent or selfish.

But at what cost? Too often, women find themselves burning out, experiencing chronic stress, anxiety, and even physical health issues as a result of neglecting their own needs. The relentless pursuit of perfection in both personal and professional realms can lead to feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and exhaustion.

We must challenge this notion that self-sacrifice is the ultimate measure of worth. True strength lies not in how much we can give at the expense of ourselves, but in our ability to prioritise self-care and set healthy boundaries. It's about recognising that we cannot pour from an empty cup.

As a society, we need to shift the narrative around self-care from being selfish to being essential. We need to create environments where women feel supported in taking care of themselves without guilt or judgment.

To all the women out there who feel the weight of these expectations, remember: your health and well-being matter. You deserve to prioritise yourself, not as an afterthought, but as a fundamental aspect of leading a fulfilling life.

Let's start valuing self-care as much as we value sacrifice, and in doing so, create a world where women can thrive, not just survive.

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