I know a lot of women whom I have never seen in the same room as Super Woman. Okay, so I have never seen Super Woman (she’s not real), but that is besides the point. What I have noticed is that these women put too much pressure on themselves. I admit, I am likely one of these women – and this is probably why we are such great friends and have such immense love for one another. But lately, I have been hearing a lot of negativity, hurt, and pain. Having self expectations are good up until the point when they becoming self harming.
For some women I know, I would attribute some of the negativity to physical and emotional burnout. Others, physical overtraining and burnout. You know who you are and yes I am writing to you! I hear:
I am a bad mom!
I am a bad friend!
I do not have time for me! or anything!
I do not workout enough! or I did not run far enough! or I do not run often enough!
And what I am hearing are all of the things that she did not do and I am hearing nothing about all of the things that she DID do!
There are no Super Women
Super Woman was a comic book hero – she is not real. There are no real Super Women – hiding capes. You may sometimes feel like the world, your family, and your friends are asking you to be Super Woman, but they are not. More often than not – everyone would appreciate seeing that you are human. So breathe. Take time to enjoy the day. And do not put so much pressure on yourself to be everything to everyone all of the time.
It is okay to miss a workout – No one ever died from an acute lack of exercise. However, individuals have died as the result of excessive exercise. Use that as food for thought.
Teenage children –– will ‘hate’ you regardless. Do not worry about bending over backwards to be the ‘best’ mother in their eyes.
Maintain boundaries – Most women I know need to practice using the response, “NO!” This is easier said than done. However, the more we say it, the easier it becomes. And ultimately, we will gain more respect from others when doing so.
Social support – More than anything, we need support. Spouses, running pals, mentors, mental health professionals, book clubs – wherever you may get it. We all need someone to simply listen at times – not necessarily provide feedback or advice. Have a safe social support system in your back pocket.
Some of my closest friends are the women I run with. We became amazingly close after a 200-mile relay adventure in 2011. Each year the group grows – and our support grows. While I hate running, I love my Fit Chix with Quick Stix! At times, I believe that each one of these woman are Super Woman – business owners, cancer survivor, mothers, coaches, educators, chefs, bakers, crafters, shoppers, chauffeurs, singers, stupid human tricksters, etc. But I know better — Super Woman is not real.
I initially thought this post would be about ways to avoid burnout. But we know how – we have heard it all a million times. The hard part is applying it. So my final thought is simply this – be kind to yourself. And remember all the things that you have done and do and focus less on what you have not done.
I wish that I had something super enlightening to share with you, but I do not. But to all my ‘Super Woman’ out there – you inspire me daily!