International Women’s Day might seem like an occasion that’s been overridden by sales, discounts, and other relatively insignificant events. But it’s much more than that. It’s a day to acknowledge the women in your life and celebrate them. It’s also a day for every woman to celebrate herself. This Women’s Day, give the token gifts a break and make some promises to yourself.
Here are a few ideas to begin with.
1. “I will not place anyone else’s happiness or comfort over my own”
The world has celebrated women’s sacrifices for far too long. Long enough for society to now expect women to put everyone else’s happiness before their own. Not anymore. Make a promise to yourself that you will make yourself a priority in more ways than one. This also holds true for mothers, the one role that is supposed to make you forget all about yourself as a woman. A mother also has to be happy and comfortable first in order to raise a happy child. Remember what the safety regulations on flights say? Help yourself before you help others.
2. “I will make sure I take care of my finances and have my own money”
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you must go out and work. It’s drastically unfair to expect full-time homemakers and caregivers to also pick up a full-time job outside. In an ideal world, homemakers and stay at home moms would get paid for their work. But they don’t. This Women’s Day, make a vow to yourself that even if you don’t have a job outside the home, you will have this conversation with your partner and ensure that you are monetarily compensated in some form. Every woman must have her own money.
3. “I won’t let society tell me what to do with my body”
Want to wax your legs before a date? Go right ahead. Want to lose weight? Okay. Want to grow your hair? Fine. Want to go through a pregnancy and have a baby? Good for you. But if you don’t really feel like it and you’re doing it just because of the social pressure, don’t do it. Make a promise to yourself – and write it down somewhere – that you won’t let social norms define what you do with your body.
4. “I will give myself a break without seeking validation for my time off”
Every woman deserves a break now and then, but we are often shamed for it. Whether it’s taking a break from work, from home, from your kids, or from life in general, you should not be made to feel guilty about it. You need your rest. If it means taking a day off in the middle of the week, go ahead and do it.
5. “I will believe in myself”
Promise yourself that you’ll be more confident in yourself. Believe in your ideas at work and don’t let anyone put you down. Trust your instincts at home and do what you think is best for you.
6. “I will schedule regular health checks for myself”
While gynaecological health checks are super important, there are other health issues that deserve your attention too. Take care of your mental health, control your stress levels, and focus on your overall well-being. Promise yourself that you will stop neglecting your health for someone else’s sake.
7. “I will encourage and support other women”
If you’re a strong woman, go out there and support other women who need it. Remember how good it felt to hear a word of encouragement before a crucial meeting or a supportive face during a tough presentation? Be that support for other women too.
8. “I will always wear comfortable shoes. Fashion is not pain”
If you’re comfortable in heels, wear them and rock them, sister. But if you’re only comfortable in flats, don’t make yourself miserable to fit a skewed social norm. Your feet should not hurt all day so that you look a certain way. Those feet are important, treat them nicely.
We’re making these vows to ourselves today. Are you?