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#StandStrong for Others, But First For Yourself

#StandStrong for Others, But First For Yourself

This International Women’s Day, we urge women to prioritize self-care. Underneath the superhero capes we wear every day is a human whose state of health can affect how (quickly) we can change the world — or save it.

Mother. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Wife. Confidante. Teacher. Shock absorber. Change maker.

When you read all of that, did you think I was talking about nine different people? Nope. The fact is, women wear all of these hats at the same time, on top of the work that helps them pay the bills and support their families; on top of the causes they are passionate about.

Day in and day out.

Ironically, the woman so busy caring for others forgets that the most important person she needs to care for is herself. In the Philippines, women were raised to serve others and put themselves last.

This is so well-ingrained in our upbringing that, as adults, the thought of caring for ourselves and putting ourselves first almost feels like a sin. With the thought comes overwhelming feelings of guilt, as if we don’t deserve it.

But we do.

Our work begins the moment we get out of bed, from chores to other tasks to keep the household good and running, even before we sign in for work-work or the job that pays the bills. Even as we work, we find pockets of time to care for our loved ones, not considering taking a break for ourselves.

At our jobs, we are challenged with compartmentalizing, with swallowing our emotions lest we be called “dramatic,” with ignoring subtle (or not so subtle) signs of disrespect and disregard. We struggle to find the balance between being straightforward and soft, because when we show toughness, we become labeled a b*tch.

Our work begins the moment we get out of bed, from chores to other tasks to keep the household good and running, even before we sign in for work-work or the job that pays the bills. Even as we work, we find pockets of time to care for our loved ones, not considering taking a break for ourselves.

Kai Magsanoc

After work, we have more chores to do, sometimes sneaking in a quick dinner while standing. We are bone tired but tired can wait, because the fact is that many things won’t get done if we don’t do it ourselves; because we want our loved ones to feel we care about them by cooking for them even if we’d rather collapse in bed (I’m looking at you, single parent).

To what end are we living this kind of life? What about our magic, the things that give us joy, the advocacy that gives us our purpose? What about the legacy we leave behind?

What about our health?

I used to be the person who lived to please others, desperate for acceptance. I bled for my work, losing sleep for nights at a time. And when my health finally suffered irreversibly, there was no word of thanks. In fact, on my last working day, I already met my replacement.

To what end are we living this kind of life? What about our magic, the things that give us joy, the advocacy that gives us our purpose? What about the legacy we leave behind?
What about our health?

Kai Magsanoc

This must be why roads led me to Hello Health Group, where we live by our values, the first of which is Health Above All. I am also in the company of peers and superiors who encourage work-life harmony, who understand the importance of focus time and decompression.

If you are a woman or a woman-at-heart who found your way to this letter of mine — Hello, sister. Welcome. Please feel free to explore our special International Women’s Day 2022 stories just for you. Please share them with others who may need them.

Hello, sister. Welcome.

Our FREE health tools are here for you, so you can check your risk for menopause and osteoporosis.

Does cancer run in your family? Check your risk of developing breast, ovarian, or cervical cancer.

Aiming to regain your fitness this year? Calculate your BMI and BMR here.

Planning to start a family? Track your ovulation, due date, and pregnancy weight.

Once you have your results, take them to your doctor, and make informed decisions about your health. If you need to read more stories, visit our Women’s Health section where you’ll find what you need. (If you don’t, message us and we’ll be happy to provide the information you seek.)

I write this at the end of a day with several meetings, numerous work tasks, overflowing mom tasks, and an aching heart after receiving a piece of bad news. But I am calm, I am steady, I am doing everything that needs to be done. How?

Simple: I am a woman.

PS: A wise woman once said, “The last man standing is a woman.” Feel free to Google.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Kai Magsanoc Updated Mar 03
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel