Whether you are looking to build your confidence, manage work stress, or to simply practice positive self-talk, self care lies at the heart of all that you do (yes, ALL).
In order to stay positive, it’s important to take care of yourself!
For example, how much time do you give yourself each week to become conscious of your happiness? To appreciate your surroundings? To meditate? To see where you are in life?
Some people start their day with a moment ‘for themselves’ before moving on to their work day. Others prefer to take a specific moment in their day or week to focus on what is good for them.
Some do it alone, others need a sounding board and prefer to use a life and performance coach – there is no right or wrong way!
In fact, the only limit is you, your imagination, and your desire to do something for yourself.
It starts with this: How much time, if any, are you assigning for the simple reason of taking care of yourself?
And before you think about it, a ‘To Do’ list is NOT self care! Sure, it’s helpful and helps to maintain structure in our lives, but we’re talking about the small, regular actions which fill your personal, emotional and mental cup from the inside out. These actions aren’t done with the intention to simply achieve something, but with the intention of feeling rejuvenated and fulfilled.
If you can’t pinpoint the ways in which you may want to, or might already be taking care of yourself, you might want to ask yourself these questions:
What do you enjoy?
As far as work stress solutions go, down time in any capacity is essential for self care. Everyone knows that feeling joyful is a key ingredient for stress release, so this is a good place to start.
What can you control?
Could you get a little bit more sleep by turning off the TV half an hour earlier each night? See if there is something that is simple, but is within your control to make a big difference to your wellbeing.
What do you need help with?
Self care involves being able to delegate outwards.
It is important to admit that when you’re trying to manage stress effectively, you might find you can’t take even five minutes out of your day for yourself.
If this is the case, see if there is something that you can delegate. For example, can you organise a kids-swap with a neighbour, for an hour after school each week? Maybe you can look at the division of household tasks between you and your partner?
The old adage, ‘It takes a village’, really applies here!
Why we put self care last?
With all this said, putting a self care practice into place is not always easy. There are all sorts of reasons for this, from having low energy to dealing with too much pressure at work.
Here’s the thing - the very reasons you can’t manage to take care of yourself are the same reasons that you need to!
So why is me-time the first thing to fall off your list of priorities, even though it makes everything else we need to do that much easier?
When work is stressful, or your mental health feels vulnerable, it is your commitment to self care that acts as your support, your suit of armour, and your resilience to these difficulties.
If your never-ending list of work-related tasks are all that take up your calendar, then one thing to make sure you prioritise yourself is to schedule this time alongside everything else. Commit to it with the same sense of responsibility!
Use a different coloured pen (or a digital scheduling system like most people in this century) to factor in your time for self care, and know that in doing so, you will be increasing the productivity of everything else by taking that time.
It is in the small, daily actions that we are able to see results and positive change occur the most quickly. So see what happens when you make five minutes for the start of your day to practise self care.
A SMART Reminder
It’s important to start with an achievable commitment, and that any change you want to make is manageable and sustainable. SMART is an acronym that defines a good goal as being:
Where do I start with Self Care?
The most important thing is that you find something that works for you, your lifestyle, preferences, and of course, your goals.
If you need more rest, then adding a workout to your self care routine is probably not what you need! Instead you could opt to subscribe to a meal-kit three days per week so that you can increase diversity in your diet without needing to add a trip to the supermarket, for example.
Here are some ideas to help you get the ball rolling:
It’s all up to you!
The ball is in your court in the end, and it’s up to you to make the choice to take charge of your life and (re)become the master of your emotions and your mental health through action! So, what kind of positive mindset do you want to have? What transformation do you wish to see? Do you need a push? Remember, whilst the first step must come from you, you don’t need to be alone.
Book a 30-minute free call and allow your own transformation to happen.
Jérôme de Clarens