Whatever your calling may be, pursuing it can leave you with around-the-clock responsibilities that can cause you to neglect yourself in order to make sure everything (including others’ needs) is taken care of or running on schedule. Keeping others satisfied is valuable, no doubt, but striving to be everything to everyone at the peril of your physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing benefits no one — least of all you.
The truth is that to do the most you can for the important people in your life AND be the best you, you have to take the time to take care of yourself.
Here are a few tips to help incorporate self-care into your routines and ensure a healthy, balanced life where you can be at your best every day.
- Put self-care on your schedule
Self-care will look different for everyone, depending on what works to keep you in touch with yourself and meeting your own needs. No matter how you go about it, your methods of self-care won’t benefit you much if you don’t set aside time for yourself. Even if you don’t have a clear picture of what will keep you healthy, happy, and productive, scheduling some “me time” should be the first step toward figuring this out.
- Know when to say no
This is a tough one for many of us, and understandably so, but if you find it difficult to say no, taking care of yourself will inevitably be an area you’ll neglect. Especially when saying yes directly compromises time set aside for self-care, you have a right and responsibility to know when to say no. Remember that neglecting self-care negatively affects you and the people you care about.
- Take care of that beautiful bod!
Each of us wants to look and feel great, and we all know we’re at our best when we’re healthy and confident. Eating right (most of the time), exercise, and sunshine are vital if we want to realize all our physical potential. There are a thousand ways to do this; the important thing is making time and building healthy living into your routines. From cooking at home to yoga to mountain climbing, there are fun and viable options for all of us to live healthier and get more from life.
- Don’t forget to socialize
As busy as we are, it’s easy to neglect getting out and interacting with others — how many times have you just been too busy to grab a drink after work? Humans are social animals, and social contact is necessary not only for making us well-rounded and interesting, but it’s absolutely vital for psychological and spiritual wellbeing. Make time to get out and meet new people, and when you meet someone especially engaging or interesting, you may even gain a friend or a valuable contact.
- Create, create, create
Just like we need contact with others and good health, we need to express ourselves creatively. Lots of us don’t do this because maybe we don’t see ourselves as “creative types,” but creativity is not the exclusive realm of poets and painters. If you have a creative outlet you enjoy, make time to do whatever that is. If you don’t, this is a great opportunity to explore the world around you! Take a pottery class, start crafting or baking or try your hand at watercolors, or maybe learn to play the bass and start a band. You can do whatever makes you happy and receive guaranteed rewards.
- Accentuate the positive
A common trait among successful women is the ability to abandon negativity. Dwelling on negative thoughts about the past, future, or present makes us unhappy and less productive, to the detriment of everything we value. A good way to stay positive is to make time for gratitude, and maybe even keep a gratitude journal to refer to when you need perspective. Spend time with positive people and avoid those who tend to drag you down (when you can).
- Reward yourself for self-care
This may seem odd at first glance; you might be asking, “Isn’t being healthy, happy, and productive the reward for self-care?” It certainly is, but smaller rewards along the way can be great motivators, especially when the rewards themselves help you to be the best you. Maybe say to yourself, “If I can stick to my plan to set aside x amount of time for self-care this month, I’ll reward myself with a spa day.” Not only do you have a better month, but who doesn’t love a spa day?
- Flex your brain
You know you got it, so use it! Do you love sudoku or crosswords? Do you have a friend you can always count on for stimulating conversation? Would you like to learn Russian? Make time to use your brain for fun, whatever that may be for you. It’s a fact that using it does prevent losing it, and it’s also true that lots of intellectual activities benefit mental acuity and help prevent illnesses like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
- Don’t fall prey to “busyness”
We all know the feeling: we find ourselves with seemingly little or nothing to do, and we hear a panicked voice urging us to find something, anything that needs doing. This is a huge hindrance to wellbeing, and you must stop listening to that voice. Eventually, it will fade, and you’ll find yourself much more in control of your life and wellbeing. Until then, consider blocking these negative thoughts with a little time to yourself for meditation, music, or maybe a brisk walk to clear your mind.
- Keep your spirit healthy
Spiritual wellbeing is another thing that means lots of different things to different people, but each of us needs to do what’s best to maintain her spiritual wellbeing. If your spirit isn’t thriving, neither will you. Whether it’s meditation, prayer, reading philosophy, volunteering, or communing with nature, there are things we all must do to live our best lives that involve taking good care of our souls and living ethically.
Self-care is one of the keys to success, and taking time to make sure your own needs are met goes a long way toward being the passionate dynamo you truly are, day in and day out. It’s also important to have a supportive community along the way to make things easier and help keep you from running into dead ends with trial and error. Contact us at Fierce Leaders today to learn how we can help you SAY YES TO YOURSELF AND YOUR BUSINESS with mentorship, training, education, and community.