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“Why Should I Care About Self Care?”

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WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT SELF CARE?

Close your eyes for a minute and picture this:

You’re at work.

Your day is packed with meetings back to back til 5, plus there are other projects you need to keep moving forward too.

You have a laundry list of chores that need to get done around your house, and errands that need to get run.

So how do you fit ALL of this into your day? You probably stay up late, you skip lunch, you skip the gym, and you can’t remember the last time you drank water.

Ok you can open your eyes.

How great would it be to put in just a small amount of effort to feel relaxed and recharged, lighter and refreshed, and filled with more than enough energy to effortlessly get through your day?

When was the last time you felt that way? Can you even remember?

When we’re overloaded with a million things to check off our list on a daily basis, self care is usually the first thing to go. What is “self care” though? If you asked me a couple years ago, I would have said self care is bubble baths, massages, and manicures. Like pampering yourself with luxury things. While yes those can be forms of self care, it’s actually MUCH more basic and necessary than that.

Self care is really just a few basic habits that are crucial to keep you on your A game. It’s about identifying your own needs and doing things regularly to fulfill those needs, to keep your battery charged, to help you cruise through the day physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

Some self care examples: getting 8 hours of sleep, eating nutritious foods, staying hydrated, and moving your body through exercise.

To the busy person though, this seems like a ‘nice to have’ vs. a reality.

I think women especially spend much of their lives putting the wants and needs of others ahead of their own – like their partners, children, pets, family, friends, employers and employees, plus those things that need to get done like housework and errands. They focus the majority of their time, energy, and attention on helping and caring for others, and tend to naturally – as a result – put their own needs on the back burner because of this. There isn’t much time left for caring for themselves.

Women who neglect their own needs and forget to nurture themselves often become unhappy, have low self-esteem feel stressed all the time, overwhelmed, run down, and even some resentment. It’s like “running on empty” when we don’t take the time to re-fuel. Have you ever felt that way?

I bet you even know an example that proves if you take a little time to take care of yourself, you can take care of other things even better. The example I’m referring to is on an airplane. If an oxygen mask drops in front of you, what do you do? The rule is to put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else.

Only when we first help ourselves can we effectively help others, and be happier and more productive in general. It’s NOT a luxury, or a nice to have, it’s a necessity. It’s a ‘schedule your self care activities into your calendar before scheduling anything else’ type of importance. If you keep pushing yourself to the limit and ultimately snap, what good can you do from that state?

Caring for yourself is one of the most important things you can do for yourself, even though it’s also one of the easiest things to forget.

Here’s what I’d like you to do to start stepping up your self care. Keep in mind everyone’s approach will be different, but it comes down to what you need to do on a regular basis so you can stay happy and healthy, keep your battery charged, and enjoy life to the fullest:

ACTIVITY:

Start by thinking about your physical well-being, your emotional well-being, and your psychological well-being. For each of those 3 categories, pick one activity you can write into your schedule to build a habit with.

For example, for physical well-being you can get 8 hours of sleep a night or commit to cooking more meals or get to the gym 4 days a week. For emotional well-being, you can write in your journal every morning or spend more time with friends. For psychological well-being, you can make time for relaxation – maybe meditate 5 minutes a day, start a non-work related hobby, or shut your work emails off when you leave the building.

Really schedule these things into your calendar, block off time to dedicate to them. You’re way more likely to follow through with them if they’re in writing.

An important piece of this is to fill your self care plan with activities you enjoy and that support your well-being. Prioritizing everyone else in your life may seem honorable, but the reality is, neglecting yourself isn’t good for anyone. Making yourself a priority and giving your body and mind what it needs to function at a high level is not selfish, it’s necessary.

>> Comment below and let me know something you’re going to commit to doing regularly for your self care!

 

 

 

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