Self-Care: Crucial for Success
According to the Fort Garry Women’s Resource Centre, self-care is defined as:
“Care provided ‘for you, by you.’ It’s about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them. It is taking the time to do some of the activities that nurture you. Self-care is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others.”
Why make the practice of self-care a daily habit?
Because you deserve it.
Because you need it.
Because those who rely on you need you to practice it.
And because L'Oreal knew what they were talking about when they said...
“Because you’re worth it.”
I know what you’re thinking:
It sounds selfish
It’s too self-indulgent
You’d feel guilty
YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THAT
I get it. Practicing self-care was not high on my priority list, either. In fact, there was even a time when I actively sought out tasks and additional workloads in order to avoid self-care. Why? Well, I’m sure you can relate to at least some of my reasons behind this. Aside from those listed above, I felt a sense of gratification in not having the time to practice self-care. Being “too busy” was a comfort. It made me feel needed. My priorities were centered on anything and everything but my own self. There was some pride in knowing that I was helping others, achieving career-driven goals, and that I was strong enough to do so without any form of pampering or self-preservation. There was also an odd safety in avoidance and in constantly keeping the focus outside of myself. Any of this sound familiar?
I was running myself ragged. This constant state of “zombie-mode” became a habit and in some ways, a challenge that I was addicted to overcoming each day. I was doing what I could to defy the obvious fact: I was burnt out. Of course, I was only fooling myself in trying to keep up appearances. Others took notice. My personality, energy level, physical presentation, inability to focus…there were a number of telltales that close friends and loved ones took note of. Any of this sound familiar, now?
As weird as this sounds, it takes some internal pushback. You need to fight that little voice inside that is telling you all of the <ridiculous and incorrect> reasons why you should avoid self-care. How? By reminding yourself of these <genius and correct> reasons why self-care is CRUCIAL for carrying on...
Reason #1: Self-care keeps you going strong
Taking those moments to practice self-care allows you to replenish your mind, body, and soul. Whether it's 5 minutes or 5 weeks, whatever you need to function at full capacity, take it. Otherwise, you will burn out. It's as simple as that. You will not be as effective in your daily tasks and you won't be nearly as successful in your endeavors as you would if you were refreshed and invigorated.
Reason #2: Self-care keeps you happy
If you run yourself ragged and get stuck in that "zombie-mode" rut, you will just be going through the motions. Those small daily joys that you would be feeling had you have taken those moments to practice self-care...would be completely lost. And seriously, what is the point of pushing yourself this hard if you can't enjoy the process and the outcomes?
Reason #3: Self-care keep you healthy
Mentally and physically. Studies show that taking time to take care of yourself leads to better health and longer life.
Reason #4: Self-care allows you to be the best you for those who rely on you
If you are not at your best, those who rely on you will suffer. It's as simple as that. If you are not working at full capacity and if you continue to run on fumes, you will eventually power down and those who rely on you will feel that pain. For the sake of those who need you, practice self-care!
How to practice self-care
That is the coolest part of self-care! It's totally up to you how you practice it! YOU DO YOU! As long as it:
is a positive experience and/or behavior
makes you feel good
makes you feel revitalized and joyful
does not hurt you or others
that's all you need! It can be a few moments of mindfulness throughout the day, an exotic cruise, a weekly trip to the nail saloon or massage therapist, whatever floats your boat!
Check out this nifty little mnemonic to help you think about ways to practice S.E.L.F.- C.A.R.E.
Meet people. Reconnect with old friends. Get to know peers on a new level!
Learn something new. Go to a museum. Take a course. TED Talk binge!
Forget about our to-do list. Your deadlines. Your stressors. Pamper yourself!
Go on an adventure. Try something new. Be a kid. Remember who you are!
Spark your innovative and artistic side. Build something. Cook. Paint. Act!
Look for the small joys and miracles in life. Practice mindfulness. Love it all!
Netflix&veg. Read a book. Dig your toes in the sand. Close your eyes. Breathe!
Regain strength and energy. Rejuvenate. Feel good about yourself. Be healthy!
You can always check out Rachael Kable's site for all things mindfulness and positivity!
It's up to you!
So now, how will you take action? What will you do to practice self-care? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Up next...Good Sleep Habits!!!