If you struggle with making self-care a priority, you’re not alone
Many people find it difficult to put their well-being ahead of other important responsibilities.
We’ve all been there – overwhelmed at work, chores piling up at home, a calendar bursting at the seams. Before you know it, you’re skipping lunch to get things done, grabbing junk food on the way to your kid’s appointments, and burning the midnight oil to get the laundry finished. In the midst of all the chaos, it can seem completely selfish to take time for yourself.
The reality is that self-care is anything but selfish. It may not seem practical to set aside time for your needs, and in the short-term, it may not make much of a difference. However, over time, lack of self-care can lead to some pretty serious consequences.
Long-term success depends on you being physically, emotionally, and mentally strong enough to tackle life through the years. Here’s why!
Believe it or not, passion for your work can turn into burnout if you’re not careful. Those of us who love our work might have no trouble putting in overtime and weekend work, but we should be mindful about the amount of time and energy we’re putting in over the years.
Failing to take appropriate rest puts us at risk of getting worn down. Before you know it, the job you love can become a miserable grind if you aren’t strategic about your time and emotional investment.
So, take that annual vacation. Let yourself use a sick day if you’re not feeling well. Take the time that is allotted to you for yourself, and you’ll be amazed at how refreshed you feel. You’ll come back stronger and ready to face the workweek’s challenges instead of feeling totally drained.
There are some serious health benefits to self-care. In addition to stress management and mental health, certain methods of self-care have been linked to the following physical benefits:
Immunity boost which results in few colds, flus, etc.
Mitigation of ailments such as stiff joints and poor posture
Eases habits of overwork and habitual stress
Mental clarity and work performance
In addition to the physical health benefits, self-care can give you a tangible improvement in mental clarity and work productivity.
And, you don’t have to make a big production of self-care to get these benefits. In fact, the opposite is true. Studies show that short, refreshing breaks can have a big impact on your attention span and cognitive functioning.
So, give yourself a lunch break or enough time to stretch your legs and grab a coffee. Even this small break can let you come back with enough clarity to face your work challenges head-on.
More to give to those you love
Finally, self-care gives us the ability to do what’s most important – spend time with our loved ones. Whether it’s your children, your spouse, your friends, or your community, if your cup is empty, you have nothing to give.
When you take care of yourself, you give yourself the energy and joy that’s needed to care for other people. When you fill your own cup with health, rest, and fun, you can in turn share those things with the people you care about.
So, don’t think of self-care as being selfish. Think of it as the bare minimum that you need to bring happiness and light to those around you.
A few practical ideas for easy self-care
Self-care isn’t all bubble baths and nail polish – though that’s sometimes what you might see recommended the most. In reality, self-care is different for everybody. While some people do enjoy little grooming luxuries, the most important thing is for you to identify what your basic needs are for optimum functionality.
Start by choosing the ways you can give your body the best possible fuel. Focus on local, fresh foods that bring nourishment to your body.
Next, take a look at your sleeping habits. Most of us don’t get enough sleep, and this alone can really affect your mood and efficiency. Make sleep a priority and watch your mental and physical state improve.
Protect your schedule. None of us like saying the word, “no,” but sometimes that’s exactly what you need. If you feel burdened by your many commitments, make it a habit to start saying “I will have to look at my calendar and get back to you,” in response to all requests.
Don’t just say, “yes,” in the moment. Protect your time and only go back and accept invitations that you truly want to participate in. This can leave you with more time for the things that matter – close friends, family time, and time for yourself.
Self-care can make you strong
Use these practical self-care tips to keep yourself strong and ready to face your life in the long run. This practice can prevent burnout, improve your health, and boost your productivity.
If you would like to learn how to become unstoppable like Gigi and find out how to get beyond your limits and fears to really start living with fulfillment, contact her today.