Let’s start with one thing – self-care is not selfish. It’s one of the best preventative wellness strategies you can ever find – why? Burnout can happen – whether you are running your own life, a family or a movement, just as you have to take care of a car so it doesn’t break down, you have to take care of your own vehicle, which is created to take you where you want to go…if you look after it!
So what’s gets in our way?
- Do you ever feel like you’re always putting other people’s demands or agendas ahead of your own?
- Taking care of others before you take care of yourself – it’s hard to say NO!
- It’s also hard to say YES, to prioritize time for yourself
- Also not recognizing what you need to feel energized.
First, understand that this matters. You don’t want to wait for a health scare to realize that you are running yourself into the ground. Anxiety is rising, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Today we’ll go through 5 ways to power up with self-care, and the good news is that this is all doable. Small shifts can and will make big changes. Let’s jump in:
1. Pay attention to the clues – we live in a world where so many people are overscheduled – family responsibilities, work responsibilities, social obligations, the pressure to be productive. Your body often sends you signals even before your mind gets it. Listen to your BODY – do you have a knot in your stomach, an ache in your head, tension in your back, insomnia? Are you pouring your energy into things that make you feel tenser? Your body is the first to let you know if you pay attention.
2. Learn to say NO – it gets easier with practice. For example: “I’d like to be able to help, but I have made a commitment and I have to honor it.” Even if that commitment is a just placeholder in your calendar. Remember to put your self-care times in your calendar, otherwise, your time will disappear. This is just as important as a doctor’s appointment, in fact, it will keep you healthier and happier with more energy to help others later.
3. Now that you are clearing some time, what will give you the greatest boost in energy? You
- Movement and exercise – how many times do you exercise or do deliberate movement a week – write the numbers here: once a week, twice a week, 3x week, 4x, 5 times, 6?? Exercise releases stress makes you physically stronger and clears your mind. Studies have shown that it reduces depression – it is powerful.
- Sleep – unless you have enough sleep you are carrying forward stress chemicals in your brain from one day into the next – having good sleep hygiene gives you a clean slate. Give yourself some time to wind down at night – consider a relaxing nighttime routine.
- Nutrition – are you taking in foods that energize you or that promote inflammation? What is your favorite vegetable? Instead of gobbling down fast food between errands, take a breath, savor the flavors, enjoy a healthy meal. And don’t look at your phone!
4. Soul Food – what are you feeding your soul? We are spirits in physical bodies – how are you taking care of that part of you? What is your favorite recharging spiritual practice?
Nature, meditation, yoga, reading inspiring texts? Journaling is a way for you to tap into that wise part of yourself for guidance.
5. Healthy Connections – be conscious of the people and the activities that give you energy and those that drain you. Plan (but do not overschedule) times to connect with friends or family who support your dreams, and are looking out for you. Who in your life supports your thriving – who are you most grateful for today?
Randy Taran is the Founder and CEO of Project Happiness, a global organization with a loyal following of 2.5 million people. A sought after speaker and expert in emotional resilience, she reveals in her book and courses how all emotions, even the difficult ones, can be fuel to create a life you love. Order a copy of Emotional Advantage today!