I am guilty of taking extended work hours and scheduling back to back meetings. I am guilty of feeling stressed and tired. But what I am most guilty of is the feeling of not having enough time for my family and myself.
Recently, I had a talk with an amazing woman, Dr. Jerrica Dodd, who has helped me realize one thing so obvious that we tend to ignore it: SELF CARE.
What is Self Care and Why Do We Often Disregard It?
“Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.”
We live in a society that teaches us to be consumed with success and technology. With everything we have going on with our daily lives, the common excuse is “I don’t have time for that.”
Self-care is not a selfish act. As the experts would put it, “It is not only about considering our needs; it is rather about knowing what we need to do in order to take care of ourselves, being subsequently, able to take care of others as well.”
Simply put, it’s something that we need to revitalize our soul and refuel our senses. It’s not something that costs us, rather it is something that will allow us to give more.
In my talk with Jerrica (which you can also listen to in my podcast) I listed 3 easy steps that we can all relate to so we can start our journey towards self-care:
Begin With The End in Mind
This is not simply about setting up a mission statement. This step, from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is based on imagination–”the ability to envision in your mind what you cannot at present see with your eyes.”
It’s about envisioning the life that you want to have and painting a clear picture of it in your head. Once you have it, start living it!
If you’ve always dreamed of a life where you have the time to go on vacations, why not plan a business trip and intersperse moments of relaxation with it?
As Jerrica puts it, “Instead of fashioning our lifestyles around working for the life that we want to have, why not live the life that you want to have and do your work around it?”
It’s very important to have some quiet time…some alone time.
If your mind is not where you need it to be, then you are still no good.
One way of being able to do self-care this way is by making sure that the beginning and end of your day is anchored to an activity that keeps you centered and reminded of who you are and where your faith is — It can be meditation, journaling or just simply a moment of tranquility.
As my aunt Charlotte said, “Every good book has margins.”
In order for us to be able to write the good books for our lives, we should leave enough space for delight and unexpected things. If we drag ourselves all the way to the edges, we may never get this chance.
Live Your Life
Our decisions and choices in life are often dictated by fear — fear of failure and fear of what other people will say and think. What we don’t remind ourselves of is that IT DOESN’T MATTER. Whether you fail today or whether someone says an unkind word to you, life goes on.
Celebrate your mistakes and realize that you have won, because you have learned something.
Live your life the way you envision it, it’s the only one you have. No rewinds, no cuts and fast forwards. You are here now. Look at yourself and find the determination to take care of that person staring back at you.
In life and in business, you will never reach your full potential if you don’t prioritize yourself. Your physical, mental, spiritual health all matter. THAT is self-care.
As I bid you goodbye today, I ask that you face yourself one more time and say these words: