Self-care isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. In our fast paced lives, it’s important that we practice self-care as often as we can. We spend our lives giving our time and energy to others so why are we not giving back to ourselves?
Self-care is a way to bridge that gap. It gives you space to do something for you. It’s about doing something that makes you feel good and helps you to recharge. We cannot give from an empty cup and investing in yourself and a self-care routine is a way to refill your cup so you can show up each day with more vitality.
Allocate time in your day to take care of you. You deserve to show yourself some love, too often we get caught up in helping others that we begin to neglect ourselves. At first, it doesn’t seem like a big deal but after months or even years of self-neglect, the cracks begin to show. You need to take care of yourself first so you can bring your A game to life and enrich the lives of others. If you aren’t performing at your peak, you notice it, especially when you’ve seen what you’re capable of when you’re at the top of your game. Others will also notice when you’re on and off your game, even if some may not bring it to your attention.
We have been conditioned to view self-care as a selfish ritual but this couldn’t be further from the truth. When we are well rested, energised and content, we give ourselves the chance to operate at our greatest potential. We can make informed decisions, be more compassionate and giving because we have more to give. When your tank is full, you can go the extra mile without fear of burning out.
While it’s possible to get through a day with minimal sleep or when you’re feeling mediocre, you perform differently. You may intend to perform at 100% but if you’re sleep deprived, distracted and/or in a non-productive mood, you will spend more energy on trying to be focused than you will on performing at your best. You tend to find ways of surviving the day rather than performing at your best.
Compare your performance output, energy levels and mood to when you’re well rested and the outcomes speak for themselves. You are able to put more energy into what you are working on, life feels easier, you may enter in to a state of flow and you can run the day and be in control compared to trying simply trying to get through the day as best you can.
On days where you are struggling or feel emotionally or physically burnt out, take time to take care of yourself. We can only run on empty for so long and if you notice yourself getting worn out, try to be proactive rather than reactive. It’s easier to avoid burning out than it is to recover from it. If you’re having a tough day, think of something to do to cheer yourself up- even if it’s only a few minutes.
Just like when we adapt to a high stress lifestyle, we don’t notice it after a while because that has become our new baseline. We become immune to our performance and how feel because it is our new benchmark. We forget how we felt and how we performed prior to that. Once you become aware of the differences, you can begin to break the bit by challenging yourself to lift your performance. Your mind is a muscle and with daily workouts, you can begin to improve your mental clarity, inner self and outward productivity. So if feeling stressed, tired and overworked has become your normal state of being, you may want to make a change and monitor your progress, seek feedback from others and journal about how you feel each day.
That way, when the lure of reverting into your old ways, you can move past these thoughts and continue fostering new self-care habits. Taking care of others begins with taking care of you. It may seem selfless to put others before you but it’s detrimental to yourself in the long run.
I’d love to hear what your self-care strategies are in the comments below.