Self Care is an Accelerant to Success
It’s February, the month of love - and what are you doing to love yourself? When we think of who to show our love to, we’re often at the bottom of the list. If you are like most of my clients, you have a long list of to-do’s for work, for family, for your partner. By the time you get to the end of your day there is just nothing left for you. So, you go to bed drained and get up the next day to do it all over again ad infinitum.
Being replenished and more fulfilled gives you the energy you need to accelerate your own success. Whenever we are in this daily loop of caring for others and forgetting about our own needs, we can only muster enough energy to maintain the status-quo. Forget about lofty goals or improving on anything.
On top of that, running on empty isn’t sustainable and it isn’t a very fulfilling way to spend our limited amount of time on this earth. Hopefully the pandemic put this in perspective for you. More people added self-care back into their schedules during that time. Have you kept it up?
Here are some things successful women in leadership do for self-care, and probably part of why they are successful!
This may sound like a chore to some of us – adding in a workout routine on top of everything else! But really, staying active can look like adding a walk into your day or doing some gardening on the weekend.
Good nutrition is self-care. Quick and easy food can substitute healthy meals when we don’t have time for anything other than take-out or even forgot to eat. If our bodies aren’t nourished, we can’t function optimally
Set goals and measure how many activities and habits in your life actually fuel them to determine how much importance you are putting on them. If you want to set aside an hour twice a week to exercise and meditate, take note of how often you keep do it and what is helping or hindering your ability to.
This one may seem like a no brainer, but self-care shouldn’t be a chore! Find things that bring you joy and make you smile.
Learn something new
Not only does this keep your mind active, but it’s also extremely rewarding! Start learning a new language, or take a dance class, or try out some new recipes online. Being a beginner at something can be refreshing and liberating.
Connect with people who make you feel good about you
Set aside time for people in your life that you enjoy and bring out the best in you. Our family and friends may be busy too, but positive relationships are key to our wellbeing.
Getting 7-9 hours of sleep is key to physical and mental health. It’s easier said than done for a lot of us, especially if you are already stressed out. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, really investigate the reasons why and see what solutions there are.
Put your smartphone away before bed. Plug it in away from you when you don’t need it. Dedicate time no screen time and focus on other activities.
How to wedge time for you into your already busy schedule
"Setting boundaries may not be as enticing as a spa day, but it’s a thousand times more helpful. Setting boundaries looks like saying “no” to things that you have every right to say no to."
You can organize self-care activities that combine physical wellbeing and emotional wellbeing. For example, takin a class with your friends, walking in nature with your partner or taking your kids to the pool. Doing activities with a buddy can also make it easier to keep you accountable and maintain self-care habits in your routine.
It is important that when you start integrating more self-care habits into your schedule that you set boundaries and block time. If you don’t do these two things from the get-go, you will find your routine slowly slipping away.
Setting boundaries may not be as enticing as a spa day, but it’s a thousand times more helpful. Setting boundaries looks like saying “no” to things that you have every right to say no to. This requires an attitude that you do not need to prove anything, people please, or bend over backwards. Sort out what your values and priorities are to find where your hard and soft boundaries lie.
As for block time for self-care, you need to keep these time slots untouchable like you would with your kid’s dental appointment. It’s one thing to intend to do self-care, a whole other thing to actually find the time to do it. So many women have said they get up 15 minutes before their kids or partner to exercise. Block it in your calendar and stick to it.
The time commitment doesn’t have to be huge. It can be 10-minute breaks to walk around your office every few hours. Movement feeds our brains and shifts our perspectives. Adding a stretch or 2 pushups several times a day will have an amazing impact on your overall health and your success in everything you do. I have found a 5-minute meditation to start the day leads to me having a markedly better day!
We are not booked back-to-back every single day (if you are, then you need to set some time boundaries, please!) and if we conscientiously set aside time in our schedule to do self-care we can bring it into our routine and make it a habit.
Keeping your priorities straight; your wellbeing MATTERS!
Taking care of our wellbeing allows us to accomplish so much more and enjoy more of what we do. This is the opposite of how we prioritize our time; we feel that we are just so busy that we couldn’t possibly take time for ourselves. Without self-care our anxiety, fatigue, depression increase and our energy, motivation, and happiness decrease. And the fact is, we do have time for ourselves, it just takes effort to set it up in the beginning. With more energy and pep in our step we build stronger relationships, feel more confident in ourselves, and recover quickly from setbacks. The fact is, self-care improves our results, which accelerates our success.