Whether you’re a parent who feels stretched for time and energy or the executive under immense pressure to perform with increasingly limited resources, self-care is something I like to emphasize to my clients.
What is self-care?
For me, self-care is all about bringing yourself back to equilibrium. Humans are not meant to be stressed over long periods of time but in our busy city life, downtime is a luxury many cannot afford (or choose) and this leads to long-term health consequences. It is not uncommon in my practice to have to re-educate clients on what it is to be relaxed, because their high tolerance for sleep deprivation and mental/emotional/physical pain is considered a norm.
Why is it important?
Ultimately, we work the best when we are in balance. We are more creative, more alert, happier. As a parent, if you don’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of your children. What versions of self-care would you like to model for them? As the boss, if you don’t take care of yourself, how can you work efficiently and effectively at work? How can you enjoy the fruits of your labour if you are burnt out?
Your external self is a reflection of your inner self and doing something for one will affect the other. Take the time to see the dentist, your gynaecologist, get a haircut, go to bed early. It might surprise you how making a little effort to do something good for yourself could make you feel.
Turn your devices off for a few minutes to breath, observe your environment, be present. Perhaps think about creating a space to relax at home so that you can recharge. Ask yourself, what are you thankful for in your life? What inspires you?
Check-in on the words you feed yourself with every day. Are they supportive or discouraging? Seek out supportive relationships both inside and outside of the workplace. It might involve learning to create personal boundaries or seeking professional help.
I think it's important to keep learning and challenging yourself in order to keep life interesting and to continue to grow. How about picking up a new hobby, reading a book, making a new friend?