Could self-care be the key to success?

Self-care is often the last thing on our to-do list, but what if I told you that putting self-care on top of your to-do list will contribute to success in all areas of your life, both on a personal and a professional level? 

How will self-care help me achieve more of what I want?

Serving others from an empty cup is difficult, would you agree? If you’re a working mother, you will know exactly my point. Carving out space in your schedule for me-time, is something you might think is selfish or simply not possible. However, I see it very differently. I believe it’s an investment in your physical and mental clarity which in return will give you more energy and presence to make the right decisions – and ultimately generate more business for you too!

Wearing ourselves down is thankless, but when we take care of ourselves our body and mind will thank us plenty. The body gifts us the feeling of calm and focus, because our nervous system is more relaxed and our immune system have better work conditions too, which therefore keeps us strong. Taking care of ourselves ensures our batteries are running at full capacity, so we can go out there and take over the world. If we continuously yo-yo our energy, working hard 10-12 hours straight and then crash on the sofa day in and day out, it will inevitably take its toll on our physical and mental wellbeing.
Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive and time-consuming. Not having time or money for bi-monthly retreats, eating only organic or daily massages, doesn’t mean that you can’t do self-care. It just requires a bit of realistic planning and a good talk with your loved ones, managing your respective expectations and calendars. If you have children, this is even more important, because you are setting an example of how to take good care of themselves too. You’re teaching them how to be successful in life, by taking your own mental and physical well-being seriously.

Consider what simple things bring you joy. Maybe it’s signing up for a sailing course or taking a long candlelit, soak in the bathtub, a foot-bath with a good book can be super relaxing or for you, it could be that dancing to your favourite music alone in the living room helps you relax. Alone-time on your yoga mat, buying flowers or doing some breathing exercises could be a way to have a mental break. 
Some people love to write a journal, it could be a little grooming in the garden, or drawing or colouring, making yourself a tasty smoothie, taking a walk out in the park in-between meetings or simply taking a 10 minute break with no phone just enjoying your coffee. These are just a few examples of non-electronic, easy activities that can give you a life-boost and reconnect to yourself again.

Really, it doesn’t matter what it is, what does matter is getting those breaks from the hamster-wheel of life. Taking a step back, so that you can see more clearly how you’ve chosen to prioritise your life and to start saying NO to the things that are not energising you. Take back the reigns and give yourself a break from time to time, it’ll make you more effective at work and home.
I suggest to make a self-care list that can be used in two ways:
  1. Choose certain activities and plan them in your calendar at a certain time of day or week. I suggest you physically carve out the time slot in your calendar for this activity, so that you show yourself how much you take it seriously. It’s not just a side activity anymore, it’s part of your schedule.
  2. If at times, you feel stressed out and need to take a time out, you take out your list and choose one activity that calls to you in the moment.
“Remember regular self-care is your road to success.”

Let’s make a self-care list…

  • Consider which simple things bring you happiness
  • Write down 5-10 things along with the time they each require
  • Split the list into two columns, one with short 5-10 min activities and one with more lengthy activities
  • Remove any activities that don’t put a smile on your face
  • Remove any activities that require electronics… they’ll just drain your system!
  • Take a photo of your list and make it your phone wallpaper
If you forget to prioritise your self-care any time, don’t worry – just get back on the horse as soon as you can! It’s perfectly normal to self-sabotage or forget in the beginning.
Now, let’s create some space in your schedule
  • Revise your current schedule. What activities drain you of energy that you could either outsource or consider dropping altogether?
  • Talk with your family on how to give you space for some planned ‘me-time’. Share with them why it’s important to you and how it makes you feel when you don’t have time for yourself.
  • List the chores you want to have outsourced to your children, partner, grandparents or a third party. Remember, it’s important for children of all ages to have chores, it builds stamina and self-esteem.
  • Schedule your ‘me-time’ in your diary. Give importance to it, just as you would anything else, scheduling other things around it and saying no to anything that collides.
Tip: Do you rush to get from meeting to meeting? Ensure to create space between your meetings, so you get time to unwind before getting into a new setting.
When we don’t prioritise our energy well, it can manifest into stress, feelings of overwhelm, outbursts of anger, feeling disconnected or numb and even weight-gain or loss. None of these things will help you on your road to success, so it’s important to remember that what you choose to invest your time in will have a tremendous impact on your energy levels.
PS: Drop Netflix and Instagram too! They simply steal your time!

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