Are you quietly dreaming about your next vacation because you’re in desperate need of a break? If so, I hear you. Modern life can take its toll on us. When we’re hustling a never-ending to-do list while juggling a ton of roles and responsibilities, it’s easy to lose yourself.
When you’re stuck on the hamster wheel to nowhere and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, it’s easy to think that a break is exactly what you need.
And you’re right -- it is.
But what’s more important is to figure out a way to prevent the burnout and exhaustion in the first place.
It’s what this blog will help you do.
Self-care can feel like an indulgence, but it’s actually an essential. Why do you think airlines inform you to put your oxygen mask on FIRST? It’s because you can’t give your all to anyone else (or anything else) unless you are nurtured first.
That’s why self-care empowers you to be, do, and have more.
Cultivate self-care practices and not only will you feel better in yourself, but you’ll be able to take on more, work though more, and give more of yourself to others.
What’s more, self-care doesn’t have to be reserved for those occasional spa breaks or vacations.
Instead, self-care is something you can (and should) do everyday - because when your cup is full, you can live your life to the full.
1. Honor self-care
First things first… what’s your mindset towards self care?
Do you believe you deserve indulgent, protected, quality time for yourself -- or are you of the mindset that this is selfish and you should put the needs of others before you?
Truth is, you have a finite amount of energy to dish out each day. If you’re all ‘give, give, give’ then this energy will quickly become depleted. Before long, you won’t have the drive, motivation, or spark to give your best to others - in fact, you may resent how other people place demands on you.
It’s why you’ve got to put your needs first.
Remember, you represent the resources you have to create a life you love - so invest in those resources.
There are TWO key ways to do this:
Firstly, figure out what you love - what practices, rituals, and ‘indulgences’ make you feel good? What leaves you inspired, energized, and rejuvenated. Is it cooking, reading, thinking, nature, swimming - or simply lingering longer over your morning cup of joe.
There’s no right or wrong answer here. It’s just what’s right for you.
With your list written out, secondly, make time for the things you love.
Don’t leave this stuff to whatever minutes you have left at the end of your busy day or week. Instead, schedule protected ME time in your journal or planner. Make yourself a priority by allocating YOU time. It’s the simplest way to put your needs first while you cultivate a mindset that honors your self-care.
Meditation is a simple, yet powerful way to use silence to quieten your mind and create distance from your repetitive thought loops and concerns.
You don’t have to sit for hours in a lotus position to feel the benefits (unless you want to!) Instead, 10 minutes of quality time can be enough to immerse yourself in calm and help you feel better about yourself and your day.
Our mindfulness challenge makes meditation incredibly accessible and easy. With daily meditations that last as little as ten minutes, you can start to make meditation a daily self-care ritual.
There’s a secondary side-effect too that feeds directly into your productivity.
Meditation also enhances your ability to concentrate - something that’s more important than ever in our fragmented, information rich age. Train your brain to focus on something like your breathing, and this skill translates directly into being able to concentrate on one task at a time.
3. Walking in nature
Nature can be your greatest teacher - if you let it. Observing how flowers open, how trees bed down roots, and how water flows gives you clues as to how you can live your life in deeper harmony.
Walking in nature is restorative too. Getting out into the wild and breathing in plenty of fresh air can help blow away the cobwebs and give you a new perspective on life (and your problems). Walk barefoot on the sand, feel the grass underfoot in the forest. Marvel at the mountains, the lakes, and the rivers - whatever is close to you.
And that’s not to mention the benefits of exercise and movement for your health and wellbeing. Raising your heartbeat and breaking into a sweat helps to make your body stronger -- so you can be more resilient in the face of everything else that life throws at you.
4. Complementary therapies
We hold a lot of tension and fatigue in our bodies - especially if we’re stressed or work a sedentary job. It’s the modern lifestyle. We sit hunched over our laptops, computers, or phones for hours at a time and wonder why we get headaches, back pains, and shoulder tension.
It’s why therapies such as massage, reflexology, and aromatherapy can add so much to your self care routines.
These treatments help us connect back to our body’s and feel better in our skin. Great for stress relief and for alleviating tired and tense muscles, complementary therapies rejuvenate us in a more natural way.
Proven to have plenty of physical and emotional health benefits, there’s arguably nothing better than feeling experienced hands working away at those knots and tight spots.
As Hippocrates said, “The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and a scented massage every day.”
Busy, stressful lives lead to overactive minds.
Yup, each day you have countless thoughts - many of which are repetitive thought loops. When your head is full, and the thoughts are racing around, it’s hard to get perspective. Instead, you can worry unnecessarily as stress builds up.
Journaling is a great way to create space in your mind because it helps to empty your head and process your thoughts. When your head is clear, it’s a LOT easier to concentrate on your to-do list -- and get stuff done quicker.
Best of all, this is a practice you can make bespoke to you. For example:
Figure out what works for you, and make it a regular practice.
Thanks to our busy lives, self care needs to be non-negotiable, not something that waits until vacations and weekends.
It’s a simple, yet powerful practice that will help you get more done without burning out - so you can create a life you love.
What self-care rituals are non-negotiables in your life? What practices are you committed to scheduling into your life after reading this article? Take some time to consider this today.