In a society where no one wears just one “hat” and people are continually pushed for constant productivity, taking the time to practice self-care has never been more important.
It’s a complete irony, then, that most people protest at the idea because they don’t feel they have enough time in their busy schedules for self-care.
As a single mom with a baby and a business and no child care (thanks, pandemic!), I’m continually inundated with self-care tips by well-meaning friends and family members. While I do greatly appreciate the love behind the suggestions, their recommendations tend to be woefully unrealistic.
Take a long bath? Sit by myself with some tea? Meditate in a quiet room for half an hour? Ha! My 11-month-old son is a walking, climbing, exploring giggle machine. As nice as it would be, this mama certainly isn’t sneaking away for a steamy soak anytime soon. And when he’s napping? Well, that’s when the other magic happens, such as running a household and growing a business.
That being said, I do believe whole-heartedly in the importance of self-care. Here are 5 ways I’ve incorporated self-care into my routine (sans face masks and bubbles).
1. Practice positive self-talk
Self-care is so much more than something you do for an hour or two each week. Self-care is a way of life and includes how you relate to yourself throughout the day with your inner dialogue.
Self-talk can be positive or negative. Focusing on increasing your positive self-talk can help reduce stress and improve your overall quality of life. Take a moment and assess your inner dialogue. Are you more negative or positive? What situations bring out the negative side? What can you do to avoid those situations or alter the inner dialogue to be more positive?
I’ve found that pausing and being intentional about what I was thinking and feeling towards myself in stressful situations, surrounding myself with positive people, and strategically placing some choice affirmations around the house has gone a long way towards building a habit of positive self-talk and decreasing my stress.
2. Laugh often
Cat videos, TikTok stunts, a comedy special on Netflix – take time to do whatever it takes to get you giggling. According to HelpGuide, laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts your mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress (and, as an added bonus, it burns calories, too!).
Long ago, I developed a trick of looking at less-than-desirable circumstances through the lens of a TV sitcom (think Ross’ spray tan disaster). Now I’m able to laugh during times that normally would have prompted me to hide in my closet with a box of PopTarts.
3. Give it (and yourself) a rest
As entrepreneurs, we’re busy. As moms, we’re even busier. Multitasking is more than a skill, it’s a survival technique. But a key component to self-care (and to success in general) is the need to embrace the fact that sometimes the best way to get ahead is to stop.
For example, a lot of times I’ll continue to work after I put my baby to bed. But there are also times when I know I’m too mentally/emotionally/physically exhausted to be very productive and I curl up in bed with a book or catch up on a show instead.
There can be a lot of guilt associated with taking that time to do “nothing,” or maybe even a feeling of laziness or a sense of missing out on opportunities. But, in reality, taking a moment to stop the continual hustle and reset allows us to be more productive the rest of the time.
4. Create a “Hype File”
Often, we get so caught up in keeping up with all of our tasks that we forget to celebrate our accomplishments.
A Hype File is a place for you to write down and store screenshots, emails, texts, etc. that highlight and represent your accomplishments.
If you got a glowing review, put it in your Hype File! Get a compliment on your outfit? Put it in your Hype File! Get the kiddos to eat their veggies? Hype File!
Then when you’re feeling down, you can take a glance at your Hype File and see immediate proof of how amazing you are and how much you accomplish each and every day.
5. Take small, immediate actions
I have three questions for you:
- How do you want to feel each day?
- What makes you feel that way?
- What small, immediate changes can you make to feel that way daily?
For example, let’s say you want to feel luxurious on a daily basis. Going on a spa weekend makes you feel luxurious. But, that’s not generally something you can do often, so what can you take from a spa weekend to add to your daily routine? Maybe you could buy some fluffy spa-quality towels, a calming scented candle for your desk, and make a pitcher of cucumber lemon water to drink throughout the day.
Or, if you want to feel successful, you could redecorate your workspace and buy a guided daily planner and a special pen to use.
These small acts that can be implemented immediately will help you be intentional about how you want to feel.
When it comes down to it, self-care is all about you. What works for someone else might not work for you, but that’s the beauty of self-care. While bubble baths and yoga classes most definitely have their time and place, self-care in essence is really more about developing an intentional relationship with yourself and showing up for yourself with the kindness and love you share with others throughout the day.
Short Article Review
- In a society where no one wears just one “hat” and people are continually pushed for constant productivity, taking the time to practice self-care has never been more important.
- Self-care is a way of life and includes how you relate to yourself throughout the day with your inner dialogue.
- Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts your mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress.
- A key component to self-care (and to success in general) is the need to embrace the fact that sometimes the best way to get ahead is to stop.
- A Hype File is a place for you to write down and store screenshots, emails, texts, etc. that highlight and represent your accomplishments.
- Small acts that can be implemented immediately will help you be intentional about how you want to feel.
The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal, tax, investment, financial, medical or other advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed professional regarding any questions you may have.
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