Focusing on building my business for many years has taught me the important role that self care plays in my life. I have also seen the impact of either prioritizing or denying the need for self care in the lives of my clients, and want to share some ways you can incorporate self care practices into your life to support your personal and professional wellbeing.
Self care is anything we do to support our mental, emotional, or physical health. It helps us maintain balance and is increasingly important the bigger the game you play and the more that others rely on you. Just like the advice on an airplane to put your own oxygen mask, if you don’t take care of yourself first, you will be less able to take care of and support others. One way to tell if a practice or behavior is self care is whether it’s nurtures or depletes you.
Some of the rituals and habits I have worked on practicing to support balance in my life include prioritizing my nutrition, time for exercise, and time for myself. I have found that taking time for myself is critical. If you don’t regularly take time for yourself, I’d recommend trying it out! Whether it’s a night to yourself, or even a lunch (eating in front of your computer does not count!), give it a shot and see how it feels to regularly take time to give yourself the time and space to recharge.
And speaking of lunch, I have also learned the importance of keeping meal breaks on the calendar. I learned this the hard way when I had an assistant who, if I didn’t block time to eat lunch, would book my entire day without time to eat. This was a major learning experience! Not only do I make meal breaks a priority during my workday, but I also prioritize what I am actually eating and strive to eat as nutritiously as possible. I notice a huge impact on my mood, energy, and focus as a result.
Another small but impactful habit I practice is going for short walks throughout the day. They allow me the time and space to rest my brain and move my body. It’s surprisingly refreshing! (Like a meal break, I also recommend blocking time for these short breaks on the calendar.)
Leaving work at the office is another habit I practice regularly. This allows me to unwind on my way home from work and over dinner. I don’t use my evening at home to “catch up” on email or overdue tasks. My work stays at the office.
This is not to say I think working from home is a bad thing! The upside to our modern ability to “work anywhere” via smartphones and laptops can provide flexibility and freedom, however the downside is that it can be easy for work to creep into areas of our lives it shouldn’t, like on vacation or on the couch with our families. Blurred boundaries between work and personal lives means you’re always “on” and you never have the chance to recharge. It is important to respect the dedicated spaces that allow you to separate different areas of your life and give yourself the rest and recovery time that you need to be at your best. Working at home can provide a relaxing environment for a change outside the office, though attention should be paid to maintain your boundary about when you will wrap up your day and shift gears to be present for your personal life.
I invite you to ask yourself: what regular self care practices or habits would help you feel your best?
For more on the importance of boundaries, check out this blog. If you’d like support implementing changes to support your energy management, I would like to speak with you. Email me today: firstname.lastname@example.org.