These days, women seem to be challenged to be ‘super women’ who can handle it all. A high-flying career, the appropriate 2.5 kids with the associated ‘soccer mum’ status as well as maintaining the domestic duties all whilst keeping yourself in perfect shape and without a smudge to your makeup or a hair out of place. And you can add into that the pressure of being an entrepreneur so self care is usually at the bottom of everyone’s list of things to do!
Whilst all that sounds fantastic if you could actually maintain it; it’s burning you out and it’s important to remember that it’s okay to ask for help and it’s okay to take time out for yourself. If you’re sick, run-down or just plain exhausted you can’t help anyone else and you can’t be as productive as you need to be in your business so you’re not reaching your full potential each day. By making self care important, making time for yourself and putting your own needs first sometimes, you’ll be amazed at how much difference it can make to your output every day.
Try incorporating the below 4 self care tips into your life and see how much better you feel. Maybe you try 1 self care tip each month to give yourself time to make them each a habit and then see how different your life is in 6 months from now.
Schedule Time for Yourself Daily
Yes, I know – the problem is that there isn’t enough time in the day already, so how are you meant to schedule time for yourself every . single . day? Think about all the things you have going on right now. How is your time spent each day? Find at least 1 thing (even more is better) that you can let go of or that you can delegate to someone else and then use that time to dedicate purely to yourself. You can read, garden, take a bath, go for a walk, meditate, do some yoga – whatever it is that will make you feel good.
Right now, grab your calendar and schedule in some time (at least half an hour) every day for the next 3 months that is purely time for yourself to attend to your self care. After 3 months remember to reassess and fine-tune and then schedule another 3 months worth of time for you and your self care.
Do you need to do everything yourself? Do you find it’s easier if you just get on and get things done yourself rather than asking someone else and having to explain the task in detail? Are you always trying to be self-sufficient and not burdening anyone else? Whilst these all sound good in principle and are common for entrepreneurs, what they’re doing is keeping you busy when you don’t need to be and it’s also stopping people around you from offering help. Be honest, have you ever re-done a task that you asked someone else to do?
It’s time that you start ‘losing control’ and let some of your ‘busy’ work be outsourced whether that’s to a partner, co-worker or VA etc. Start writing a list of tasks that can be done by someone other than you, and to ease your way into it, perhaps start with tasks that if they’re not done to exactly how you would do them, it won’t make a significant difference and then make this a part of your daily or weekly routine. Self care means looking after yourself and allowing others to help you out every now and again.
To get the most out of life you need to enjoy good health and yet health is something that is so often taken for granted – until it’s not there anymore. It’s easy to put off appointments with the dentist, the doctor, the optometrist, the naturopath, physiotherapist, podiatrist or any other health care provider for a range of reasons. Maybe it’s as simple as you’ve been planning to enrol in that yoga course for months but just haven’t gotten around to doing it because you’re always so busy. What appointments have you been putting off?
Part of self care is taking the time to care for your body and soul so you can keep stay focussed, energised and feeling healthy all the time. If you’re straining your eyes every time you sit down to work, you’re not focussing as well as you should be, your output will be lower, and you’ll feel tired so much more quickly. Sometimes you may truly plan to get to the doctor for a check-up, but life is just so busy you continually forget. You don’t feel sick so you don’t think about making the appointment.
Scheduling reminders in your calendar is great way to stay on top of these routine self care appointments. Write a list now of all the appointments you’ve been meaning to make but haven’t gotten around to doing yet. This can also include massages, facials etc as these types of treatments also keep your mind and body healthy. Now access your calendar again and put in reminders to make the self care appointments. Start with the most important first and schedule one per month (or more frequently if your time and budget will allow) until they’ve all been done. Then put in reminders for the follow up exams whenever they’re due; i.e. you may need to see your naturopath in 6 month’s time so put a reminder in your calendar now for 6 months so you can keep on top of all of your appointments.
Other ways to incorporate self care and look after your body can include treating yourself at home. For example, turn the lights off in the bathroom, light a couple of scented candles and put on some soothing music. Put on a pair of loofah mits and give yourself a dry body scrub and then fill your bathtub with warm water, some Epsom salts and few drops of essential oil and have a soak for about 20 minutes. Once you’re done, rub in some rich moisturiser or a body oil and you’ll come out with your muscles feeling relaxed, your skin silky smooth and your mind relaxed.
No, Thank You
How many times do you say yes to someone when you really want to say no? Many women often find themselves continually saying yes to things when they really don’t have the time, the interest, the capability etc and so learning to say no graciously is an important skill to have.
The next time someone asks you to do something, pause before you answer. Is your heart screaming yes? Then go ahead and make the commitment. If however you’re not hearing a clear yes answer you need to step back for a moment. Can you say no right away? If you can, that’s great. Simply tell them thank you for the offer however you won’t be able to accept. It can be really as simple as that. If you can’t say no straight away, let them know you’ll think about the offer and get back to them. That way you give yourself the time to consider all sides before making a decision. Sometimes your decision may be yes, but other times it will be a definite no.
Different situations may need a bit more detail in your response; e.g. ‘Thank you for the invitation to your wedding in Bali however I just can’t afford the expense/take time off work etc right now. I wish I could be there on your special day, however what’s another way I can help you celebrate?’ Being open and honest with someone is the best way to offer a no response.
Make a commitment to yourself now that you’ll stop automatically saying yes to everything. When you begin saying no to people, check in with yourself and see how you feel. Notice what worked in the conversation and what you’d change next time around and you’ll soon notice the more you can say no to people, the more comfortable it becomes for you and soon you’ll only be saying yes to the things you actually want to do.
Self care is an important part of keeping yourself healthy, happy, productive and living life on your terms. Share your favourite self care tip in the comments below.