“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation.”
— Audre Lorde an American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist
September is self-care month. As summer is coming to an end, find time to take a moment from the grind to focus on yourself. You can’t be your best self if you don’t prioritize your needs.
“Learning to care for yourself in a busy world can be a daunting process. Expect some setbacks but accept them and move towards a healthier relationship with yourself.” – Medium
Outside the Office
I was at an event a few months ago where Myra Wilkinson, a family counselor, asked the audience “who practices self-care daily?”. No one in the audience raised their hand, but all of us listening were practicing without recognizing it. Personal care focuses on the importance of body, mind, and healthy relationships.
Taking care of your body is a great way to show yourself appreciation. Daily exercise, eating right and getting enough sleep help to put you on course for a better day.
An article from the Mayo Clinic says: “Although Dr. Levine says defeating the sedentary life isn’t as simple as a few tips and tricks, there are a few things anyone can do to move in the right direction.” – Check out the article for more information on how sitting and the sedentary lifestyle is affecting our bodies.
The University of Buffalo, put together a list of activities and links for additional resources including self-care activities, strategies, and tips
The influence of technology in our lives can be overwhelming. A Psychology Today article said: “Spending time outside can help you reduce stress, lower your blood pressure, and be more mindful. Studies have even shown that getting outside can help reduce fatigue, making it a great way to overcome symptoms of depression or burnout.” Place importance on disconnecting.
Implementing meditation into your routine, journaling, or finding another outlet for fragmented thoughts will help create a clearer mind. A Forbes article mentioned, “Since the strong focus of attention – is one of the central aims of meditation, it’s not so surprising that meditation should help people’s cognitive skills on the job, too.”
The Headspace App helps beginners with meditation and fitting it into your everyday routine
Sometimes we may let our relationships fall on the priority list. Having strong friendships, intimate relationships, and connections with family members can boost our mood.
It is also important to recognize the toxic or unhealthy relationships in your life. Learning to say “no”, finding your independence, and limiting exposure to these relationships create a better head space and more time for the healthy ones.
“We are social animals, and nothing nourishes us like our relationships. Sharing a laugh with loved ones makes our everyday worries fall away and connects us to something bigger. This experience is crucial for our well-being because it relieves stress.” From a LA Family Therapy
When running your own business, supporting a team, or working through a big project it is difficult to keep an eye on the big picture. Taking time to step away from the everyday mayhem to focus on long-term planning can create creativity, growth, and goals that might not have otherwise been made.
An article in the Harvard Business Review says “For those who are self-employed, the same goes when you are asked about your fees and services. Self-care means honoring the value, impact, and contribution you bring.”
No matter what side of the table you are on mentor-ship has its benefits. Learning from differing experiences is great for gaining perspective. I have heard from many mentors that they entered a mentor-ship relationship to teach but ended up learning much more from their men-tee than expected.
“Having a mentor is not a sign of weakness; it shows you are smart enough and are driven enough to succeed.” Inc. Magazine
Micro Mentor connects small business owners and entrepreneurs for mentor/men-tee relationships
Focusing on personal growth is giving your business the ultimate self-care. This could be through continued education. Taking time for new experiences, pushing yourself to do more, or signing up for something you’ve never done are all ways to foster growth for yourself.
“Taking courses, hiring a coach or using the Internet to study will make you knowledgeable about strategies that can help you and your business. There are many experts who only experts in their mind. A true expert stays a student of life who is never above learning.” Entrepreneur article.
We want to hear from you! What are your best self-care tips? How have you learned to take time both in an out of the office?