Demystifying Self-Care

There’s been a lot of discussion about self-care recently. In some cases, it’s a response to the increasing numbers of studies and reports being released saying that people are more stressed than ever. In other cases, it’s simply a recognition that we can all do a better job of taking care of ourselves.

But a lot of times, all of this discussion is more noise than dialogue. At a certain point, many of us were led to believe that self-care is just curling up on the couch and feeding ourselves ice cream while we binge watch our latest fascination on TV. There’s certainly a time and a place for that, but there’s so much more to self-care than just “down-time.” It’s important that we draw a distinction between self-care and self-indulgence. One is a ritual that has long-term benefits, the other is just a short-term fix for a systemic problem.

What Good Self-Care Looks Like

I’ll be the first to admit that the concept of self-care can be a little vague at first, so I like to put a definition on these sorts of things.

In my mind, self-care is an intentional, daily ritual that’s performed for the purpose of nurturing your body, mind, and soul. These rituals can be performed in a number of ways and as often or as little as you’d like. Ultimately, self-care is meant to make you the best version of yourself.

Here are a few examples of good self-care habits.

Asking for Help, Not Trying to do it All on Your Own

As mothers, as business partners, as women, we’re all primed with the “I’ve got this” mindset. We’re used to getting it all together and making it happen, no matter what “it” is. The result is that we sometimes struggle to ask others for help. Maybe it’s pride, maybe it’s stubbornness, maybe it’s the fear of judgment that keeps us from asking, but I believe it’s just a lack of practice.

Asking for help is a great way to set yourself up for success. It connects you with others and lets them know that their efforts are meaningful to you, even if their actions aren’t always
“perfect.” Rather than trying to do everything for everyone all the time, step back and ask for help. Otherwise, you might find yourself overextended, which can lead to missed deadlines, forgotten dates, and worse, poor health.

Rest and Relax With Intent, Don’t Just Zone Out

This might come as a surprise for some, but getting enough rest is an essential part of not just self-care, but life in general. You need to get seven to eight hours of sleep a day, but you’ll also want to schedule relaxing activities throughout your day as well. These activities can be as simple as taking a walk around the block, a period of meditation, or anything that allows you to disconnect from the world around you.

As a society, we believe that you can carry all that stress inside you for weeks on end until you make it to your next vacation where you let it all go. That’s not effective, and most importantly, not healthy. The goal is to relax regularly and with intent, to recharge so that you don’t let the stress your experiencing boil over and cause a breakdown.

Don’t just park yourself on the couch and get lost in the TV. This might feel nice in the moment, but it’s really just a sign that you haven’t done a good job of relaxing and resting throughout the week. Zoning out isn’t a great way to recharge, and can actually leave you feeling worse.

You Can’t Care for Others Until You Care for Yourself

Of course, some of us still struggle to disconnect self-care from selfishness. We’ve tricked ourselves into believing that if we don’t care for others, we’re doing them a disservice.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

In reality, we can only offer ourselves to others if we take care of ourselves first. That doesn’t mean to put yourself before others, but it’s a reminder that you still need to make yourself a priority. After all, we can define healthy group care as an intentional culture that encourages everyone to care for themselves and one another.

Good Group Care Takes Group Commitment

Any group should welcome its members for who they are, who they want to be. The group should be committed to helping that individual grow and improve their strengths. This can only be done if every member of the group has a healthy sense of self and is caring for themselves as effectively as they are the group.

Accountability Sustains Group Care

We can view groups as a collection of people who are all working toward the same goal. In your family, it’s to help each other grow and find joy. At work, it’s to help the company find success. In any setting, groups are at their best when everyone is accountable for their goals, their boundaries, and their values.

Part of that accountability includes caring for yourself, in addition to ensuring that others do the same. You’ll quickly find that you cannot hold others accountable for their share group responsibilities if you’re not caring for yourself.

Live a Balanced Life Through Self and Group Care

It might be tricky at first to figure out to care for yourself and others at the same time. I’m confident that with a little practice, you’ll find intuitive ways to balance caring for yourself while still fulfilling your responsibilities to others.

Find Balance With My Master Class

At Crazy Busy Women in Balance, we’ve created a community of women who are looking to find balance in their lives. Through guidance, community, and growth, I can help you deepen your relationships with your friends and family, establish an identity outside of your job or home life, and help you lead your best life.

Being successful in your personal or professional life doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice one for the other. I believe that you can have it all. Let’s work together to find your “why,” develop strategies that are meaningful for you, and achieve your goals and dreams. You can get started today by signing up for my free masterclass!