Self-care is giving the world the best of you instead of what’s left of you.
A few years ago I was in a coaches’ training class, which included peer-to-peer coaching. My partner and I were discussing our schedules for the next week and it was my turn. After I went through my schedule, she paused then asked a simple but profound question. “Where on that schedule is your time?” At first, I did not get what she was asking as I’d spent quite a bit of time planning my schedule. She rephrased it by noting that my calendar was full, but nowhere on that calendar had I scheduled time for self-care.
I reviewed my schedule again and realized that she was right. I had scheduled time to care for everyone else but myself.
When was the last time you focused on yourself? If you are a work-from-home woman, how much time are you scheduling each week for self-care?
Remember that working from home is not the same as taking time for yourself at home.
It can be challenging to make time for self-care in our busy schedules. We run from one commitment to another, filling every gap in our lives with work, study, family, and social events. Yet, more than ever, we must take the time to care for our wellbeing, both physically and mentally.
If you are struggling with your self-care, consider these five tips to improve your habits.
- Add self-care to your normal routine: When planning your weekly schedule, make sure that you have time for self-care. Creating the habit and keeping it on a consistent schedule means that you will be more committed to taking the necessary steps.
- Do what suits you: Self-care looks different for everyone. Some people enjoy getting outdoors, others like catching up with friends, while others prefer sitting at home losing themselves in a good book or movie. Identify what makes you feel better and commit to that. Don’t feel pressured by what others consider self-care. If long walks and jogging aren’t your ‘thing’, do what makes you happy and brings you joy. For example, I love the ocean and love hearing the waves; yet I can be happy with a beach towel spread on the beach sitting under a tree reading a good book. I do not always have to be in the water to have fun.
- Practice gratitude: Engaging in regular gratitude is a valuable habit and a worthwhile way to spend your allocated self-care time. Take some time each day or week to write down three things that you are grateful for. Try to think of unique things that have happened for that week, rather than repeating the same common things each time. It may be difficult at first, but the more you practice gratitude the easier it will become.
Regular participation in gratitude exercises trains your brain to be more thankful and positive about the things you have in your life, rather than focusing on the things you don’t have or things that aren’t going so well. It also trains your brain to look for things for which to be grateful and people to whom gratitude should be shown.
- Be brave and try something new: It’s easy to fall into a rut so that life becomes monotonous. This is an even greater threat when you work from home. When you are willing to try something new, this will help break the monotony of everyday life. Your mental health will benefit and you will learn new skills, both through the actual activity and being open to new opportunities. This simple action is a great way to take care of your mental and physical health. Of course, if you have health limitations, you must consider those.
- Take breaks from social media: Social media can be a great way to keep in touch with people. It is also an excellent way to deliver client care and build relationships. However, spending too many hours on social media can also have downsides. For one thing, most people make it seem that their world is perfect and their business is successful way beyond their dreams.
If you’re struggling and not experiencing this level of success, if you allow it, you can find negative emotions creeping in. Negativity stifles creativity, hence, another reason you want to prevent these negative thoughts to take up room in your mind.
Have you planned out your month or even your next week? Take a good look at your schedule again and make sure that you’ve scheduled in some time for self-care. Your family, your clients, your role as an employee or business owner, all deserve to get the best of you. You need to know that you’re giving your best, and you can only do this if you plan for and implement regular self-care.