Recently I came across some self-care tips for women and it listed the typical things: take a bath, take a nap, and drink water. Sigh..if that's all it took, It reminded me of the burnout experience I had from running a business through covid. During that time I was in search of tangible things I could do to recover. In the end, I developed my own strategies that have really helped. Today I want to share three things I did and continue to do that have made the difference.
1. Reprogram your thinking. As women, we receive continual messages that thinking about ourselves too much is selfish. I can remember being in a Sunday school class as a young mom with three babies under three listening to a lesson on self-absorption. I never heard that a person can't give from an empty bucket. The jist of the lesson was that thinking of your own needs is selfish.
It is true that some people are more concerned about themselves than others. It is also true that giving to others can bring more meaning to our lives. It can also be true that getting out of our own heads and taking care of others is important and good.
However, not every person is coming from a selfish or self absorbed place. Sometimes we've poured ourselves out so completely that there's nothing left. It's important to be aware of the messages we've allowed to become our inner voice. Make sure that voice is one of truth and not shame.
2. Focused thinking time. This is one of the biggest switches I made personally and professionally. Being available ALL THE TIME to everyone made it so that I was chronically in a hurry running from one unfinished project to the next. I had inadvertently taught people to rely on me to solve every problem. I also taught them not to think for themselves by always being available to solve problems.
It may be hard to do, but take that smart watch off, get a separate phone for personal use, or turn the phone completely off for periods of time.
3. Stay home. When you're used to going all the time, blank space on your calendar can actually become scary. I remember thinking, "well what am I going to do with nothing to do? '' Self-care means making change to spend time alone in the quiet is actually difficult for the person who has built a life and even personality surrounding being busy.
Staying home, being quiet and alone might be uncomfortable at first. You may not know what to do or how to act. Trust me, it's a discomfort you need to feel. At first self-care feels a lot like wasting time. Eventually you'll realize that taking the time to do this recharges you and makes you more productive in the rest of your life.
The simple thing to remember here is that a lifestyle of hurry and stress is not living. Eventually you will forget what joy feels like in life. Taking time for self-care is the first step to loving the life you live.
Let's love this life we live,