You are your most important asset. When was the last time you treated yourself that way?
The importance of self care
This week I’ve been thinking a lot about self care. An injured shoulder has meant I haven’t been sleeping as well as I should, or exercising as much as I’d like. A busy work schedule means I’ve been working late and spending huge chunks of time sedentary at my desk, sometimes so engrossed in what I’m doing that I forget to have lunch. In short, I’ve fallen off track with my self care regime and it’s time for me to get back on it.
Hard to sustain
Truth be told, I am normally pretty good. I’m very conscious of the impact diet, exercise, downtime and sleep have on my wellbeing and I do a pretty good job of making good decisions that allow me to stay on form and rise to the demands of my busy sometimes crazy schedule. I stay away from caffeine and don’t eat sugar. I get up at 5.15am to create 60 minutes of sacred me time at the beginning of every day and I usually exercise 3 times a week.
But it can be hard to sustain such good habits. When your schedule gets interrupted – by travel, for example, or a project at work that comes to a head – then routines often go out of the window. And then there’s boredom. Sometimes I just get bored of following the same routine and want to shake things up a bit, break a few rules. Have you ever felt like that?
Getting back on track
For all of the above reasons, my focus is on self care this week, and how we get back on track to a healthy regime that supports our lifestyle and makes it easier to cope with the demands of our day.
And it’s important to mention here that the success of good self care depends not on your ability to maintain the highest level of perfection in all the different areas of your life. It’s about taking the time to check in on yourself, noticing when your self care regime isn’t where it should be and having a strategy for getting back on track.
Checking in on yourself
So how do you check in on yourself? You’re reading this blog, which is a great start. It means you’re already asking yourself the questions that can lead to better decisions around your self care.
Another is to take the time to think about how you are feeling physically and emotionally and, with your current habits in mind, to reflect on their effectiveness.
An invitation to reflect
This blog is an invitation to you (and me – I need to get back on track too, remember) to reflect on the your current self care regime. To do this, grab a pen and piece of paper, and jot down your answers to the following questions:
- What does your self care regime consist of? What provisions are you making for diet, sleep, exercise, downtime and fun?
- Is what you’re doing serving you?
- What do you need to do more of?
- What do you need to do less of?
- Is there something you need to change?
- What’s the first step you need to take?
Change just one thing
When you’ve thought about what you’re currently doing and what needs to change (a checklist would be a good idea) the most important thing is not to try and do too much all at once and then give up when you struggle to maintain it. Focus on changing just one thing and wait for that to become a regular habit before you move onto the next.
So, what changes will you make to your self care routine this month? What benefit will this bring you? When will you check in with yourself again, to make sure you’re on track?
To learn more about my self-care regime and the questions you can ask yourself about your own, head on over to episode 6 of the Babyproof Your Career podcast, or listen directly by clicking the link below.