Are You Doing It Right? Self-Care is NOT Just an After-Thought

Are you putting off your own self-care to tend to those around you? How often have you ignored and shut down your own needs to work harder and longer? Do you regularly put everyone else’s needs before your own?

Why? Why are you neglecting yourself in the name of caring for others?

Neglecting Yourself is Damaging to Yourself AND Others

Without caring for yourself, you’ll get burned out faster, drained easier, your immune system suffers so you’ll get sick more frequently and you’ll recover much slower. And when you inevitably get sick, you’ll be risking passing that illness to those around you. You’ll be infecting them with your cooties.

Your energy will be affected, your emotions will be affected, you may snap on the wrong person or yell at your husband and then cry for two hours in a big puddle of crazy.

You won’t work as hard, you won’t be as effective, your performance will suffer. You’ll end up with burnout—exhaustion of physical or emotional strength.

Burnout Killed the Entrepreneurial Star

When you’re suffering from a burnout, you can feel overworked, exhausted, and you may begin to lose interest in continuing to work, even if it’s something you generally enjoy. This can and probably will happen when you’ve done too much for too long and haven’t taken enough breaks or down-time.

The other side of the coin is when you remain stagnant for too long without experiencing much growth of challenge, which can also cause burnout as well as disappointment and discouragement… and flat out boredom.

Other symptoms of burnout can include:

  • Trouble getting or staying motivated, inspired or creative.
  • Working feels like a chore.
  • Difficult to do even simple, small tasks.
  • Trouble making progress toward goals.
  • Resting B*tch Face
  • Being a drag to be around
  • Feeling awful about yourself or your circumstances

Don’t Make Yourself Part of the Problem…

When the plane is going down and they drop the oxygen masks, they tell you to put a mask on yourself first and THEN put a mask on the people around you… because if you pass out from a lack of oxygen, you won’t be much help to anyone, will you? You’ll just be part of the problem.

Not taking care of yourself will affect:

  • Your company
  • Your career
  • Your relationship with friends and family
  • Your ability to follow-through with tasks or projects
  • …and so much more.

Really, with how many things it directly impacts, it’s selfish for you NOT to take care of yourself and make self-care one of your highest priorities. In all actuality, you’re harming those around you by not being the best YOU that you have the capacity to be.

…Make Yourself Part of the Solution

When you’re well-rested, happy, healthy, and are stress-free (well, at least your stress is at a manageable level… being an adult is rough), it’s better for everyone. You’re nicer, more energetic, more productive, more efficient, more creative, more inspired, more motivated… you name it.

When you feel good, you’re good at life. When you feel bad, you aren’t so good at life. That’s anyone, my love. Taking care of yourself is incredibly important.

Self-Care is NOT an After-Thought

There are an infinite number of ways you can care for yourself to relieve stress and avoid burnout. Try some of these quick ideas to treat yourself with the care you deserve:

  1. Go for a walk on a sunny day.
  2. Take a nice, long bubble bath with a glass of wine (or a beer) and a stimulating book.
  3. Take a dip in a hot tub (see previous suggestion of tasty adult beverages).
  4. Take a nap.
  5. Get a babysitter for a few hours and go get your nails or hair done.
  6. Go buy a new outfit.
  7. Go get a massage.
  8. Play hooky for one day, focusing on nothing but you and what makes you feel good. (I promise, the world will not end and everyone will get over having you gone for one day. Warn your clients ahead of time and you’ll have no issues at all!)
  9. Do yoga.
  10. Go to a bookstore and browse. Slowly.
  11. Watch a movie in your pajamas while eating your favorite ice cream (or non-fatty food for the health-conscious).
  12. Call your best friend and just talk about anything and everything…
  13. …Or, better yet, invite your best friend out for a night out, whether it’s a poker night with the boys or a girls’ night of cocktails and dancing.
  14. Play a video game.
  15. Listen to some awesome music that really pumps you up and gets you in the right mindset.
  16. Take a drive without a destination.
  17. Watch stand-up comedy (laughter is always the best medicine).
  18. Have se… veral cookies. 🙂
  19. Just take a moment to breathe and relax. Recharge and refresh yourself by doing whatever makes the most sense for you.

What do you enjoy? How do you relax and unwind? How can you take care of yourself today so you can be a better you for the days ahead?

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