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It’s All a Myth. Self Care Isn’t Selfish. Five Tips to Make it Your Superpower.
I’m tired. But not in the need-some-sleep kind of way. I’m tired of the age-old narrative we tell ourselves that self care is selfish. Moving through life tending to others’ needs and neglecting our own isn’t sustainable. In fact, it’s draining.
Self care allows us to show up stronger for our family and colleagues. Why is it that we preach healthy routines to everyone around us, but never practice them?
Time to ditch the story we’re telling ourselves around self care. With a few simple adjustments to my daily routine, my self care journey left me feeling energized and ready to stand in my power. And I’m confident it can do the same for you. Investing in these self care habits will always pay dividends.
Get some rest. You’ll thank yourself later.
I used to be an expert couch sleeper. Falling asleep in my living room, only to wake up in the middle of the night and walk upstairs wide awake. Sleep experts have found that seven to nine hours per night is appropriate for adults. Lack of sleep affects our brain power, heart, and weight. Our body needs sufficient sleep on a nightly basis to rest and recover.
During my couch sleeping days, I started gaining weight and my emotions were all over the place. Then, I made the conscious decision to set my phone to alert me when it was time for bed, regulating my sleep time. And I used meditation apps to settle down (more on that later!).
I started sleeping differently — not just longer, but achieving the kind of sleep where you wake up refreshed. I stopped watching or using electronics one hour before bedtime. For me, it was reading, journaling, and meditation. They seemed to calm my mind and body.
Unplug and recharge.
I get it. We live in a world where we’re always connected to a device, especially those of us who commute downstairs to work virtually. But decompressing from electronics not only helps us sleep, it allows us to reconnect with ourselves.
Choose your time at night to disconnect and take one day over the weekend to just be present. My phone had been an appendage to me for so long, I thought I couldn’t operate without it. But when I made the decision to set limits, I had more time for hobbies, family, and friends.
Think you can’t? Try “I will!” and see how much more brain power you’ll have when you need to log back on.
Eat and eat well!
Clock out of meal patrol. I used to be so focused that everyone at work and home were fitting in meals that I forgot about myself. Maybe you’re eating on the run or not eating at all?
When I wasn’t eating, my mood paid the price, and science tends to concur. Not eating can affect your mental wellbeing, and may even be linked to heightened anxiety and depression.
Make time to plan out your meals for the week to ensure you’re getting the nutrition you need. Try using a day off to cook a few dishes to save or freeze. Defrosting food you made versus spending money on takeout and delivery saves money and gives you control over what you’re eating. My favorite quick meal is grilling chicken breasts and keeping them in the refrigerator — easy to heat up and throw in a salad or add to pasta.
Exercise. Even on your busiest days.
I’ve struggled with exercise most of my life. But being active in some way is so critical to self care. My number one culprit was time. I knew if I wanted to exercise, I needed to plan it on my calendar. I set an alarm to help commit to exercise. I’m not at the place where I’m running a marathon but I’m making an effort daily to make it happen.
You might try taking a walk outside to breathe and relax. You’ll come back to work feeling reinvigorated. Can’t take a walk outside? Walk away from your desk, even if it’s just exploring your surroundings, or perhaps, your organization provides a gym.
Don’t forget about the ability to multitask or exercise while getting work done. An under-the-desk seated elliptical can allow you to make calls and maximize opportunities to get fit.
Take a deep breath. Now let it out.
Meditation can help you refocus and center yourself. I never meditated. Quite frankly, I couldn’t get my arms around it. Then last year, I gave it a try. And now I understand its ability to impact energy.
There’s a whole digital world available to do yoga at home through YouTube and download the Calm app to discover so many different meditations, from centering yourself before speaking to clearing yourself before an important meeting so you can be present.
So, what are you waiting for? Start your self care regimen today. One pro tip is to keep it interesting. Try different things, and give them a solid try before discounting them. My first few days, I remember thinking none of these would stick, but the more I hung in there the more it became a habit.
We’re all unique individuals, find the routine that’s right for you. Remember, you’re the keeper of your life. Your mind and body can't wait.
After many years in Retail Leadership, HR and Talent Acquisition, I pivoted to launch Kathy Bleier Coaching.
I am a holistic executive coach that focuses on helping women navigate career and personal change so they can improve their relationships, get the job they want and take a confident seat at the table.
I recognized my passion lies in empowering individuals and building on their strengths. Most individuals have the answers; as a coach, I provide a trusted space where clients can share of themselves to find their authentic voice. There is so much power in living life authentically.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Kathy Bleier Coaching
After many years in Retail Leadership, HR and Talent Acquisition, I pivoted to launch Kathy Bleier Coaching. I am a holistic executive coach that focuses on helping women navigate career and personal change so they can improve their relationships, get the job they want and take a confident seat at the table. I recognized my passion lies in empowering individuals and building on their strengths. Most individuals have the answers; as a coach, I provide a... Continue Reading