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Self Care Isn’t Selfish: Power Moves that Empower Well-Being

SELF-CARE- ISN'T SELFISH:
Power moves that empower well-being

We’re all familiar with the well-intentioned advice to spend plenty of time in nature, drink a lot of water, and establish an exercise routine for optimal physical and mental health. While most of us will nod in agreement, however, many women do not prioritize these and other suggestions for self-care. In fact, according to one study by The Self-Nurture Survey, 80% of women admitted spending time on self-care was important, although one-third of these women spent fewer than 30 minutes per day nurturing themselves.

For reasons that stretch far back into the roles of our cultural history, women seem to have a default internal programming that emphasizes their duty to care for everyone else at the expense of their own self-care. It’s time to change the narrative.

Whether you find yourself overwhelmed by responsibilities at work, home, or in other areas of your life, or you’ve simply put off prioritizing your well-being by not tending to your daily needs, the effect is the same, you are actively reducing your full potential and ability to show up as your best self.

If you want to avoid burnout from constant hustle-mode both personally and professionally, a few easy changes to your routine may be exactly what you need. Before your brain starts to pile up with reasons you can’t fit anything else into your already hectic schedule, look at these simple and practical steps that you can begin implementing today.

Do it with feeling

To shift our behaviors into a more sustainable and productive way of life, we must change current mindsets around the importance of self-care. To get started, it’s important to identify some basic truths. It’s important to be honest with yourself so you can take meaningful next steps.

When we think about wellness, we should look at it from a holistic point of view. To function at our highest level, we need to be sure we’re operating from an optimal place in our mind, body, and soul.

Things like a balanced diet, adequate sleep, regular exercise, water intake, spiritual practices, leisure activities, and other self-care habits all play an important role in your overall well-being. While you probably haven’t mastered all these things, the good news is you don’t have to. By addressing even one area of your self-care regimen, you can make a huge difference in the way you operate.

First, it’s important to take a pause to assess your current state of wellness and to look closely at your daily habits and routines and assess how you feel.

Using a scale of 1-5, you can reflect on questions such as:

How much time am I investing in my well-being weekly?
How well do I feel emotionally on a daily basis?
How well do I feel physically on a daily basis?

You can also ask yourself, “What is the greatest physical/mental/emotional need I have right now?”

Now that you have a read on how things really are, it’s a great time to practice incorporating positive thoughts that will begin to take root and lead you to a more fulfilled life.

Here are a few thoughts to get you started

I can be my best when I feel my best.
I deserve to be healthy, happy, and strong.
When I am well, my family is well.
My well-being matters.
My mind and body will thank me for showing them love.

Once you embrace the belief that your well-being is a priority, you will be better positioned to take real action toward achieving it in your life. Consider how you want to feel and make note of it. It’s much easier to consistently make something a priority when we can envision how we will feel when the action is done.

Your brain will believe whatever you tell it, so be sure you are the loudest voice in the room and greatest advocate for yourself.

The K.I.S.S. Method: Keep it simple and sustainable

If you ask 100 women what their self-care looks like, you’ll likely get 100 different answers. Each of us is unique in our needs, lifestyles, and behaviors. What works for one person may not work for another, and yet, there are certain actions that we can all take to achieve a better and stronger existence in all of our life roles.

Remember to start small by choosing only 1-2 action steps that are practical for your life. The key is consistency, and the intention is to make these behaviors second nature. Some ideas to try right away:

Add a short walk to your day during your lunch break. Listen to a podcast or audiobook for inspiration and fun.

Make it a habit to have a glass of water when you walk in the door at work and home. This could increase your daily water intake by 10-15 oz.

Schedule 5-10 minutes on your calendar for you to do absolutely nothing but focus on your breathing.

Wake up 20 minutes earlier to meditate, journal, or write a haiku. The point is to engage and/or quiet your brain in a new way.

Schedule a 15-minute phone call with a friend or family member. Don’t forget to set your timer to keep it brief.

Schedule a 10-minute “tea time.” Take a moment to walk away from the computer, heat some water, pick a favorite tea, grab a small sweet or other indulgence, and enjoy for a quiet few minutes while savoring the flavors.

These small shifts in habits might seem like no big deal at first, but over time, each practice will lead to a better and stronger you. With seemingly endless responsibilities, it is time to slow down and show yourself gratitude by nurturing your mind, body, and soul with the love and care it deserves. Remind yourself daily to rest, recharge, and reset however you need to so you can stay on a path of intention and purpose.

Someone who understands the power of small steps is Sunny Miller, CEO of HUSTLE, a boutique fitness studio that specializes in cycling and HIIT training. When it comes to forming a new routine, the hardest part is getting started. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, she offers a few tips.

Sunny Miller,
CEO of Hustle
1

You do not need to be good at it to start. Everyone starts somewhere. Just show up, try it once, and then build from there.

2

Even baby steps are steps. Sometimes success is in the small things… i.e. just showing up for that workout; clipping into the bike for your first indoor cycling class. You get to define what success is for you. All of those small steps lead to bigger ones.

3

Put it on your calendar. Hold yourself accountable to yourself the way you hold yourself accountable to others.

4

Do it with a friend! It’s always easier and way more fun to have someone to do the hard things with.

The bottom line is that while there are many ways to practice self-care, you don’t have to commit to all of them at once to improve your well-being. You can start today with small actionable practices and work up gradually from there. It’s going to feel fantastic!

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