Being thoroughly connected during most of our waking hours is pretty common these days. We may unplug at times (sometimes against our will even), but most days are spent getting things done, checking out what others have done and making plans for more to do. It is critical that we make time for self care so that we stay healthy, tap into our needs and enjoy our lives – thrive rather than simply survive.
Time spent doing nothing, recharging or enjoying our life is never wasted time.
In this series we will look at self-care from definition to how to prevent burnout to fresh ideas to get you excited about time for yourself (no matter how small that dose of self-care may be).
A critical point about self-care is that it is as unique as you are. There is no right or wrong way to do it because it comes down to what you need, what is available to you and what you want at any given time.
As an introvert I have always needed time alone every day. If I have social plans I need to factor in recovery time to regroup and recharge my batteries. Even if I am away on holiday with friends or family (as I am about to do) I make that a priority. I may opt out of an excursion and go for a walk by myself or choose a night in our hotel instead of a party (as I am doing this weekend when my husband attends a 50th birthday party while I stay with our kids back at the hotel).
Each of us needs to identify what self-care means to us and how best to use our time. If everyone else goes left it is not wrong to go to the right if that is where you need to be.
Self care does not have to mean alone time nor does it have to mean pampering even though those are the most often discussed and portrayed self care practices.
You can spend time on your own, with friends, family or strangers.
You can indulge with spa (or at home) treatments or get back to basics with a hike in the woods.
You can go high tech or pull out the embroidery thread as I do.
You can grab 5-10 minute hits of self care one day and go all out for a big session another time.
No limits – apart from self imposed ones.
Self-care is not selfish as focusing on yourself allows you to be better in all areas of your life – less stress, increased happiness, better relationships, better employee, live better overall.
So the first step is to figure out what types of self care you are drawn to. What would fill up your tank so you have more energy and feel recharged going forward? If you like to journal or explore this idea grab a pen or open up a new file and brainstorm what you feel you are currently missing or what you know you need to thrive. We will get to specifics later, but for now jot down what comes to mind without filtering your thoughts.