When is the last time you had the headspace you needed to handle your day? How much time do you need each week to reset and recharge—and how often do you give yourself that time?
These questions are taking on a new meaning as we all do our best to navigate the new “normal” we’re facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of us have a lot more headspace and time to think, relax, and rest. Others, especially those with young children at home who are also working remotely, may feel like life has never been more hectic.
Regardless of our situation, it’s become more important than ever to find ways to reset before we’re exhausted, rundown, and nearing burnout. This means putting a lot more self-care into practice and paying attention to when you need to recharge throughout the day.
You’re Driven By Your Values
Every decision we make is values-driven. Accomplishment is one of my core values, and as a result, I’m highly self-motivated and driven to build my business.
When viewed in isolation, this is a very positive thing. But when you drop it on top of a full-time job that just got a lot more stressful, coaching my clients, creating new online courses, and beginning to write a book, well—this leads to long workdays.
I recognized that balance was a big issue for me two years ago and wrote an ebook about how to balance drive with self-care. I wrote it not because I have this all figured out, but because I knew I needed to.
As I’ve put the strategies from the book into practice, I’ve discovered that self-care empowers us to accomplish more, while giving us the courage to take the downtime we need. Here are three more reasons to make it a priority.
Self-Care Generates the Energy You Need
During my Christmas vacation, I built in time to relax every day: reading by the fire, writing, watching the snow fall outside. It was wonderful and allowed me to completely recharge.
When I returned to work, I felt ready to take on anything because my head was so clear. That’s when I realized how crowded my brain is on a normal day, and one of the reasons I struggle with low energy so often.
As I got back into my regular routine, that clarity began to disappear as it was replaced by tension, stress, and overwhelm. I knew that self-care was the solution, and started taking an Epson salt bath at the end of each workday.
It relaxes my tense muscles, helps my mind unwind and clear, and gives me the time I need to reset from the day. I expected those benefits, but what I didn’t expect was the surge of energy I receive as well.
I emerge from that 20-minute bath with the energy I need to be productive for an hour or two if I choose before I begin to wind down for bed. And having more energy makes it seem like I have a lot more time.
But the keyword here is choose.
Previously, I would push myself to be productive, whether I had the energy or not. Now, I’m able to continue relaxing guilt-free if that’s what I need or work on my business if I truly feel like it.
Self-care looks different for everyone. I encourage you to find one thing that helps you unwind and reset, and begin carving out time for it every single day—even for just five minutes. Starting small is the best way to make sure this becomes a habit.
Self-Care Helps You Quiet the “Shoulds”
We live with constant societal and social media pressures to keep up, do more, work later, and attend every social event. All day, we receive messages about what we should be doing, and it doesn’t take long for those words to internalize as our own.
These very loud voices drown out your wise, much quieter voice — the intuitive one that knows what you need.
Regularly practicing self-care allows your thoughts to become quiet enough for that voice to be heard, and it gives you the time you need to simply listen.
This will help you get very clear on your priorities. It will also help you make better decisions, by tapping into your intuition and shutting out the “shoulds”.
I’ve become very wary of anyone who tells me that I “should” do something. The word alone sets off an alarm in my head that helps me take a step back to examine whether or not this is true. As the expert of our own lives, we are the only ones who actually know what we should do in any given situation — no one else.
When you learn how to quiet the loud voices telling you what you should do, you’ll finally be able to hear the quieter one letting you know what you need.
Self-Care Is the Solution You’ve Been Seeking
I’ve often wondered if introverts have less energy than extroverts, and recently realized that this isn’t really the issue. The way our world is set up naturally energizes extroverts and drains introverts with its open-concept office environments, large networking opportunities, and an endless stream of social events.
This makes protecting our energy even more of a priority for introverts because we simply aren’t wired to thrive in these kinds of environments. For this reason, we need to consistently carve out time for self-care before we’re on the edge of burnout.
We all have the opportunity to intentionally create a different 2020 – and this begins with making different choices.
If you are ready to make self-care a priority, begin to redefine the role it plays in your life. This may be exactly what you’ve been looking for to create the energy you so desperately need.
Read this ebook for more ways to balance your drive with self-care and replace overwhelm with calm.