By Coach Robin Renee
Self-care is essential for a well balanced life.
The words ‘Self-care’ have been trending recently, especially during this global pandemic. But, do we really understand what it means? Is it universal or individual?
Is there a right or wrong way to do it?
More importantly, ask yourself what have you done for you lately?
Neglecting to prioritize nurturing ourselves can adversely effect our physical, mental and spiritual health. Our obligation to daily responsibilities can take priority over the amount of time that we dedicate to ourselves.
Take responsibility for your own wellness.
Learn to remove yourself from the back burner. Take time, every day, to take care of you.
A key to healthy self-care is to be able to do it consistently, without guilt.
The 'American Dream', rooted in The Declaration of Independence, is the belief that all citizens have equal opportunities to be successful, especially if they work hard enough.
In reality, that is not the case for many. Some people have to work twice as hard as others for half the benefits.
Overworking has created a culture that has difficulty pressing the pause and/or stop buttons in life. Being a responsible adult with the high stress hustle mentality of striving to be number one can take a toll on a person's health.
Have we finally gotten a piece of the (American) pie?
For the sake of simplicity and generalization, let's look at a day as a pie, sliced into 24 pieces: 8 hours for sleep + 2 hours for preparing and commuting to work + 8 hours for work + 2 hours for leaving and commuting from work = 4 hours left to fit your life in.
When considering how much each slice of pie takes away from our lives, it's not as appetizing as it looked when it was whole.
Is the 'American Dream' really a nightmare?
Is ‘adulting’ overrated? Careers and work consume a major portion of our adult life. There are 'hidden figures' that could actually cost our lives. For example: a person retiring at 55 years old could live to be 80 years old, while a person retiring at 65 years old could live to be 67 years old. So, working 10 extra years could cost 20 years of living. Having a game plan, a strategy for navigating the ebbs and flows of life can put you in a better position to have the recipe, instead of just a piece of the pie.
Life is a balancing act, needing structure and purpose. Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive or materialistic. Nature provides us with an abundance of resources to aid us on our journey through life: air, water, plants, sunshine, exercise and rest. We have to utilize them in order to gain peace. Spending time in nature or even viewing natural scenery can reduce stress and improve mental wellness.
What does your self-care look like?
B.E. - S.M.A.R.T. - S.T.O.P.
Essential - You are the only you that you have. You have one body to live in, treat it well. Be careful of what and who you allow into your sacred spaces: mind, body and spirit. You are your most valuable asset, you are worth the investment of time and energy. Treat yourself, don’t cheat yourself.
Goals provide a structured framework for us to achieve things that we desire. Your self-care should be goal oriented. The commonly used ‘SMART’ formula can work well for creating a self-care plan.
Specific: Identify exactly what you want to accomplish.
Measurable: Decide how long it will take or how often you’ll do it.
Attainable: Gather the resources that you’ll need in order to achieve the goal.
Realistic: Considering your current situation, is this the goal that you should pursue right now?
Timely: Set an achievement date or time line of consistency.
Sometimes we can get caught up in a moment of chaos or disorganization that may seem or actually be out of our control. In that case, what will you do for self-care? It can be difficult to make sound decisions in challenging situations. Taking a step back to look through an objective lens can be beneficial for enhanced self-care, especially in emergency situations.
Sensory: What can you hear, see, smell, taste, touch in the moment?
Thoughts: What’s on your mind in the moment?
Observe: What’s actually happening in the moment?
Prepare: Pause, breathe, think clearly, choose wisely.
Remember, ‘NO’ is a complete sentence.
You don't have to explain or apologize for taking care of yourself.
Be mindful of when, where and how you move through life.
Don't forget to take yourself along the journey.
Peace and Many Blessings,
Coach Robin Renee