Who has time for self-care when you’re stressed?
“If ants are such busy workers, how come they find time to go to all the picnics?”
(Marie Dressler – Academy award winning actress 1868 – 1934)
Sometimes one of the kindest things you can do for yourself when you are feeling stressed is to do something that takes care of you. I also know that a very common response that can often come up is “I haven’t got time, everything else is just so important and urgent …” The ironic thing is that it’s in those moments that their health, well-being and often long term productivity can benefit from self-care.
Sometimes taking action in a genuine emergency can be a form of self-care in itself – e.g. I highly recommend you remove yourself to safety if there is a fire alarm sounding!
Sometimes we “motivate” ourselves by treating everything as urgent. Generally focusing upon purely the short term, this fire-fighting attitude misses the impact longer-term.
In first aid training you’re taught that the first thing you do is check your own safety. After all, you are very little use to anyone requiring your help if you injure yourself before you even administer any assistance.
Likewise if you make yourself ill by not taking care of yourself you’ll take yourself out of the “game”.
This may be great in theory, but how can you use it in reality when feeling that taking a bit of time to prioritise self care isn’t easy, even if it ultimately means you get more done?
One way is by taking a moment to play with the following question:
If you knew you would be paid 10 years worth of income just for finding time and doing self-care, what would you do differently to make sure you took care of you?
Remember that what you do for self-care is something that makes a difference for you.
Here are some examples that I’ve seen used:
- Get up 1 hour earlier to go for a swim/run etc
- Writing a shopping list before going shopping, preventing getting distracted and just buying junk food
- A carer talked to a family member/friend and arranged a set regular time for them to take care responsibility while they recharged and did something creative.
- Replace 30 minutes of watching TV to have a relaxing bath
- The answer and self-care itself can be unique to you, your business and your life.
If you have played along and answered the question already I invite you to commit for 1 week to using your new solution(s) and see the difference it makes to you, even if at first it seems counter-intuitive.
For most people 1 week is long enough for you to assess how this works for you. At which stage you can decide if you want to keep this as a regular event, amend bits or do something different. Just notice the difference this makes for you.
About the Author & Further Resources:
Jen Waller works with solo-entrepreneurs. Her work generally focuses upon two aspects:
- Communicating your worth and potential so clearly that you come to see it for yourself
- Assisting you to grow the future of your dreams.