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Entrepreneurs often say that we’re too busy for self-care. The truth is, that’s why entrepreneurs and busy people need it all the more. No matter how packed your day is, there’s always time for self-care. Before you sign up for that meditation class though, hold on! Learn what self-care really is and about its various misconceptions.
First, how do you start incorporating self-care into your life? It’s easier than you think.
Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean disconnecting from the world. It means being true to what you need and paying attention to how you feel, even in the simplest matters. Self-care helps you become more authentic and anchored in everything you do, but it looks different for everyone. For some, it means taking a candle lit bath. For others, it means taking a moment for yourself when you take out the garbage.
When trying to build self-care habits, start small and explore what self-care looks like for you. Here are three ways how:
1. Ask Yourself How You Feel
We’re all used to friends or coworkers asking us, “How’s it going” or “Hey, how are you?” Typically, our answer is fueled by a desire to not fully engage. “I’m good. I’m fine,” and then we move on. On the rare occasions when we ask ourselves, “how are you doing?” we answer ourselves in the same way. But what if you took the time, first thing in the morning to evaluate how you truly feel
Acknowledging something is the first step toward creating a shift. If you wake up feeling good, that sets the tone for having a good day. If you wake up feeling less than awesome, acknowledge those feelings. Then, you can do what you need to, to take care of yourself and not let the rest of your day be ruined. When our feelings go unchecked we risk perpetuating a cycle of ignoring our needs and feelings or, potentially perpetuating it for someone else.
2. Start Simple
We often think of self-care routines as an entire day or afternoon at a spa. Although that can be very relaxing, it requires a big time commitment.
Instead, think of simple things you can do every day that light you up and fill your cup — like sipping your morning coffee, taking a walk, journaling, listening to your favorite album, or reading your favorite book. These are all ways to practice self-care and create space for activities that infuse you with energy instead of depleting your energy.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Most entrepreneurs accept the need to work hard and work smart but many struggle to understand why self-care is valuable. They’ve heard that self-care practices, like meditation and mindfulness, can increase productivity and that stress damages their health, but they also misunderstand what self-care actually looks like. That’s why I love practicing mindfulness.
There are two very important things to remember about mindfulness. First, be authentic — mindfulness is less about what you do and more about whether or not you feel at home with yourself. Second, you can’t do everything, and that’s okay. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be multifaceted. Don’t wear too many hats and do so many jobs that you deteriorate your mental or physical wellness.
Quick Tips for Small Self-Care Victories
Self-care looks different for different people and integrating it into your life depends on your lifestyle and personality. Some people prefer being regimented and having a scheduled daily routine. Others create downtime during the weekends. The important thing is to set aside regular time just for taking care of yourself and giving yourself a break.
You don’t have to start with a full meditation practice. Just take a few deep breaths or a few minutes and go on a walk. Stop working for five minutes, and have a coffee break. Say “no” when you’re already spread too thin, even when it’s a good opportunity because sometimes saying “no” to someone else is saying ‘yes’ to yourself.
Don’t overcomplicate it. The simplest self-care is to create opportunities to step away from work and your computer.
Here are some ideas:
- Remind yourself to move your body throughout the day by setting an alarm every 90 minutes. When the alarm goes off, get up and move!
- Take a few minutes and read a book.
- Sleep well. Don’t be a sleep hero. Living on a few hours of sleep is not sustainable. Even historic geniuses slept seven to eight hours a night.
- Loving Reminder: Don’t revamp your entire life. If your self-care routine is too extreme, you won’t do it.
- Give yourself a break. You’re already doing so much!
Find more tips on how to start your self-care journey in Rosie Acosta’s book, You Are Radically Loved: A Healing Journey to Self-Love.