“True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.” ~ Brianna Weist
If you want to reach your goals, self-care needs to belong where it should – on the top of your daily list. This is not something that you can delegate to someone else. When you make self-care a priority, you give yourself the strength you need to succeed.
Ironically in the past, I often abandoned self-care just when I needed it the most. Feeling overburdened and overwhelmed made me more likely to skip a meal, miss my workout or even cancel a family evening plan. Maybe you can relate. I didn’t always use to take care of myself. But things have changed since then. And, I am seeing results. So, I’m going to encourage you to use my tips on self-care to help you reach your goals. If you make self-care an automatic and integral part of you, you’ll create the very habits you can depend on to see you through major setbacks or minor irritations.
This is one of the most important self-care qualities every individual needs to practice and develop. If you ask your friends what the word assertiveness means, I bet that 8 out of 10 responses would usually relate it to being aggressive. This isn’t true. Being assertive is simply being able to say “No” in a way that is clear and understandable, and at the same time still caring about the other person’s feelings. It’s about being clear and direct in your communication with people, without being aggressive or overly sentimental. Life is not always in black and white. There is a middle path that we can use where we not only respect the feelings and needs of others, but also ourselves. This equality is a hallmark of being assertive.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
It is so easy for us to compare ourselves to others. No matter how much we do and how much we give, we always end up feeling inadequate. We feel we’re not good enough. When others appear to be extraordinary overnight, it makes us feel even miserable. We end up feeling a total failure in comparison. But, what we don’t see is that they simply are ahead of us in the their journey or what they are showing isn’t real. So, don’t compare. Don’t feel unworthy. If someone is going faster than you, ask yourself, “What’s the rush? I am built for long-term! I am enough!”
Develop Circles of Influence
We are creatures of reciprocity. We give and we take. But, with whom we associate with determines how they influence our lives. We are constantly surrounded by energy vampires and still we allow them to seep in, sap our energies and keep us away from focusing on our vital interests. Everywhere you look, there’s negativity. People are hardwired to feel and act in a negative way. That’s why you see so much complaining, lying, blaming, and jealousy in the world. Avoid this negativity at all cost. I am sure we all know this, yet only a few apply it in our lives. The idea is to develop concentric circles of influence (think of a barbed wire fence) to nurture your relationships – with yourself, your family, your mentors, your coaches and your close friends. And, keep these circles well-protected, always!
Studies show that optimists live longer and have stronger immune systems. Look on the bright side of things and count your blessings. Regardless of where you are in your journey at this moment, you are there for some reason. Speaking out or listening to your daily affirmations is a great way to focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want. Elevate your mindset to start thinking positive in all situations. Thinking positive and being optimistic helps create a sense of well-being and aids your brain function at peak capacity.
Find a Accountability Partner
An accountability partner is a great resource to help give you another perspective on any area of your life. An accountability partner is your built-in cheerleader when things don’t go quite as planned. Ask someone to help keep you accountable. You need someone to help and encourage you when it gets tough. Having an accountability partner is like having a sounding board. They help you dissipate any discouraging thoughts and internal dialogues like, “I’m too busy for self care” and encourage you to draw on your resources and abilities. You can also consider hiring a coach to power through your life course. Coaches are excellent at providing a structure, support and accountability, especially when you want changes and results to last for long.
Find something that motivates you. Make time to hang out with winners and high achievers. When you connect with high achievers, their qualities rub off on you. Make time to walk in the nature. Savor the long treks and introspective walks in nature. Develop a hobby. Fill your leisure time with meaningful activities. Creative pastimes can help you relax and feel accomplished. Make time to read something good each day, even if it is for ten minutes. Robin Sharma makes a straight point in his book, The Greatness Guide. He says reading from a great book is like having a conversation with the author. And we become our conversations.
Schedule Downtime Into Your Day
Scheduling some downtime makes you more productive. Stand up and stretch when you’re working at the office. Look out of the window or sit outside on your porch and associate with nature. Pause in between errands to drink a cup of coffee and simply watch your surroundings. Scheduling restful practices, anything you do to unplug from your work activities also helps boost creativity and get focused. Notice how an idea pops into your head when you are in the shower or in the loo?