Self-Care: The Prime Necessity for a work-life balance
Concerning setting priorities, prioritizing self-care is another skill that most people are not guided by their parents, guardians, coaches, or teachers.
In our society, we’re often trained to help others first. Putting others first is the proper deed to do. It’s selfish to take care of you first.
Or is it?
We all know the airplane, “Put your oxygen mask on first,” saying where the flight attendants continually encourage adults to put their mask on first, so they don’t pass out when trying to help others like their kids.
However, how often do we fly? How often do we endure flight emergencies? If we’re fortunate, most of us will never have to experience a terrifying crisis up in the air.
Self-care is a daily, intentional choice.
Self-care doesn’t have to be grand or expensive choices like going to the spa and getting a massage (although I LOVE THAT!).
Self-care is as uncomplicated as drinking water when you’re thirsty. Eating a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Honestly, going to the bathroom when you need to.
Remember, I’m the one who had an adrenal problem a few years ago. I only put myself first when I was pregnant and then after the nasty adrenal crash. This option wasn’t a “Meh, I guess I will.” It was a decision that said, “I have to put my health first to live.”
Just like achieving a work-life balance, self-care isn’t an instant, all-consuming thing. Self-care is the compilation of decisions a person makes at the moment. It’s checking in to what we need ~ and following through.
Self-care isn’t, “I am so thirsty! I’m too busy. I’ll drink later.”
Self-care at the moment is, “I am so thirsty! I’m going to drink now.”
Self-care is a lifestyle that is prepping your water bottle in the morning, refilling it throughout the day, and drinking enough throughout the day ~ no exceptions. It’s a routine you don’t have to think about. It’s just it is what it is.
Here are some simple self-care actions you can stay mindful of.
- I’m hungry. Eat.
- I’m tired. Sleep or take a nap.
- I’m stressed. Work out.
- I’m lonely. Talk to a friend.
- I’m bored. Get up and do something. Or sleep.
- I’m having difficulty focusing. Get up and take a break.
- I’m confused. Take a pause and then get back to it.
- I’m sore. Do what you need: stretch, get a massage, exercise, etc.
- I’m procrastinating. Take a moment to find out why. Then take small steps or ask for help.
- I’m overwhelmed. Take a breather and go slow. One step at a time.
Also, the more you can develop routines that prioritize self-care, the better your work-life balance can become.
Always running home late with no time to cook dinner and are tired of eating out? That’s understandable. Look into freezer cooking, crockpot meals, or better yet, have someone else cook!
What you do at home affects your confidence at work. Most work-life balance articles I’ve read only talk about productivity at work. But productivity starts at home. And it begins with self-care.
Please keep that in mind! Work-life balance is a collection of mindful, daily choices. You’ve got this.
Janet Johnson is a small business advisor and author of My Money Pivot: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Finding & Making More Money and this educational blog. All views expressed belong solely to Ms. Johnson and do not represent the views of her employer. The website, MyMoneyPivot.com, is currently managed by Luz Marcos, Virtual Assistant.