by: The Memo Staff
Part of self-care is being kind to yourself. If we are running this marathon called life at a sprinter's pace, we won't be able to give the best parts of ourselves to our family, friends, projects, or ourselves. Running too fast will ultimately result in burn out. We have too much work to do on this earth to be worn down and tired, just because we didn't heed to our body's warning signs to slow down.
Slowing down is by no means an easy task, and like any habit we have to put it into practice. I am sure you have read that it takes 21 days to break a habit. Well, what if we took the next 21 days to form the habit of self-care?
Let's kick it off with a few tips to take better care of yourself in this season of life:
- Watch Your Language: Part of good self-care is being mindful of the story or stories that we tell ourselves, or the language we use about ourselves. Are you using negative words to describe yourself or talk about yourself? For example, have you ever said, "I am crazy!" or "This is going to kill me!"? In many ways, we might think language is harmless, but as the good book says, there is life and death in the power of the tongue. Self-care isn't just massages and girls trips. Self-care is also how we view ourselves and the affirmations that we speak into our own lives. If you wouldn't allow someone else to say negative things about you, then don't let your mind or heart say them either! Learn to recognize your uniqueness and speak life over your mind, body, and soul.
- Be Kind: Often, when we aren’t feeling like our best selves, we can tend to take it out on the people around us, especially our loved ones. That strategy doesn’t work for maintaining healthy relationships with others. Choose kindness wherever possible. Research suggests that when we do nice things for others, it can help to improve our overall mood and wellbeing. Sometimes we can be so invested in all the things we need to do, or all the things that are stressing us out, that we lose sight of how good it feels to momentarily focus on someone or something else. If you take the time to brighten another person’s day, it can make a huge difference.
- Take a Break: Being an entrepreneur--or simply anyone living/working in a culture that glorifies being constantly busy --often means that there is little to no time for downtime. Make time to rest and recharge. Take a few days off, and set the expectation with others that you’re doing so. Pause your inbox for the day (Google has an add-on for this), or for a specific time period. Turn off notifications on your phone. Of course, many of us have obligations to school, family, or life that won’t afford us the time to take chunks of uninterrupted time off. If that’s you, see if you can schedule an uninterrupted day, or half day, or simply an hour. Block out time that is simply yours to do what you want, and turn off the distractions to remind you about all the things you “should” be doing.
- Live Authentically: This one can be very hard. What does authenticity mean to you? Often times we aren't able to bring our full selves to our jobs, or be the people we are around our closest friends and loved ones. What would it look like if you took the glass ceiling off yourself and were free to be you? It might start with wearing your hair in a style that makes you smile. Living authentically might be leaving the job that pays you well but makes you sick. What would happiness look like if you could just be you? Many of us have been living our lives for other people that we aren't sure who we have turned into. Give yourself permission to re-introduce yourself to you.