The term “self-care” is tossed around a lot these days, but it’s not just a trendy or hollow concept. In fact, it’s an essential life skill that’s intimately connected to our health, happiness, and wellbeing. The presence or absence of quality self-care also dramatically impacts our leadership abilities, our confidence, our creativity, the strength of our voice in the world, and the way we show up in relationships.
For too many busy women, taking good care of themselves is the first thing to go when the calendar gets crowded or life gets overwhelming.
We are living in high stress times, in a world that needs us to show up – as our best selves, fueled with compassion and ready to do the right thing. That’s a tall order, and sometimes, it’s complicated. But the foundation for showing up – really, fully, authentically showing up – is created from consistent, reliable (probably imperfect) self-care.
I think of this as doing my best to make sure my body, mind, spirit, and heart are nourished or fueled on a regular basis so that I can be the person I’m meant to, and contribute to those around me in a meaningful and intentional way.
When times are trying or stress levels are high, it can be tempting to skip the small (and big) practices that make up our self-care. We need to knock that off – the world needs us.
Need more inspiration for taking high-quality care of yourself?
Here are 10 reasons not to postpone self-care (especially if you are busy)
- Making focused efforts to address your needs and feelings (emotional self-care) can reduce emotional eating urges, cravings, and desires to binge because, with self-care, you are addressing many of the triggers for overeating and cravings directly.
- Actions speak louder than words. The way you care for yourself (and respond to your own needs and desires) is a much more powerful example to the younger women in your life than any words you utter.
- Self-care is fuel. When we are well cared for, we show up more vibrant, energized, and productive – whether we’re heading to a tough meeting, a presentation we’re passionate about or want to speak up on behalf of others.
- Self-care reduces the negative impacts of stress and overwhelm and helps prevent mental, physical, and emotional burnout. The times we’re easily tempted to postpone self-care practices are the times we need them the most.
- When we practice quality self-care, we’re likely to be more focused and productive and less drawn to non-rewarding “escape” behaviors like procrastination or stress eating.
- Self-care primes us to show up as the best version of ourselves in relationships. When our body, mind, and soul are fueled and cared for, we are more present. Self-compassion is a necessary ingredient for real, sustained compassion for others.
- Self-care improves our health. Paying attention to our needs means we are taking better care of our bodies, both with self-care behaviors and with lower stress levels.
- No one likes a martyr. Ignoring your own self-care leads to feelings of irritability, resentment, frustration, exhaustion, and increased health issues. It can even impact your immune system.
- Self-care creates feelings of relaxation, calm, and of being grounded. This promotes your ability to approach situations with a fresh perspective and respond intentionally instead of mindlessly or defensively reacting.
- Self-care makes us happier – and it feels good. What’s not to love?
Are you busy, or overwhelmed? Is your heart feeling heavy? Use this as a signal that you need nourishment – not as an excuse to postpone the self-care that allows you to be you. Take the time to go for a walk, journal your feelings, enjoy some deep breaths, or enjoy something you love. You’ll return to the world much more ready to do the work that’s waiting for you.
Take good care (I mean it!),