Self-care is a conscious decision to prioritize ones physical, mental and emotional health. We need to get into the habit of normalizing the concept of self-care for both men and women.
Unfortunately, instead of practising preventative self-care, taking time out for ourselves becomes reactive as our minds and bodies become more and more fatigued. We shouldn’t wait until we’re feeling exhausted, overwhelmed or uninspired. We turn to google and a series of self-help books when we’re feeling demotivated and dissatisfied, but in reality, we know the answers – we know what we should be doing.
Practising self-care requires a mindset overhaul! To thrive, you need to commit to deliberate, planned actions that actively care for your mental, emotional and physical health. Simply put, you can take care of very little when you are not taking care of yourself.
Let’ start with making the weekend all about you and not about work.
Whilst you may feel that clocking up the working hours over a weekend is good for your career, research indicates otherwise, stressing the long-term impact it has on your physical and mental health.
I know it is difficult to disconnect and unplug your laptop and mobile device. However, our minds and bodies need time to rest, recuperate and recharge. You’d be surprised at how much more productive you are during the traditional workweek when you give yourself a break over the weekend.
Next, reflect on what brings you joy.
Not working over the weekend shouldn’t be an excuse to binge-watch Netflix for 48 hours straight. Sometimes we’re so focused on doing what others ask of us that we forget what is essential and enjoyable for ourselves.
For sure, spending time with family and friends, and doing good for others, may bring you happiness. However, I’d like to encourage you to reflect a little longer, a little deeper and come up with a shortlist of activities that are enjoyable for you, or at the very least; you’d like to give them a try.
Now schedule this into your weekend diary.
Finally, let go of the guilt.
I think we are our own worst enemies when it comes to putting boundaries in place. We tend to assume we know what is expected of us when it comes to our employer or manager, and we think we know what our family, friends and colleagues need from us.
This month I challenge you to have a conversation with your manager about working after-hours or over weekends. In doing so, you’ll understand their expectations and may be pleasantly surprised that a response on Monday morning is sufficient.
Take some time out to consider what makes you happy, and start making time for it! Let go of any guilt you feel for spending time on things that give you joy. Instead, savour these moments, and be grateful that you have the opportunity to do so.