Self-Care is often difficult for highly career focused people. Without it, fatigue and burnout are inevitable. The tendency to overextend without prioritizing self-care practices is an easy, but dangerous, pattern to develop. Work demands seem urgent, and are even framed as such by others, so it can be counterintuitive to pause and take a look at what is going on with our own bodies and mind. Yet our suggestion is to think of yourself as an athlete. To be your best you have to condition yourself on all levels.
When we want to make changes to feel better, it is easy to think that we need big alterations. Sometimes this is true, but often it is the smallest, consistent changes that are the most powerful. Simplicity and ease is essential while you experiment and implement new ideas and ways of doing things.
Our team of highly trained career coaches helps clients identify and implement new ways to practice self-care with greater ease and simplicity. Below are the top three keys of self-care we’ve come up with. Read through and decide what small but powerful changes you can implement into your schedule.
1. Vital Wellness
Our bodies are comprised of rhythms that have their own autonomous flow, the breath, sleep, and digestion to name a few. Being aware of these aspects and doing what you can to attend to them gives greater vibrancy to our experience of life.
- Nutrition What you put into your body, you get out of it. Eating nutritious foods, and enough of them, are important for physical wellness. Pay attention to how you feel after eating, notice the effect of different foods. Practice the 80/20 rule and eat clean whole foods, veggies, and protein only during the week. You may be surprised the impact to your energy levels.
- Hydrate 75% of people are chronically dehydrated. Being properly hydrated means your brain and body are functioning properly. Plus you will feel less hungry and more awake.
- Breathe Breathing deep into your abdomen, allowing it to swell, creates an instant feeling of grounded calmness. This is because you are stimulating your vagus nerve, which slows your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure.
- Movement The word “exercise” often has the feel or connotation of one more obligation, one more task on your to-do list. Whatever the form, movement allows your body release to endorphins, which increase your feelings of overall wellness. This is lifelong – your desires and needs will change – pay attention and change things up
- Bodywork We carry a lot of tension from our physical lives. There are many options in this category: massage, acupuncture, chiropractic work, etc. Make it important to set aside the time for yourself and find the methods that help you recover from your day to day.
- Sleep Hygiene In many ways your sleep “life” is as important as your waking life. Over time see what works best for you. What is your ideal amount of sleep each night? Give yourself this. Set boundaries to make it happen.
- Give Your Body Mindful Attention Use the body scan technique to check in with each part of your body. Listen to what your body is telling you. Caring for yourself is how you show up for the most important things in your life.
If you struggle with this area of your self-care toolkit, it may be time to seek assistance outside of yourself. Our team of life coaches at Ignite Your Potential can give you the encouragement and empowerment you need to overcome the challenges you have in this area. Their expert coaching service will allow you to:
- Establish the traction you need to make change
- Find your presence
- Expand your own resourcefulness to increase your engagement
- Help you overcome crisis
- Get back your vitalness
- Optimize whatever area you want to work on: get a complimentary session!
2. Mental Wellness
Mental wellness refers to your emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. When this area of your selfhood is in order, you experience a state of well-being in which you realize your own abilities, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and are able to make a contribution to the world. Here are some ways we keep this in check:
- Perspective Attitude has a direct effect on how you experience life. Keeping a good attitude is a powerful way to relieve stress and find more joy. This takes self-awareness, begin by paying attention to your internal dialog, the way you are talking to yourself about the world as you walk through it. Begin to influence your attitude by looking for the positive and productive angle. Learn to coach yourself into a better attitude.
- Feel and Name Your Emotions Repressing or blocking your emotions doesn’t provide the necessary release you need in order to move forward with your life. Your emotions will leak through or cause other challenges if you don’t acknowledge them. As something comes up for you, take the time to name what you are feeling. Bring some understanding to what’s happening for you emotionally. It can be helpful to talk with a friend or a therapist. Giving space for this is a way of giving space to yourself, who you are, and what you’re feeling. People who do this find more peace of mind will arise.
- Resolve a Nagging Issue We all have a small nuisance in our life that secretly plagues us, like a lost button, broken cabinet, a piece of clothing that needs repair, etc. Pick a new one each week and eliminate it.
- Set Intention Prior to getting your day started, take a few minutes to meditate on your intention for the day. Intention allows us to navigate obstacles with clarity and confidence.
- Relationship with Self Our view of ourselves is very important. Make sure you’re treating yourself as if you would treat a beloved child who was in your care. How would you feed that child? How would you talk to that child? We are obviously not children, and I don’t mean to infantilize anyone, but this analogy is meant to offer a right perspective. You are important. Treat yourself that way.
- Give Time to yourself Whether this is a vacation, a day off, or even space to take a short nap. Make time for yourself to rest and recoup.
Prioritizing self-care will not only strengthen and energize your career but will also help you develop a greater sense of peace of mind and clarity.
Our team of expert career coaches can help career-focused people and executives strengthen a variety of aspects of their lives so they reach their highest potential in their careers. Click here to receive a complimentary initial session!
3. Environmental Wellness
Your environmental wellness is comprised of the things you regularly experience outside of yourself that have a direct impact on you. Here are some ways we maintain a high degree of environmental wellness:
- Make Connections Making new connections with positive, interesting people is rewarding, refreshing, and expands perspective.
- Discernment Everyone brings something different into your life. Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Choose wisely.
- Create your Surroundings Be mindful of how you best work and use this to create surroundings that support you and your workflow. Is it in natural light? With music? Without clutter? Pay attention to the ambiance and other conditions that contribute to your ideal productivity and happiness. Create spaces that are optimal for you.
- Use Technology Wisely Consider how much time you are spending on social media and on your devices in general. Is the amount of time your spending working for you? Notice if you feel energized or drained by these habits and act accordingly. Technology is an amazing set of tools that are endlessly helpful to us but make sure that they aren’t becoming a habit pattern that isn’t serving you. Also, think through customizing your social media, choose to unfollow negative people or negative media outlets.
At Ignite Your Potential, we know maintaining a high degree of this self-care involves letting go of old habits. For support to attain better self-care so you can achieve more in life and career, Ignite Your Potential coaches are standing by ready to get started.