Why Down Time is Under-rated and Self-Care Strategies are SO vital
I just recently returned from a 1 week vacation with my children and husband…it was the first REAL vacation I had taken in 9 months. I am embarrassed to admit I have not had a proper vacation in that amount of time…and it typifies how crazy business wise things that were for me the last few months.
Why do we as small business professionals and moms in general feel guilty about advocating for down time or self-care in general? Items like this do not need be grand in scale either…a stay-cation, massage or even a good night’s sleep should not be perceived as indulgent, but rather a necessity!
An article by Rachel W. Cole a life coach and retreat leader, suggests that “self care is other care.” In other words, practicing self-care helps us help others more effectively. Don’t we all feel like better mothers, wives/significant others and even friends when we’ve had time to re-charge, so to speak?
Christine Northrup, MD has several suggestions for addressing self-care needs and strategies:
- Do something pleasureable each day: this can take the form of gentle yoga, stretching, reading a great book for fun, taking a walk, connecting with good friends or even taking a nap!
- Yoga breathing: breathing in fully engages the parasympathetic nervous system and reduces cortisol levels and has a definitive calming influence
- Learn to say NO: this has been one of the most challenging areas for me in my personal and professional life and something I am constantly working on….say yes to only the things you really want to engage in. I was recently asked to do a joint pod-cast with a wonderful writer…and it was tempting to say yes, but I realized ultimately this would detract from my own key priorities and not serve me of my family well at all.
- Don’t wait for permission to practice self-care. As my Mom used to tell me…you are your own best advocate!
- See your body as a temple for your soul: treat it with love, respect and kindess, always
So, as you can see….there are lots of ways to cultivate self-care in our lives and NOT feel guilty about it. “Self-care is one of the most powerful ways to care for others and one of the most loving things you can do for for the people in your life…by establishing healthy boundaries to ensure you are not in a position of future resentment…this kind of care nutures both you and your relationships” (Ashley Eder, psychotherapist).
Tell me some ways that you try to practice self-care and how it impacts those that you love J