Taking care of yourself IS taking care of business
Keeping yourself cared for and nurtured is critical to your work performance. It’s critical for your relationships, energy levels and your health.
Have you ever had one of those weeks? The kind where everything is happening all at once, and then you get sick and then a colleague needs you to fill in where you hadn’t planned to be.
The kind of week where “taking care of yourself” seems like a cruel joke fabricated by people who seem to have endless free time and clearly have never experienced what it’s like to be in your life?
Yeah, me too. And after years and years (and even more years) of resisting the whole idea, I decided to just do it.
I embraced taking care of myself as a “must-have” not a “nice to have”. Not once have I ever looked back.
And when a week like that happens? As it did to a client of mine just last week, and to me, too. Well, then it’s time to double the efforts. Right now, I invite you to think about how you’re recharging or “pre-charging.”
This week, facing a busy week ahead, here’s how I pre-charged: Those are my feet in the picture, enjoying a warm rose water foot bath and a pot of tea. I treated myself to a facial. That morning, my partner and I went to a cafe we enjoy and we spent the afternoon hiking. That night, I spent a half hour on necessary accounting tasks and reviewed/tweaked my calendar for the week.
Carving out a day a week for personal care and business tasks is a way that I practice my own self care. It makes me far more productive for the rest of my work week. (I’ve experimented with this, and yes, I do get more done on this schedule.)
Everyone is not going to set aside a day every week for self and business care. That’s not realistic or even desirable for some of us. And not everyone is excited about a spa experience, either. I’ve even had clients tell me I’m crazy when I suggest that taking care of their bills and accounting is a form of self care.
But it is all of that. And it’s not optional.
Whether you are running a business, managing someone else’s business, contributing to your office team, running a home or what have you, keeping yourself cared for and nurtured is critical to your performance. It’s critical for your relationships. It’s critical to your energy levels, your brainpower, your stress management and your health.
When you are taking care of you, you don’t hold others at metaphorical gunpoint, trying to get them to meet your needs.
Because you already did that.
You’re not zooming around the office like a crazy person because your stress is better managed and your head is clearer. You work better, relate better and lead better because you feel better. It’s that simple.
What it looks like is up to you. How much time you make is based on the responsibilities you have and what you know you need.
Need ideas? Consider these:
Exercise: Do a 30-minute workout. Go for a walk. Stretch. Play a game. Store a couple of dumbbells in the office and use them while on a conference call. Be creative, just move.
Eat well: Find the way of eating that your body responds best to, and be consistent about it.
Prioritize health: Get a check-up. Attend to what needs attending to. Consider a massage or bodywork.
Connect: Don’t let work divert you from those you love. Call the person you’ve been meaning to call. Make a date with your partner or plan movie night with the kids.
Manage stress: Meditate, pray or sit quietly, even if it’s 10 minutes a day.
Clean up your environment: Throw out clutter. Straighten up.
Attend to money: Keep your business books up to date. Balance your personal checkbook. Take care of that bill you’ve put off.
Treat yourself: Don’t wait until you’ve “earned it.” That thing that sounds perfect? Find some way to put it– or a form of it– on the calendar.
I challenge you to find 30 minutes this week to take care of business by taking care of you.
Even the busiest person I know can find 30 minutes in a week. If you think you’re the exception, I encourage you to take another look at where your minutes are going.
What do you need to care for yourself physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually? Go do that. Then, make it a habit.