“I can focus on myself later”
“If I take a break for myself now, how am I going to get everything done?”
“I can’t go to that. Everyone is counting on me to do this!”
Sound familiar? Proceeding down this path eventually leads to BURN OUT. Burn out typically describes a state of complete exhaustion whereby a person is depleted of not only their physical energy, but their emotional and mental energy as well. So, how do we make sure that we do not burn ourselves out? This is where self-care comes in.
While the terms ‘self-love’ and ‘self-care’ have become more commonplace recently, they sometimes still get a bad reputation. Self-love does not equal selfishness! Everybody is worthy of taking some “me” time without having to feel like they are being selfish. What many people do not realize is that when we are low on energy, this not only affects us, but also the people around us. So, when you are running low on energy, and are working on overdrive, taking that extra hour for yourself can not only benefit you, but can also benefit those around you--when you are working on empty energy, you cannot provide very much to anyone else.
Thus, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, taking time for self-care may actually be the best way to help take care of others. By using self-care to manage and prevent burn out, we can make sure that we are available to be our best selves for others. This does not mean that you need to carve out half of your day to go to the Spa (if you can and want to, by all means, do it!) but you can often benefit from smaller commitments, like taking fifteen minutes out of your day to engage in some sort of activity that you enjoy doing.
Here are some great ways to practice self- care (that don’t have to take too much time!):
- Go for a walk outside and immerse yourself in what’s going on around you
- Light some candles, and take a bubble bath
- Go to a quiet room and read a book that you’ve been wanting to read
- Do a workout class you’ve been meaning to try
- Practice some mindfulness meditation
- Put on some music and sing/dance!
And remember, when you are so busy that you think you do not have any time to engage in self-care, that is probably when you need it the most!