Secrets to Self-Care: 5 Easy Steps

It is great to be productive and get things done, but if you don’t manage your emotional energy too you will not enjoy your accomplishments. And you will be on a quick path to burning yourself out emotionally.

It’s #SelfCareSunday and time to discuss self-care.

For most women, self-care is a difficult concept. We tend to be focused on others – our parents, our families, our co workers and we might find ourselves staying up late, working through breaks, pushing to get things done.

And in the process, we might forget to take care of ourselves!

Can you relate to this?

If you don’t take care of yourself and have good habits, you will not only hurt yourself, but you will also be less effective to those around you – less effective with your partner or spouse, less effective with your kids and family, and less effective at work.

If you’re exhausted and don’t have physical and mental energy, it will take you longer to perform simple tasks. As we all know, low blood sugar makes for fuzzy thinking. And if you have too much on your plate, you are not able to dedicate your attention to where it’s needed most. In short, if this sounds familiar, then you are likely sabotaging yourself, which is why taking the time for self-care is so incredibly important.

There are 5 secrets to self care and by putting these simple habits into place you can begin to establish a better self-care routine.

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Self-Care Secret #1 – Learn to say no

Many women have a hard time saying “no” and setting boundaries. We don’t want to upset those around us.

Can you relate – does this describe something you’ve struggled with?

Setting boundaries is one of the most important things you will ever do to improve your productivity and also take better care of yourself.

And it will help you assert yourself at work and at home. Knowing when to say ‘yes’ – and more importantly – when to say ‘no,’ you can reserve your energy for what is actually important to you. And that means you’ll also free up some of your time to enjoy more self-care.

Self-Care Secret #2 Sleep Equals Success

Pulling an all-nighter might be fun when you’re a teenager and more able to snap back the next day. But, as we get older, the quality of our sleep declines and we need to be more internal about our habits, especially sleep. It’s important to maximize your sleep quality. Make sure your room is dark. Keep your phones and tablets away from your bed. And also make sure that you have a wind down routine prior to bed so you’re not looking at your device up to the minute you try to go to bed. Many of us do this but the blue light from your electronic screens suppresses melatonin (Academic paper here). Melatonin is a hormone responsible for controlling your sleep-wake cycle. If your body runs low on melatonin, you can feel fatigued or irritable the following day.

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Self-Care Secret #3 Reward yourself (but not with food)

Sometimes we all need some extra motivation to get us through a project. If you create the habit of rewarding yourself for your progress, you will be happier in the long run and establish a very positive self-care habit.

Create a ritual in which you can reward yourself. Here are a few low cost suggestions:

  1. Make a stay-at-home movie night. Find a movie on Netflix or rent one. Make some popcorn and gather your friends and family to special movie night.
  2. Coffee. Buy yourself that nice coffee. Maybe it’s spending a few dollars more to enjoy a fancy coffee you normally wouldn’t try, or another coffee upgrade.
  3. Take a hike or go for a walk and get outside. This is simple and fun and easy to do.
  4. Buy yourself a small gift. The key here is small. Maybe a book. Or a face mask or something small like that. Try to keep it under $20.

Self-Care Secret #4 Celebrate success

Do you rush through life from one task to another, never stopping to “smell the roses?”

It’s important to stop and recognize your success. Enjoy and celebrate your little victories. You can begin small by just congratulating yourself outloud. Or call or text a friend and share your accomplishments.

Boom…instant self-esteem jolt right where you need it.

It might sound a bit silly to some of you, especially if you consider yourself a “high performer” but little steps forward on a larger goal are worthy of acknowledgement. Each step forward on a path to a goal will fuel you with the emotional energy to continue going forward. Remember to celebrate yourself and enjoy every little win.

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Self-Care Secret #5 – Fuel your body

Eating well provides your body with the nutrition and energy you need to get through the day. Add in exercise, and you’ll build that staying power you need to accomplish great things. In other blog posts we have discussed how to eat healthier.

Your body is the engine that fuels everything so its critically important that you have the mindset of “My body is my fuel system.” Before you reach for that sugary snack in the afternoon, stop yourself and ask if the food choice you are about to take will fuel your body.

If not, reach for a healthy snack. And if you really want to help prevent these bad choices ahead of time, it’s all about having the right strategy. Make sure you are stocked up with healthy snacks for the week. So when you get low blood sugar and hunger pangs, you can reach for something healthy.

In summary, if you take time to master these five foundational secrets to self care, you will start your work week with a renewed energy and enthusiasm.

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