Self-care is an important complement to the pursuit of personal development. When you are trying to create positive practical changes in your life, it’s easy to become so focused on pursuing future goals that you forget to tend to your needs in the here and now. Whether you have gone back to school, are training for a new career, or are planning a real estate purchase, balance your commitment to achievement with consideration of your physical and mental wellness needs. Failure to do so could lead to increased anxiety and trigger unhealthy coping mechanisms. But slowing down and tending to your needs will help you achieve your goals.
Schedule time for yourself.
When you are working on making significant life changes, your schedule is probably packed. Meeting your deadlines means constantly hustling, and this can lead to burnout if you aren’t careful. No matter how much you may feel that you must be productive in every waking moment, this approach simply is not healthy. You need to take time to unwind, relax, and unplug. Don’t leave this for “if I get a few minutes” either: set aside time slots just for doing what it takes to help you relax and regain your energy.
Avoid unnecessary stress.
A certain amount of stress may be unavoidable during this time. However, try to protect yourself from unnecessary stressors that could wear you out or hamper your decision-making skills. Work on setting boundaries in relationships that increase your anxiety, and how to say “no” when you need to. If you have developed unhealthy habits that increase stress — consuming too much caffeine or spending too much time on your device — replace them with habits that will help you relax, instead.
Make a list of easy self-care practices.
Have you been so obsessed with productivity, you’ve forgotten what you enjoy doing with your downtime? Do you have a spare few minutes and aren’t sure how to spend them? It’s helpful to have a list of easy ways you can destress and boost your spirits. Some things that might be helpful include yoga stretches, listening to music, taking a walk, or doing a dance workout. Or, you may want to lie down in a quiet place, close your eyes, and check out for a few minutes.
This may sound more like a chore than self-care, but the reality is that we feel happier and function better in a clean, decluttered setting. Plus, dirt and mess can create health risks such as increased allergens in dust, and bacteria-friendly environments. It’s also important to maintain a well-organized schedule so that you aren’t wasting time trying to remember what to do next or rushing back to get something you forgot.
Have a plan.
Whether you are returning to college for a degree or preparing for your first home purchase, it’s important to do your research in advance and have a plan. So, for instance, if you are buying a home, you should budget in advance, reduce debt to raise your buying power, and work with a reliable realtor. You should also have a plan for navigating public health restrictions during the pandemic. This might involve virtual home tours and making sure you are equipped with a mask and hand sanitizer when you enter offices or residences.
What you need to remember about self-care is that it isn’t about indulgence or selfishness. It has to do with protecting your own well-being. This is partially because, if your own needs are not met, you cannot meet the needs of others or serve your community. But it is also because your own happiness and well-being are worth pursuing. If you feel you could use a coach or mentor in your quest for personal betterment, reach out to Lifevise or browse their online resources.
Image via Pixabay
About the Author
After spending most of his time in a corporate setting and neglecting his own self-care far too long, Brad embraced his calling and decided to become a full-time life coach. He now spends the rest of his life helping people get a better foothold on their wellness above all else through his blog, Self Caring.