It’s no secret that far too many women – especially women in business – feel too exhausted and overwhelmed to take time for acts of self-care. Even though chronic stress can harm relationships, health, and bottom lines, it doesn’t get prioritised. If acts of renewal do make our “to-do” lists, it typically sits somewhere near the bottom.
We are constantly asking ourselves, “Why should I take care of myself? I thought I was supposed to put everyone else’s needs first” or “isn’t self-care selfish?”
Self-care is an often misunderstood concept. Taking care of yourself does not mean neglecting everyone else in your life. And BIG NEWS-self-care has nothing to do with being selfish or a “bad” person. Self-care is as essential to life as breathing.
Let’s clarify what self-care means to us at Women in Healthcare. Self-care involves addressing your own basic needs, such as food, water, shelter, sleep, money to live on, etc. It also involves addressing some of your higher needs such as health, love, sense of belonging, etc. Self-care even involves addressing your wants and passions, including hobbies and the activities that make your heart sing and truly bring you joy. It means being nice to yourself. Treating yourself with love and respect. For some people, particularly those in caregiving roles or with demanding schedules-finding 15 minutes a day of peace and quiet to themselves is a loving act of self-care.
For us, self-care involves:
- Getting a really good night’s rest.
- Eating nutritious, energising foods.
- Getting in some movement, because our bodies love to move.
- Filling our lives with positive people.
- Having time daily for spirituality.
- Having fun by dancing, listening to great music, hiking in the mountains, being in the beauty of nature.
It also means thinking positive thoughts and talking kindly to ourselves…which also means that when our inner critic shows up, we get to gently tell her she has the rest of the day off.