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What the Hell is Self-Care Anyway?!?

Some of us think that self-care is something we need to do when we are unhealthy or depleted. I used to too. But I’ve learned it’s more about the things we do to prevent ourselves from becoming unhealthy or depleted.

Self-care is made up of the consistent and intentional actions we take to support our physical, mental, and emotional health and well-beingIt’s the key component to living a balanced life.

In addition to improving your confidence, self-esteem, motivation, and happiness, practicing self-care allows you to fully show up for the significant people and things in your life!

You’ve probably heard the saying, “You cannot fill from an empty cup!” There’s a lot of truth in those words. When you are not your best self, you can’t show up as your best spouse, parent, leader, colleague, etc. But when you commit to a self-care routine–when you truly take care of yourself–you have more of yourself to give.

It’s kind of like a propane tank for your grill. What happens when the propane is low? Your burgers take longer to cook or worse; they don’t cook at all. That’s exactly what happens when you neglect to practice self-care regularly—your energy will get low, and you won’t have the strength to focus on the things that really matter—including your BIG goals.

To show up as your best and most healthy self takes doing a consistent routine of the things that supports your well-being! But self-care looks different for everyone. If you are forcing yourself to do an activity that makes you more stressed than recharged, PLEASE don’t do it. Some people love running, while others may prefer to walk or practice yoga. All are awesome self-care practices!

So, if self-care looks different to different people, how do you know what works for you?

Start by exploring these questions honestly:
What gives me energy? What drains me?
How much sleep do I need to feel rested?
What type of physical activity does my body crave? Which ones don’t feel good?
What kind of food provides me with energy? Which ones make me feel sluggish or crummy?

Understand that self-care is not…

  • Trying to numb, avoid, or distract yourself from your feelings.
  • Wearing a smile when you are feeling like shit inside.
  • Pushing yourself to exhaustion or pain.

Practice incorporating self-care habits into your regular routine.
Self-care activities incorporate nutrition, exercise, personal hygiene, stress management, positive mindset practices, and healthy relationships. Take the time to discover what works for you. Listen to your body and pay attention to what makes you feel energized and healthy.

Here are some of my self-care practices to give you a little inspiration…

1. Make your health and well-being your #1 priority! Eat the food that gives your body the fuel and energy it needs to function at its best. That includes drinking enough water to stay hydrated and taking the vitamins and supplements your body needs. Commit to making your regular check-ups with your doctor and dentist a priority.

2. Create a list of the things that are not in alignment with your goals, or unhealthy habits you want to change. Examples: Not checking emails before or after a certain time, attending social events you don’t enjoy, not answering your phone when you’re spending time with friends or family.

3. Create a positive mindset practice. Create a gratitude practice. Recognize and celebrate your achievements. Acknowledging your failures and see them as an opportunity for you to learn and grow.

4. Get enough sleep. Adults usually need 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Practice going to bed at the same time each night and getting up at the same time every morning. While we’re talking about sleep…practice avoiding the snooze button. Studies show, hitting snooze makes you more tired!

5. Practice getting 20 minutes of activity every day (lifting weights, walking, yoga, cleaning the house…just move your body). Exercise is not only good for our physical health but also our emotional health. It also increases serotonin levels, which leads to a better mood and more energy. To be in alignment with self-care…do the type of exercise that you enjoy doing!

7. Spend quality time connecting with friends and family. Having fulfilling relationships is an important component of self-care. Be intentional about spending time with the people you value most in your life.

8. Incorporate more fun, laughter, and happiness into your life! Practice doing at least one thing that lights you up every day; from going out with friends to singing in the car…look for opportunities to laugh and have more fun!

9. Get clear and connected on your vision! Take the time to think about what you REALLY want your life to look and come up with a plan that will help achieve your BIG goals! If something is not in alignment with your vision, practice saying no and creating healthy boundaries with others.

10. Practice keeping your physical environment clean, organized, and clutter-free. It’s amazing how simply making your bed each morning will set the tone for your day.

Some of my other favorites include:

  • Music and singing (extra self-care benefits if it’s going to see live music)
  • Getting out in the sunshine and fresh air
  • Taking a beach vacation in the middle of winter
  • Smiling (sometimes it’s for no reason other than it makes me feel good to do it)
  • And of course, one of my most powerful self-care practices is to work with a coach to help grow both personally and professionally

Self-care is the commitment to stay healthy and balanced as a regular practice. When you create a self-care practice that you enjoy and gives you energy, it will be easier for you to incorporate it into your regular routine. Soon see just how important self-care is to helping you achieve your BIG goals!

What will you do as part of your self-care practice? 

Nicole Comis, Certified Life & Executive Coach, helps business owners and other career-driven professionals achieve their BIG career goals while integrating more balance into their lives. She partners with her clients to gain clarity on what they want their future to look like, face their fears, identify obstacles holding them back, and create a plan to help them achieve BIG, stretchy goals that are outside of their comfort zone. Her coaching practice incorporates her client’s whole life, not just their career, leading to a more balanced, productive, healthy, and happy life. Nicole is a graduate and certified coach from the Accomplishment Coaching Coaches Training Program and is accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF) as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC). Nicole’s high-energy, judgment-free, fun, no-BS approach helps men and women live a more balanced life with a career they love, fulfilling relationships, a healthy well-being, and killer confidence!

September 3, 2019

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