Last week, we began our discussion about maximizing life outside of the workplace by talking about the concept of self-care. Keep reading to learn BEW’s 5 tips for making self-care work for you.
What strategies do you employ when you want to remember something for work? My guess, you put the event or assignment in your calendar. That’s exactly what we propose you do with self-care. At the beginning of each week, as you're planning and prioritizing, we suggest that you schedule a daily activity that helps to support your self-care (#selfcare). These activities can be done alone or with someone else, and they don’t have to be extravagant, costly, or time consuming. Choose something that you will enjoy and look forward to each day. Putting these activities in your calendar helps you to stay accountable, AND accountability is key when starting a new routine.
2) Stop Wanting, Start Prioritizing
When work (or life, for that matter) gets busy, we tend to think about all of the things that we WANT to do, but then push them to the bottom of the list. We may skip the gym because we have to be at work early. Or, we may cancel plans with friends to work late. A lot of times, these schedule changes are a necessity. However, even during our busiest times, self-care can still be a priority. When life is super chaotic, self-care is even more important. The goal is for you to regard self-care as a priority, just as you would prioritize meeting a deadline at work.
3) Be Flexible
Sometimes we may choose activities like going out for dinner or participating in a fitness class. However, as we discussed above, work and life can get in the way. That’s why flexibility is important! Just because your original plan didn’t pan out the way that you wanted, that doesn’t mean you have to forgo self-care for the day. During these times, it’s important to think about what you CAN fit into your schedule to help you unplug from work.
4) Get Creative
It may take time to figure out what activities you really enjoy. Just because an activity is considered “good” for you, like mediation or yoga, that doesn’t mean these activities have to become part of your self-care routine. We absolutely support trying new activities, but that doesn’t mean you have to pressure yourself to adopt all of the recent wellness trends. The goal is to find activities that help you to disengage from the stressors of the day, even if it’s just for a little. Getting 8 hours of sleep, eating a healthy and nutritious dinner, listening to a podcast, or reading a book are all great options!
5) Treating Yourself vs. Self-Care
Going to a concert and staying out until 1AM on a work night can be really fun, but that isn’t a form of self-care. We may try justifying our exhaustion the next day by calling our night out “self-care,” but the consequences suggest otherwise. We aren’t saying that you shouldn’t go out and have fun with friends, but there is a difference between treating yourself and engaging in self-care. When you’re planning your self-care routine remember, 1) self-care is about taking care of your emotional, physical and mental well-being, and 2) calling an activity self-care to justify an unhelpful behavior pretty much defeats the purpose. It’s all about finding a balance between treating yourself AND at the same time creating a self-care practice.
There’s no better time than now to start planning your self-care routine and begin maximizing your life outside of the office. For more ideas about how to create a self-care routine, check out @bewtraining’s weekly videos and tips.
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