Take Care of Yourself Before You Take Care of Others
As I’m writing this week’s blog post still recovering from a severe migraine attack on Saturday evening, I am reflecting on the importance of taking care of yourself. Most often we (especially women) tend to put our own health and wellbeing last as we try to help and please the people around us. In theory this might sound wonderful, but in practice it simply doesn’t work. If you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will, and eventually you will suffer the consequences in many different shapes and forms. Then you’ll be stuck in a place of illness or unhappiness and as a result you won’t be able to offer any help or support to anyone else!
Image by adifansnet (flickr)
This week I want you to stop, reflect and reassess your priorities. And here are some tips to help you do it.
- Understand that you can’t be everything for everyone. Accept that, and be ok with it.
- Spend your days focusing on what’s most important to you, and scrap everything else from your agenda. This is the first step to cleaning up your days and making time for relaxation and recharging.
- Value yourself, your time and your energy like your clients or colleagues do. You are worth a lot more than you think. Make sure you optimise how you spend your day, focusing your time and energy on the things which bring you the highest return (both in terms of happiness and finances).
- Schedule relaxation and recharge time. Mix it up with anything from drinks with friends to date night with your partner to going to yoga class. Make sure your relaxation time includes socialisation, physical exercise, resting, and ‘me time’ – which brings me to the next point.
- Every week make sure you have at least a few hours of ‘me time’. This is the time when you get to do whatever you want on your own without any interruption. Maybe it’s simply going for a solitary walk and let your thoughts take you over – but don’t spend time trying to solve anything on this walk. Maybe it’s putting your favourite DVD on and eating your guilty pleasure treat. Or maybe it’s cuddling up on the sofa with hot cocoa and a good book. Whatever it is, make sure you do this at least once a week.
- Eat and drink well. Always carry a bottle of water with you and some snacks in your bag. A musli bar or an apple can go a long way when you’re on the run and waiting for a proper break to have lunch or for the day to end to have dinner. Hydrate yourself or your body won’t have anything to work with. You need water in order to use you brain effectively. (I’m preaching a bit to myself here!)
- Have a deadline to finish work at a certain hour everyday. If you don’t schedule it, it’s unlikely to happen. Sure there may be a day here and day there that you’ll need to work past that deadline – but don’t make it a regular occurrence! In order to be your most productive and alert you need to give your mind and body a proper rest as well. (If you’re curious for more productivity tips, check out 6 Shortcuts to Work Smarter Not Harder.
- Get enough sleep! This is so underestimated and yet so important. Without sleep your body and brain get no chance to recover or regenerate new cells in your body to keep it strong and healthy. Find out more about the importance of sleep in my earlier post Sleep Happy Feel Happy.
And with that I need to go back to resting – because it’s clear my body has been on overdrive lately and it’s shouting at me telling me to slow down.
Which of these tips do you think would benefit you the most? Comment below with what you’ll start committing to from today onwards!
If you liked this post, please share it, tweet it, like it, facebook it – all of it – so that you can help your friends, family and colleagues to stay healthy, happy and productive by telling them how to take care of themselves first.
Good luck in your adventures and until next week!