Working parents and professionals are notorious at putting themselves last.
The importance of self-care gets a lot of attention from family experts, business coaches, and physicians, yet many professionals and working parents overlook the message, categorizing self-care as a treat or luxury. From busy schedules to guilt about carving out “me” time, we have become masters at being all things to others, while leaving little for ourselves.
In reality, self-care is vital to the very things that take priority. Without it, work productivity, wellness, health, and relationships can be negatively impacted.
Self-Care Is Your Armor
Whether you’re running a household or a business, there will be stressful instances, taxing situations, and unpleasant interactions you have to deal with. The benefits from self-care act as armor to help you handle whatever issues come your way.
Stress can lead to toxic emotions, depression, or illness, effectively killing your productivity and positivity. When you don’t feel well physically, your entire outlook and life approach are affected. When you don’t feel good about yourself, you may view situations through a skewed perspective. And when you aren’t equipped to handle a relationship or interpersonal issue, your emotional mindset takes a toll.
Whether you’re a parent trying to find a moment just to shower or a working professional with barely enough time for a lunch break, true health and wellness is contingent upon taking the time to care for yourself.
What Makes You Whole
Whole being care is focused on attending to the:
- Physical: The body needs time to rest and recharge, making sleep essential to healing, concentration, and mitigating health issues. A lack of sleep will negatively impact your productivity and even increase your risk of cancer. Your body needs exercise as well as the right nutrition, so proper diet and gut health must be priorities.
- Emotional: Setting boundaries, saying no, and being true to your feelings is imperative. It’s important to be able to define your beliefs and priorities so you can stay focused and be true to yourself.
- Psychological: Take time to see the joy in life and incorporate fun. Focus on hobbies or activities that make you feel happy, gratified, or accomplished. Surround yourself with people who reinforce positive messages and provide love and support. Spread kindness, gratitude, and forgiveness.
Join iDea lab and speaker Dr. Jackie Halstead on May 23 for the Webinar, “Caring for Our Whole Selves,” which provides practical instruction for practicing physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational self-care. Register here.
Focus on Yourself a Little Every Day
Practicing self-care is a lifelong pursuit—not a one-time phenomenon. It’s not always easy, and what works for your friend, family member, or colleague may not work for you.
Self-care isn’t selfish; rather it’s a necessity. When your life has balance, your whole being feels taken care of. It’s in this state that we can be our best at work, at home, and with the people who matter the most to us.