I know what you are thinking; not another article on self-care! Self-care is a word so overused it has lost its meaning.  But I’m here to say that it’s ok to put yourself on the top of your to-do list.  Actually, its essential.  So let’s first broaden our idea of what self-care is and see if we can find ways to inject it in our daily lives

Self-care is more than just a massage or a vacation.

In today’s world when people hear the words “self-care,” they often think of luxurious getaways or making an appointment at the nearest spa. And yes that can be a part of self-care, but it should never be mistaken for being all that it is. If that’s the entirety of your self-care routine, then you are setting yourself up for burnout. A solid self-care plan has to enrich and relax all aspects of your life. More then just a massage, a solid self-care plan will ask you to find activities that recharge your physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental sides of yourself. A good self-care plan should have a variety of ways you can address all of these domains. So yes, take a vacation, and book that spa day, but make sure to think about activities that give your mind a chance to run free. Or plan activities that make you feel spiritually connected and grounded. Find at least 2 or 3 activities in each domain to bring you true rest and refreshment.

Build small self-care moments in your day

Here’s what we all know to be the truth within ourselves. If a task takes too much of our time or is too much of a commitment, then we aren’t going to do it. I know it’s true at least in my life. Often time we avoid setting up a self-care plan because we think it will take an unrealistic amount of time from our busy day. I know I used to feel that way. I excused taking care of myself by saying that I didn’t have an hour in my day to meditate.  That I was too busy/broke/or tired to invest the time required to recharge. I know now that I was defining self-care in the most narrow of terms and as a result, I was missing out. The truth is most self-care activities can be done in 15-30 minutes a day.

If you love meditation take the pressure off to do an hour session.  Instead, do a 5 minute guided session two times a day. If you can’t afford a gym membership in your tight budget; get on Youtube and stream a 20-minute workout. Write in a journal at the end of the day and set a timer for 15 minutes. Pick out clothes that make you feel good for the next day at work. On the car ride home make a playlist that helps you relax or energizes you for the day. Challenge yourself to practice self-care daily with one of these ideas.

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

I know for some of us this is a tough one. But I can’t overstate how important it is that we include some cardio in our stressful lives. If you can do nothing else for yourself, make sure to include cardio three days a week for 30 minutes into your life. If you have a type of exercise, you like doing then commit to doing it three days a week. If the thought of exercising makes you cringe, then how about including a simple walk into your routine. Do something that gets you out in nature. I know we lead busy lives, and this can be a challenge, but I can’t overstate how much better you will feel when you add exercise into your routine. In today’s busy world self-care is no longer an option; its a necessity. We can’t be the amazing professionals we are if we don’t prioritize taking care of ourselves. Self-care is the foundational skill that helps us keep our professional glow. Subscribe and receive a free five day “Find Your Balance” journal to jump start your self-care journey