Work, errands, family activities, or community commitments … a regular day can be so hectic. It’s easy to end up tired and vulnerable to illness and fatigue—especially if we prioritize everything and everyone above our own basic self-care needs. I’ve been guilty of it too, trying to have everyone and everything taken care of before tending to my own needs. A couple of serious health scares is more than enough to shift perspective and cause one to pause and think about priorities.
Whether it’s a strong sense of commitment, guilt or perhaps even early childhood impressions that left us thinking that you must work as hard as you can all the time. As adults we can only benefit from pausing to question our beliefs and the motivations for our behaviors. I have held a strong belief in the value of hard work for years, not only believing it’s the right way but believing it’s the only way one should work.
Now I’ve come to appreciate the work has its place and different types of work can be approached and expressed differently.
We must consider the impact of our work and lifestyle on our health.
Suffering and hardships are more likely without good health. So how can you balance hard work and good health? By prioritizing self-care. Self-care enables you to take care of others and your obligations.
What is self-care?
To live well and find contentment in the long term you must prioritize self-care. In order to care for others effectively, you must care for yourself. Self-care involves taking action to care for our physical, spiritual, emotional and social health. Select activities are represented below:
Changing your priorities and lifestyle can be challenging. I recommend that you start out small, perhaps just by committing to yourself that you are going to focus on yourself for at least 15 minutes a day. Why so little time to start out? Because it’s easy to get discouraged and revert to your old ways. They are familiar and second-nature to you. You want to create new habits that ultimately improve your health and well-being while increasing your commitment level. You decide what activities you will pursue.
Perhaps a 15-minute walk each day. Try a 15-minute meditation session. Sit on the deck for 15-minutes and observe the birds. Limit your time on social media to 15-minutes in the morning. Or spend 15-minutes reading about stress management techniques.
You decide which activities you will start with and try them for a week, then reflect upon your experiences and adjust your behavior until you discover what works best for you. Go ahead, start today—you deserve it.