Self-care is a must
How are you doing? Are you okay? Do you look after yourself? We so often ask these questions and yet, do we really listen to the other person? Probably not!
Even in a year that should have put empathy at the top of our social skills, it doesn’t seem like it. We hear some horrible stories between manager and team members. It’s heart breaking.
We need to do more to look after ourselves and practice self-care!
It’s been tough
My friends are my world and they are indeed spread around the world. It’s great when you can travel, visit them and explore their region. At the moment, Zoom’s been a blessing. We can still catch and chat for hours. The connectedness over the last few months has been good for our friendships and my health.
But then it hit me this week. One friend shared how they’ll have to give up their job and business due to a medical diagnosis. Their professional life has been turned upside down!
A former client opened up about their cancer diagnosis. While it’s in early stages, she’s been able to find qualified doctors who removed some of her fears and put her on a promising treatment already.
Two friends have been taken to the hospital with COVID-19.
My former room mate has been brought home to hospice care and I can’t even type this without crying. The feeling of helplessness, not being able to do anything for him or his wife…
These have been reminders for me to look after myself!
Self-care is highly personal
How you look after yourself depends on you. What works for you may not work for your family members and it’s important to recognise how individual self-care is.
In times when everybody wants something from us, when not everybody feels comfortable going outside and participating in small gatherings or when not everybody has adjusted to their new way of working, self-care may require some experimenting. And that’s okay!
You’ll need to find what works for you.
Look after yourself every day
“I’ll catch up on sleep this weekend.” You’ve probably heard this and maybe even said it, too. It doesn’t work. Your sleep needs to be regular, just like your self-care.
The beauty is that how you look after yourself every day doesn’t have to be as long as your sleep. You may be surprised that even shorter activities can give you what you need.
Reduce your sugar intake
So often, we want to eat healthier and give in to our cravings when watching a film in the evening. Reducing your sugar consumption doesn’t only risk for obesity and cardiovascular conditions. It can also give you more energy for the activities you want and need to carry out.
If you are wearing a FitBit or Apple watch, you can get hourly reminders to get up and walking. A walk before you’ll be facing the challenges of the day or after dinner can also help you to find your inner core and balance.
Do you prefer to speed it up and power through? Go for a HIIT work out in your gym or take your dog with you on a run.
Take it slow
While moving our body benefits your muscle strengths and increases your focus, not everyone wants to play tennis or cycle. You may want to unwind and sit in peace in quiet. A book, crossword or knitting maybe what works for you.
Become self-aware of your stress triggers
Understanding yourself is key to preventing energy drain and worse. Knowing what pushes your buttons, you can avoid these situations as much as in your control. You can also prepare for these situations and identify coping strategies early on.
If you know you’ll have a stressful week ahead, build in extra time for yourself before, during and after the week to reduce its impact on you and your health.
You can’t pour from an empty cup
As for me, I’ve reduced the number of meetings this week to the bare minimum and questioned whether specific activities need to be completed this week. The news from my friends has left a mark on me and it made me realise that I can take it slower. I need to look after myself if I want to serve my friends. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup!
Until next time,