Self care is a topic I'm passionate about. It's something that I devote a significant part of my business and platforms to speaking on, and it definitely is a concept that needs to become more prominent in today's world. Very rarely does our culture, our corporate structure, or our personal lives put any importance on building a life of balance. But it's so, so necessary! These three rules are how I keep myself in check -- try them in your life, too!
1. Three Is the Magic Number
At any given point of time, you should always pick only three balls to keep in air at once. When I work with clients, we pick three goals to work on. At any given point in my own life, I only choose three areas of my business to focus on. This is one of the easiest ways to overcome overwhelm. Right now I'm focusing on building a community of entrepreneurs, coaching clients one-on-one, and taking business school. If I want to add a podcast, a video series, digital course, workshop, etc, I have to trade it in for one of my other items on the list.
This also goes for daily tasks. I pick three things I HAVE to get done each day, and then anything else that gets done is simply a bonus. It keeps me grounded, forces me to really focus on each item at hand, and gives me an achievable direction to go in. I live by this rule more than any others, and it's saved my sanity.
2. Trust Your Gut
You are a unique person, with specific strengths, challenges, and weaknesses. Do what makes sense for you. In a world where everyone is on blast on social media, it's easy to feel like you're not doing enough, or that you should be doing something just because everyone else is. If it doesn't excite you, don't do it just because you feel you should.
Now this doesn't mean turn down every opportunity that scares you. It's about realizing where your passions lie and going in that direction. There's nothing that will stress you out more quickly than devoting a large amount of your life to something that you dislike. You will hate each minute you spend on a project that isn't fulfilling. And that will affect the rest of your life as well.
3. Pay Attention To Yourself
The body is not subtle about letting you know when it's not happy. In fact, it will generally yell very loudly when you're doing too much. It's not a coincidence that you get sick every busy season at work, or you fall asleep on the couch at 7pm every night, or have an upset stomach after a week of stressful meetings. When you're burning the candle at both ends, or investing all your time in things that don't make you happy, it literally makes you sick.
And too often we explain it away! It's just "cold season" or "I must have eaten something that doesn't agree with me." Not I'm carrying stress in my system, or I'm incredibly unhappy. And don't even get me started on depression, anxiety, panic attacks, etc. LISTEN TO YOURSELF! It's so important, and it's the easiest way to tell when you're doing too much.
Building a life where self care is a top priority is hard. It requires choosing yourself in a world where we're taught selfishness is bad. It requires saying no, in a world where we're taught to be people pleasers. It requires being self aware. It requires choosing to deviate from the beaten path. And it's not lazy to say no -- have you heard the phrase "work better, not harder"? But the more people who make that decision, the more socially acceptable it becomes, and the easier it is to incorporate into our culture.
How do you build a life of self care? Share with me in the comments below, or join the party on Instagram and share there: https://www.instagram.com/katrina.widener/
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