Self care. The entrepreneurial buzzword du jour. While it has the best of intentions, it’s hard not to roll your eyes when you hear it.
And that’s awful because self care is incredibly important, especially as an entrepreneur. You’ve heard all the cliches.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
“Put your oxygen mask on first.”
“Fill your well before you let others take from it.”
And they’re all true. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Not only is it literally impossible, it’s figuratively impossible, too.
You can’t do your best work, be in service to your clients, and build your business if you’re running on empty. Ah, there’s another cliche.
And of course, I learned this the hard way. A few years ago, my birthday came and went and I missed it completely. I was so wrapped up in the stress of my job, I completely forgot. I lost a year. I vowed not to let that stress take over. I could feel it eating at me from the inside out.
Stress is a huge time waster. Your mind is not sharp, so you make little mistakes that cost you time (and sometimes money, too). You’re constantly rushing and doing 500 things at once, which often means that none of them are getting done well.
Obviously, self care was at the bottom of the list of important things when I had my 9-5 job. The most basic kindness, like washing my face, barely made the list.
So, let’s talk about simple self care that you can do almost anywhere and anytime to get your vibes back up and refill your cup.
Now, I’m not talking baths or mountain biking (both are things I’ve heard are self care because…self care can be anything you want it to be.) I’m talking ways to shake up your routine and show love to yourself in basic ways that are fulfilling for your mental and physical health.
When I was still in the “corporate” world, my friend started to sell Mary Kay. She offered to do a consultation with me, so I was enjoying my hour of pampering and our conversation until she saw my mascara.
“How old is that mascara?” she asked.
I didn’t have an answer. Best guess… It was about three years old.
“Throw it out. It doesn’t matter how much you spent or whether it’s still good. You could give yourself an eye infection. Seriously. Trash. Now.” (Did I mention she has 5 teenagers living in her house?)
I would never have guessed it had been that long since I’d gotten a fresh tube of mascara. But in thinking back to the summer where I completely missed my own birthday, it didn’t really surprise me.
So consider me your Mary Kay lady, reminding you to watch what you put on and in your body!
Success Tip: You can’t do your best work when you have sub-par ingredients fueling you. And that includes the products you put on your skin.
Do this today:
Go through your makeup. Toss anything that expired, smells, or is broken.
Stop using, and eating, things that make you feel like crap.
In a recent Saturday Synergy, I shared the goodness of meal kit subscriptions. I’d resisted meal delivery for some time. I’m creative, capable, and can make dinner on my own.
Except I’ve been stuck in a rut and also totally dreading shopping, prepping, and planning.
Cue the stress.
First, they made things straightforward and easy. I didn’t have to piece together a meal plan from multiple cookbooks. It was streamlined, efficient, and organized.
Second, it gave me choices. I was able to look and consider what would work for me and Matt, and then create a menu that would compliment our tastes and preferences.
Third, it sped up the process. I didn’t have to spend 2+ hours on plan, shop, prep, cook, and clean up. Planning was quick, using simple apps, while lying in bed finishing Season 6 of Blacklist.
I didn’t have to shop or prep. All I did was cook with pre-portioned, pre-measured ingredients and then clean up. I did that while drinking wine.
The act of doing something I love in a new way reignited interest in cooking, one of my favorite chill-out activities.
So instead of resisting something I know I love because it always makes me feel refreshed when I do it, I found a way to do it differently.
Do this today:
Make a list of what you love doing. Go do one of those things. Here’s the catch… see if you can’t make the entire thing pleasurable, even if it’s “I don’t like waiting for the water to run in the bath.” Maybe you can head to the sauna at your gym or see if your local spa has a floatation room.
I’m not talking about making a list of things to do and doing them (but if that lights you up… awesome)!
I learned about an Every Damn Day list from Sarah von Bargen at Yes and Yes.
Something I’ve learned is that, occasionally, when I don’t stick to the things I’ve said I’ll do in the name of self care, I get a little harsh with myself. I’m sure you can’t relate.
But if you can, you know that feeling of, “Ugh, well I didn’t make a smoothie this morning, so I’ll just skip my entire day of good habits and self care and try again tomorrow.”
With an Every Damn Day list, you won’t throw in the towel on your day. And you’ll get a mental boost of doing something good for yourself… every damn day. Bonus, you’ll be doing something good for yourself physically, too.
The point of this list is to include things you can do every day. Simple, attainable things. Not things that are aspirational or what your “better” self will do.
My Every Damn Day list includes:
Share a compliment
Wipe down the sink
Check my bank account
Do this today:
Make an Every Damn Day list. Then… do the things.
I hope I’m not alone in admitting that self care sometimes didn’t even make the list. I was all work, all the time. I convinced myself that care, kindness, and self compassion could wait until I was successfully on my own in business.
Remember, you first get into the mindset of being what you want. Then, do things from that state. And you’ll finally have what you desire. (As opposed to thinking you need to have something first to do what you want so you can be who you’d like.)
And to get into that mindset, you have to take care of your mind and body. You’ve gotta take care of yourself first so you can flow with all kinds of positive vibes. After all, nothing good comes from a place of struggle. So why not do something good for yourself and get those vibes up and easily attract what you want?
So, I’m not missing another birthday. I’m not missing the opportunity to enjoy the seasons. I’m not forgetting to replace my mascara for another three years! And I’m asking you not to let it get “this bad” for yourself.
I’m caring for my skin. I’m celebrating my accomplishments. I’m getting superfood nutrition to fuel my hustle.
Success Tip: you must put self care at the top of your list, especially if you run your own business and want to be an impactful leader.
Whether it’s washing your face, taking a walk, getting better nutrition, journaling, going hiking or swimming, or just taking 10 minutes with an iced tea on the back porch, I’m imploring you today to start taking care of yourself.
Today. Now. Right now.
Comment below and tell me how you’ll start taking better care of yourself today and going forward. Can’t wait to be inspired and encouraged by your self kindness!
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