Sometimes I feel like a broken record, constantly advocating the benefits of self-care and how this practice has transformed my life over the last 18 years.
This past week confirmed for me that this message is one we all need to hear, again and again.
Recently I was leading a workshop for entrepreneurs at various life stages on how to work less and experience more. Toward the end of the seminar, after covering a lot of essential ground related to running a successful business, I hit on the importance of self-care. This was when the most lively, passionate dialogue erupted.
Everyone seemed to grasp that self-care–the art of attuning and responding to your physical/emotional/spiritual/mental needs –was fundamental to their well-being. They understood intellectually that they couldn’t build a business–much less function–when they were exhausted, harried and running on empty.
But were they ready to change their behavior and mindset to be more compassionate and kind with themselves?
My ah-ha moment and initial motivation to learn more about self-care came after having my son and realizing how vital it was for me to teach him to honor and nurture himself–something my sweet mother, who battled depression, was never able to pass on to me.
What will it take for you to make this shift? Consider the following gifts that can come from a self-care practice.
When we renew ourselves first:
- We feel more generous and can avoid building resentment toward others who demand our energy and time
- We are more loving, which makes us better friends, partners, and parents, and more enjoyable to be around
- We validate and honor our own worth, which helps us own our personal power, enhance self-esteem, and it lowers susceptibility to depression and anxiety
- We renew and restore our energy supply and create energy reserves so we’re able to weather unforeseen challenges more easily
- We’re more present and calm; we can respond wisely, intuitively, and effectively to a variety of circumstances
- We feel good on the inside, which leads to looking good on the outside; nurturing our essence promotes well-being and vitality
I’ve been focusing on self-renewal for quite a while and teach it daily, yet the journey never ends. Hands down this practice has been the most life-changing one I have ever encountered. And, the gifts that come from cultivating more compassion for myself continue to arrive daily. Ultimately I’ve learned that the more accepting I am of myself, the more accepting I am of everyone and everything around me.
A Self-Care Challenge: This week I invite you to begin attuning to how you’re feeling and what you need. Before you step out of bed in the morning, take a moment to scan your body from head to toe and check-in. Put a hand on your chest and ask, “What do I need today?” Are you over-scheduled; do you need to say no? Do you need to move your body or spend more time in nature? Are you dehydrated or eating something that’s not enhancing your energy level? Do you need to schedule an entire day just rest? (A radical concept, I know!) I challenge you to listen and then respond. Self-care is your birthright.
I’D LOVE TO SUPPORT YOU. HERE ARE TWO OPPORTUNITIES:
- Schedule me to plan/facilitate a custom workshop or retreat for your company, team or organization on work-life balance, resiliency or self-renewal. Learn more and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your next event.
- Renew, replenish and recharge with like-minded women at a fall self-renewal retreat. In transition and seeking clarity/focus and a weekend of deep to-the-bones renewal? View all upcoming fall retreats here.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance teacher author/speaker and self-care evangelist Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women find balance through the art/science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, Spirituality & Health and more. She is the author of two books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 17-year-old son. More on Renee here.