Self-care is very crucial to keep working towards your goals. The irony is that people actually forget that while working for their goals. When you are busy and working towards your dream, it is easy to forget about yourself. Being busy has become a sort of measure to show how serious you are about your business. Nothing is as important as your well-being. This is something you need to remind yourself from time to time.
“Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is more important than the judgment we pass on ourselves.”
– Nathaniel Branden
In the process of working hard, we start berating ourselves when our body starts showing even a little sign of wearing out. It is important to listen to those signs and take steps to rectify the problem.
Self-care has been garnering more attention. People have started realizing that it is important to take care of one’s self to keep putting their best foot forward. Here are five things you should do no matter how busy you are.
“Self-care is how you take your power back.”
– Lalah Delia
1. Morning Self-Care Routine
What many people starting on the self-care journey do is that they set aside a day once in a while to focus on themselves. While this can be a great way to take a break, it isn’t as beneficial in the long run. Mornings are the most important time according to me. What you do in the morning has the power to set the tone for the day.
“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”
– Edward Stanley
It is important to use your waking hours wisely. Everything in the morning is much more relaxed from the peaceful nature to the blissful weather. Your mind and body are at peace too. You are yet to completely be absorbed in the day’s worries. This is the perfect time to indulge in some self-care.
Establish small habits that help you focus on your well-being every day. Meditating in the morning, doing yoga, drinking warm lemon water, writing in your gratitude journal are some of the things you can easily incorporate in your daily lifestyle.
This helps you start your day on a positive note without having to do something extra for the positive mindset. With a busy lifestyle, taking care of oneself seems like a luxury so when you do little things like these, you feel like you are on the right track. You feel content with your work-life balance.
For me, my morning routine consists of:
- Waking up at 6 AM
- Having a glass of water
- Washing my face and brushing my teeth
- Meditating for 20 minutes (I use Headspace app)
- Playing Elevate (a brain training app)
- Reading a Blinkist
- Reading for 30 minutes
- Listening to a motivational video
- Setting my 3 MITs for the day
- Making tea for me and my wife
- Spending some quality time with my wife over tea
2. Take Days Off
The one mistake that is common among entrepreneurs is trying to work non-stop. Like our body, our mind gets tired too, and like our body, our mind needs rest too. While daily self-care is important in the long run, so is taking time off. Both together give you the perfect balance for rejuvenating your mind and body.
On the days that you assign as an off, do not pencil in even a tiny amount of work. Try to stay away from social media. Consider it as sort of a detox and cleanse from social media and work. Spend the day with your friends, family, or loved ones. Or spending the day with just yourself might be exactly what you need.
“When we self-regulate well, we are better able to control the trajectory of our emotional lives and resulting actions based on our values and sense of purpose.”
– Amy Leigh Mercree
Take part in activities that aren’t related to work. Work on your hobbies or some little fun projects that you do only for yourself, not as an investment for something in the future. The day should only be about resting and relaxing.
3. Get enough sleep
When you have begun your business, or your business is at its peak, pulling an all-nighter is an often occasion. You might think that you are putting in all these extra hours and being super-productive, but are you?
Yes, you are putting in all those extra hours counts. I understand that sometimes there’s no other option. What you have to keep in mind is that you can easily fall prey to the “I work day and night, look how busy I am” mentality. Working day in and day out does not only deteriorate your health, but it also does the same to your work quality.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
– Anne Lamott
Now you might be ready to compromise with your health in the name of building your business but are you ready to make the same compromise with your work. Take a moment. Think about your answer.
While taking care of yourself is a thought that stays on the back burner, use the need to do a good job as a motivation to take care of yourself. When you are well rested, you will be able to do your best. So, get enough sleep, don’t hack away on coffee and energy drinks.
4. Reward yourself
Rewarding yourself works like a charm. You can even use rewards for yourself as deadlines. It doesn’t have to be something extravagant; it just has to be something that excites you enough to look forward to it. Something as small as eating your favorite donut works too.
When we see the results for our work, it gives us a sense of accomplishment. We get validation, and that is something that a lot of people look for: validation for their work or themselves. But, sometimes, results aren’t that easy to come by. You could be working on something that takes years to come to fruition, and those are the times when you can easily feel a lack of motivation to get going.
“Carve out and claim the time to care for yourself and kindle your own fire.”
– Amy Ippoliti
This is when setting a reward for yourself is most needed. It can give that small burst of happiness in your workspace that you so desperately need to get going. You can and should reward yourself after you have helped your business get out of a rough patch or completed a very difficult project. This gives you a sweet sense of accomplishment which helps you get back to work as an optimistically renewed person.
5. Review your goals
One thing that we always seem to forget is that it is not possible to do everything at once. To keep ourselves in tune with this, it is important to review our goals from time to time. Sometimes, while setting the goals, it is easier to slip and blur the lines between realistic goals and ideal fantasy goals. Meaning, in an ideal world, achieving those goals would have been easy, but in real life, there are a lot of things that can go wrong.
“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.”
– Audre Lorde
When you go through your goals after some time has passed since you wrote them, you will be a better judge of how realistic they are. This also helps you keep updating your approach based on your current predicament.
It is OKAY to scratch a goal or add a new one as you go. Things change and adapting to changes is what keeps us going forward. When times change, so do our priorities and so do our goals. Trying to get everything done will eventually burn you out. Even if you manage to keep churning out results, those won’t be of high-quality, those won’t be something you are proud of. It is necessary to be flexible with our goals.
“Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness.”
These things don’t take much time. You can easily make them a monthly or weekly thing. Apart from setting a morning routine and getting enough sleep, none of the other things need to be done daily. If you don’t care about yourself enough, maybe you can do it for your business. See how pathetic it sounds in a way.
Don’t be someone who burned high and bright for a few years and then fazed out because you forgot to add rekindling; forgot to take care of yourself.
Always remember, the goal is to make our lives better!
“Accept yourself. Love yourself as you are. Your finest work, your best movements, your joy, peace, and healing comes when you love yourself. You give a great gift to the world when you do that. You give others permission to do the same: to love themselves. Revel in self-love. Roll in it. Bask in it as you would sunshine.”
– Melodie Beattie
How Reading can impact your Day to Day Life?
Reading is a healthy habit, which, if practiced daily, can change your entire life around. Do you want to know why? Through Reading, one can not only gain knowledge but also stay acquainted with the outside as well as the inside world. The best thing about reading daily is to have an isolated place for yourself in your mind, where you can run off to. Most people don’t have the patience or intention to read, and that too, daily. Though this is a habit that takes time to settle in but trust me, once it does, you would never regret it. So, here is a list of reasons why you should read daily?
Why should you read daily?
- To gain knowledge
Once you start reading daily, and by Reading, it can be anything – you can read few pages of a novel, or a magazine, or newspaper, or even poetry – you would notice within weeks how much your knowledge regarding the outer world has improved. Through Reading, one can have clear information regarding the current affairs, and hence, stay updated.
- To improve your vocabulary
Through Reading, you can definitely learn new words and hence, improve your vocabulary. Most people make it a habit to learn a new word from the dictionary every day, but if you read daily, you are bound to get new words and make a list of them on a notebook with their meanings, which is definitely going to be helpful for you.
- To have a make-believe world
The most beautiful consequence of Reading is having one’s own imaginary world, where one can live a life full of magic. This is the extraordinary superpower one acquires while reading. In this busy daily life of ours, we all look for a secluded place where we can feel the essence of peace. Reading can fly you off to the imaginary land of sunflowers, daisies, and cats who can indeed talk.
- To become more attentive
Most people lack patience nowadays. Being impatient and restless has become a severe problem in today’s world. Here, Reading can help you calm your mind and improve your observation skills. It works like meditation. In no time, you would find your mind focusing on details and becoming more attentive to events, which used to go unnoticed.
- To reduce stress
Reading is similar to meditation, and hence, it definitely helps to reduce your stress. Books always have a calming effect on one’s mind. It takes you away from daily problems and stressful situations and helps your mind to gain stability. Not only it helps in reducing stress, but it also helps to decrease the anxiety levels of a person.
Everyone should make reading a daily habit. One should switch off the mobile phones, turn off the television and take some time out to read. It works wonders on one’s day-to-day life and changes one person’s entire personality. Though it can be hard at first, with time, you would cherish the moments alone, reading in a corner while your mind is flying off to Narnia.
Key Principles Of Living A Good Life
Everyone wants to live a good life and one that is filled with happiness and peace. But the first order of business is to understand what constitutes a good life. A good life is generally the result of right decisions and your character decides what decisions you make on a regular basis. Only after understanding the behaviors a person needs to adopt to improve one’s character, can they truly achieve peace, happiness, and a changed life. In this post, we will look at a few key principles that contribute to a good life.
The key principle to having a good life is having good values. With good values, you will have lived life well. You might not have ‘enjoyed’ it, but it will be, at the end, worth it. Since the subject of discussion is how to live a good life, we’ll not focus on how to be happy. The distinction must be made and understood.
For example, when you feel like having junk food, the value of staying healthy prevents you from getting obese as well as contracting related diseases. Often, feelings come in contradiction to values, however, keeping up good values ensures long term fulfillment and even success in life.
Select good values and live accordingly to have a positive impact on yourself, your family, community and the world at large. Prosperity and fulfillment comes with living a life of good values.
“Almost everything wrong in the world comes from people either not having higher moral values or not living by them.” –Dennis Prager
Don’t Be Too Serious About Everything
If you have such a habit, then you should definitely try to stop being serious all the time and lighten up. Having a serious approach towards everything will strip your life of any fun. The first step in removing such tendencies is to understand why you fail to enjoy the things in life. Have you always been serious since childhood or were there events that pushed your humor out?
If any specific traumatic event resulted in your serious outlook towards life, then you need to consult a good psychiatrist who can help you overcome such negative psychological patterns. Another way would be to change your perspective and start seeing the world in its entirety (or at least other angles) rather than only focusing on yourself. When you truly realize that you are nothing but a tiny speck in the vast universe, you will feel more relaxed and will start taking things lightly.
After all, we are only here for a couple of decades at most, and then we got to move on. This is the truth that faces everyone on the planet. So, it’s up to you to make the ride a bit more worthwhile.
Be Okay With Your Fears
Every person has some kind of fear deep inside them. And the greater you are bound by them, the less you will be able to live a good life. Fear influences every decision and blocks you out from experiencing things that could have brought you so much happiness. For example, suppose that some tragic event in the past has made you afraid of being abandoned by a loved one. As a result, you might be scared of getting too close to someone since you do not want to take the chance of being emotionally crushed in case they decide to leave you.
But this behavior will essentially destroy any chances of you ever entering into a loving relationship. This is why it is necessary to deal with your fear straight away. You don’t have to conquer it if it seems impossible. But, at least try to develop your mind to the extent that you are okay with living with your fear. Accept that such a fear exists and take a strong decision that you will not let it dictate the course of your life. This should help you get out from the grip of your fears and allow you to live a life that is fulfilling.
Don’t Hold Yourself To Impossible Standards
Many people hold themselves to very high standards. And this can eventually play havoc in their lives as they remain consistently dissatisfied with never meeting their standards all through their life. If you have such issues, then try to set realistic standards. For example, if you are a student of a college, you might feel like you need to get A grade in every subject. While the standard that you set is admirable, one has to also accept that it can be impossible on a consistent basis.
Sometimes, you might come across a test that is just too difficult to crack that you have to settle for a B. Don’t get disheartened in such situations and start blaming yourself for not having prepared enough. Forgive yourself; unnecessarily being depressed about the results will simply do you no good.
Forgive And Move On
There might be occasions in your life where other people will harm you and cause tremendous psychological damage. As a result, it is very likely that you will develop a very negative worldview about everything. This may also lead you to depression or you may feel the need for vengeance. This will certainly make you bitter and hateful.
If you keep this hatred inside you for too long, your life itself might end up being consumed by it so much so that you would be avoiding opportunities for happiness. You may also be afraid to open up and enter into a relationship with other people since you don’t want to be hurt again. What you need to do, under such circumstances, is to learn to forgive – not the person who hurt you, but yourself.
Tell yourself that whatever happened has happened in the past and that you should not destroy your future by constantly dwelling on past events. Slowly, you will learn to live normally and be in a position to move on to newer experiences. The person who hurt you will never again be a constant source of hatred in your mind. Instead, they will become a lesson that will teach you what type of people to avoid in the future.
“Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping the other guy will die.”
Don’t Be Afraid Of Rejection
Many people never live their life to the fullest because of a big fear – rejection. This fear can manifest itself in all walks of life and can truly limit your experiences.
Maybe you love someone, but do not wish to open your heart to them because you are afraid of being rejected. Maybe you have an incredible idea on how to grow a company but are afraid that your ideas may be rejected and mocked upon. Whatever the case may be, you need to understand that this fear of rejection is not good.
It’s also important to understand that being rejected is a normal part of life. After all, not everyone will agree with everything you have to say. As such, just go ahead with your feelings and ideas, and see all rejections as just the way life is. Doing so will open yourself to new opportunities and you will be able to live a better life.
A cure for this is to speak your mind even in difficult circumstances. This trains you and your mind to speak in more sensitive situations as well.
Why Should You Stop Being Hard on Yourself
Growing up, we are often subjected to comparisons drawn by adults. You are always in competition with children in your society, children in your school, children in your parent’s friend circle, and so on. Eventually, you start comparing yourself to everyone else as well.
This becomes a subconscious habit that can be really detrimental to your mental health. Constantly making comparisons puts undue stress on ourselves in addition to the amount we already have from work and life in general.
We get so caught up in proving ourselves that we often forget to give ourselves credit for the things that we have done and milestones we have achieved. There comes the point when we have had enough, and we start losing motivation; as a result, we start spiraling.
When people say “life is too short,” what they mean is that it is too short to spend trying to impress others. The years you have should be spent on doing things you like and learning stuff that you want to. You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone, and you don’t need to be better than anyone. The only person you should be in competition with is your past self. Aim on being better than yourself, that’s it.
It is Okay to be Yourself
One thing we are never told is that it is okay to be ourselves. We often try too hard to be like someone else, to impress others, to make our families proud, but the price we pay is too high. We lose ourselves in the process. Sooner or later, it catches up to us, and we start feeling unsatisfied with our lives, no matter how great it is.
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Our peace of mind and state of health is not worth compromising, our happiness is not worth giving up, our motivation is not worth losing; be yourself, that is who you can be the best version of.
It is Okay to Put Yourself First
Every person has their own strengths and weaknesses – no person is the same. No one is perfect, even if they seem like they are. What meets the eye is just the tip of the iceberg. If they seem insanely good at something, chances are they have sacrificed something else in their life to get to where they are.
“Faithless To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you want to learn something and master something, then it is okay to say “no” to other people. It is okay to put yourself first. Doesn’t matter if it is for you to focus on your craft or your mental health. At the end of the day, if you don’t value yourself enough to put yourself first, why would someone else?
It is Okay to Make Mistakes
Don’t beat yourself up for mistakes, embarrassments, and having negative thoughts when things don’t go your way. It is natural to feel beaten up when you face failure or make mistakes. All of these things, though, contribute to the uniqueness of your character. The moment you start being yourself, you will start noticing that a lot of people are like you, lost and isolated in the big world – thinking about things they could have done differently.
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou
You have to learn to make the most of what you have already achieved and build on the lessons that you learned because of those mistakes and failures. People are afraid to try new things because they are afraid to fail in front of someone else. But, if you do not take those leaps, then you will never reach where you want to be. One thing to remember is that when things go wrong, it is US who have to face the brunt of it, not THEM, so do things and make mistakes with only you in mind.
It is Okay to Have Bad Days
We feel success is when we do not have problems and are always happy. It cannot be farther from the truth. No matter how much you earn or how successful you are, life will also be a sequence of ups and downs because, without downs, there are no ups.
“Some days are just bad days, that’s all. You have to experience sadness to know happiness, and I remind myself that not every day is going to be a good day, that’s just the way it is.” – Dita Von Tesse
Without experiencing bad days, you won’t be able to appreciate the good days. Bad days also make us who we are, more than the good days ever will. We learn and grow from them. Remember, if it is a really bad one today, you do not have to do today again. Tomorrow brings a new day and new opportunities.
It is Okay to be Less Than Perfect
This is the one area that I have struggled with the most. The need to be perfect has been ingrained in us since childhood. Being compared to children who were good in other areas always made us feel inadequate. Some children learned to cancel the noise, while some couldn’t take it. It became a part of them, eating them out with every passing day. When thoughts like these are ingrained in you, no matter what you do, you will never feel satisfied.
“People are not perfect… very often the relationships that are strongest are those where people have worked through big crises, but they’ve had to work through them. So the challenge to us is to work through that.” – Patricia Hewitt
You have to learn to be okay with not being perfect in every single thing. It is okay to strive for perfection, but do not make that your goal. Your goal should be learning and achieving. That is what makes the process perfect.
Life already throws a lot of curveballs at us. We do not need to add ourselves to the mix. Be your own cheerleader, and go easy on yourself from time to time. Understand that not all days are going to be the same. You are going to achieve a lot one day and nothing the other day. On the days when nothing seems to be going your way, remember to be kind to yourselves.
Keep reminding yourself that it is okay to do things for yourself, and it is okay to stop for a moment and gather your wits. Take care of your wellbeing, and everything else will follow.
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