“What’s up with you? It’s as though you don’t even like yourself anymore.”
If you’ve heard this recently, pay attention. Someone who cares about you has noticed that you haven’t been showing yourself the love you need.
And here’s the thing. You may genuinely believe you love yourself. But your actions speak louder than words.
For instance, when I had all the signs of burnout, I would have sworn to you that I loved myself, yet my actions said otherwise.
I didn’t make time to look after myself. I felt worn out; overwhelmed; burned out. And it took me a while to figure out what I needed to do to recover.
I was slow to realize that it was important for me to change my perspective in order to kick my burnout recovery into gear. Deep down, I knew I had to stop neglecting myself. The remedy had to be self-care. But first, I had to understand what self-care is… and what it isn’t.
What Self-Care Is
Self-care is the way you express your love through your daily interactions with yourself: how you eat; how tenderly you bathe yourself; the clothes you choose; and, how you talk to yourself. This is all self-care, and reflects how much you love yourself.
Having a daily practice of caring for yourself – during which you listen to your body, tend to your needs and desires, and treat yourself like you would a beloved child – cultivates self-love and balance.
Because self-care is so crucial for burnout recovery and your overall well-being, in my next blog posts I’ll be covering the 6 essential self-care areas: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, sensory, and adventurous. You know I’m passionate about self-care, and I can’t wait to share with you.
What Self-Care Isn’t
Knowing what self-care is not might be even more important. It is not something that you force yourself to do, nor is it something you don’t enjoy doing. As noted psychologist and burnout expert Agnes Wainman explained, self-care is “something that refuels us, rather than takes from us.”
More importantly, self-care isn’t a selfish act either. It is not only about considering your needs; it is knowing what you need to do in order to take care of yourself so that you can take care of others as well.
This is really important to understand: if you don’t take good enough care of yourself, you won’t be able to give to your loved ones either.
Yet you can also have too much of a good thing.
One Self-Care Mistake to Avoid
I’m clearly a huge proponent of self-care. Yet I urge you not to schedule too much self-care at once. Anything you do in excess will cause overwhelm. That includes self-care. And when you’re overwhelmed, you’ll find it hard to consistently care for yourself.
Take one of my clients, who decided to create two self-care processes, one for the morning and one for bedtime.
She chose to implement 6 items into the morning routine and the same for bedtime. When I asked if she felt comfortable with this, she said yes.
After a week, I checked in with her. She had not yet incorporated her self-care processes into her schedule, and she was beating herself up over it.
We talked about how she could make this new venture more fun and more manageable, and she decided to focus primarily on her bedtime process at first. The plan was that once this process became a habit, it would be easier to implement a morning process too.
She chose 2 or 3 self-care items for bedtime, which allowed her to relax into and enjoy her new routine. Instead of feeling pressured to add self-care into her schedule, she was able to have fun with her new practices and build them gradually into her daily routine. Over time, her days began to flow with greater joy and ease.
How To Create An Effective Self-Care Routine
A great starting point is addressing your relationship with your body. We women tend to push our bodies as though they’re machines. I’m aware that’s what I did. Because you may have been neglecting your body and what it needs, my suggestion is to start a self-care practice where you connect with your body. As you have probably noticed already, when you ignore your body’s messages your body always manages to get in the last word.
Start with baby steps. For example, add one new self-care item to your routine every 1-3 weeks or as each item becomes a habit.
Or, alternatively, consider a time limit. Begin with your entire list of items but only give 5 minutes for each one. Then increase these time frames as desired every 1-3 weeks until your routine is flowing and feels effective.
Yet if you’re not sure how to get started or if you still have questions, here’s a practice of mine you can use.
My Simple Self-Care Practice
My From Burnout to Balance Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice was essential to my burnout recovery.
This practice has been shown to:
- Increase mindfulness, well-being, self-confidence, and personal power
- Increase your ability to concentrate
- Cultivate a greater resilience to stress, a positive mindset, and a sense of hopefulness and calm
- Decrease stress and stress-related symptoms like frustration, mood swings, feelings of overwhelm or lack of control, anxiety, depression, low energy, headaches, body aches and pains, muscle tension, chest pain and rapid heartbeat, insomnia, and frequent colds and infections
- Reduce or even stop worrying
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Click here to get My From Burnout to Balance Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice, where I walk you through it step by step…
With this practice, you can can start right away to deepen your self-care and start your recovery from burnout.
But that’s not all I have for you. Sign up for my mailing list, and you’ll receive regular tips and advice on burnout recovery, self-care, special events, and more.