Self-care is becoming a mainstream part of conversation in both personal and professional arenas and it’s something we’ve been talking about with our clients and becoming more aware of in our own lives and in our professional coaching practice.
When life is so busy, taking time out for ‘self-care’ can feel overly indulgent, a luxury we don’t have time for and it can even leave us feeling guilty for prioritising ourselves over others, but what if we look at it differently? Viewing self-care instead, as an essential part of our personal development, a way to help us function in day to day life and a way to support us as we deal with the inevitable set-backs and hurdles of life.
A Harvard Business Review article entitled “Resilience is about how you recharge not how you endure” hints immediately in the title about the importance of taking time out. The article presents “The key to resilience is trying really hard, then stopping, recovering, and then trying again….” They talk about “a militaristic” “tough” approach to resilience and grit. The longer we tough it out, the tougher we are, and therefore the more successful we will be. The article then goes on to say “However this entire conception is scientifically inaccurate. The very lack of a recovery period is dramatically holding back our collective ability to be resilient and successful.”
And they introduce the idea of both internal and external recovery periods…
“Internal recovery refers to the shorter periods of relaxation that take place within the frames of the workday..”
“External recovery refers to actions that take place outside of work—e.g. in the free time between the workdays, and during weekends, holidays or vacations.”
Does this resonate with you?
Do you have a recovery plan?
What could be in your recovery plan – both internally at work and externally, outside of work?
Brad Waters in a Psychology Today article shares the “10 traits of emotionally resilient people” and he states that “Those who master resilience tend to be skilled in preparing for emotional emergencies and adept at accepting what comes at them with flexibility rather than rigidity–times are tough but I know they will get better.”
One of the traits he refers to is self-care – emotionally resilient people have a “menu of self-care habits”.
So what sort of self-care habits could you incorporate into your life right now? Remember it doesn’t need to be something big that takes a lot of time, and there will be certain things that work for you more than others, and what you choose may also depend on your mood or what you are dealing with in that moment. We all have friends who make a drama even more of a drama, they leave us feeling even more anxious than we started, and hopefully we have other friends who are content to just be with us if we’re struggling, they listen, calm us and leave us feeling so much better than we did before. For some of us baking a cake can be hugely beneficial and calming, for others it just causes stress, and mess, and more stress! Learn about yourself and your needs.
Why not try one of these, or try a few, build self-care into your life and see what works for you…we’d love to hear how you get on…
- Take a walk
- Doodle / draw
- Have a bath
- Listen to some music
- Play an instrument
- Take deep breaths
- Breathe in some fresh air
- Sit quietly with a cup of tea
- Stare at the horizon
- Learn something new
- Watch an inspiring talk
- Listen to an uplifting pod cast
- Read a book
- Burn a scented candle
- Take a bike ride
- Bake a cake or cook a meal
- Watch or read something funny
- Do something kind for someone else
- Practice gratitude
- Coffee with a friend
- Do something creative
- Write in a journal
- Have a go with an adult colouring book
- Turn off electronics
- Take a social media break
- Fly a kite
- Take a nap
- Rest your legs up against a wall
- Practice some yoga
- Go to the gym
- Go for a bike ride or swim
- Pet a furry friend
- Call a friend
We hope you found this interesting and useful and are inspired to build and implement your own self-care habits.
Emma & Jenny
Emma Shute & Jenny Pollock are the founders & coaches of Women to Work. As well as designing and delivering Women’s Development Programmes, Emma & Jenny both offer one to one coaching sessions, either face to face in Sheffield or Derby or by telephone or Skype. For more information contact Emma & Jenny here.
Ref: article by Brad Waters: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/design-your-path/201305/10-traits-emotionally-resilient-people