Working in the corporate world, I can remember the day when I received my first work smartphone. My employer at the time, informed me that with my new promotion, I would now become the proud owner of a company smartphone. Being a little geeky and proud of my accomplishment, I was giddy with excitement to be given this device. For I believed at the time that this would make my life easier, I could check my work emails on the go and in-between meetings and reduce my work-load when at my desk, I was so wrong! The reality of this 'exciting' device meant that I would never switch off from work; I was contactable in the evenings, weekends and during my holiday time.
Now, anyone with a smartphone through personal choice or provided to from work can relate to this story. We get caught up in emails, social media, games and other apps on phones, tablets, laptops and computers.
But it isn't just technology that is impacting on our time; our lifestyles are jam-packed with looking after family, making time for friends, maintaining a home and squeezing a little bit of time in for us, if we are lucky.
Work-life balance and mindfulness has increased in the work environment, as employers raise the awareness to their employees to help reduce stress levels and long-term absence. But more can be done around the expectations of us as human beings and the importance of our self-care.
Being an entrepreneur, I've also noticed this trend in my business and fellow entrepreneurs. Our business is our passions. With an online business you are constantly switched on and it can often become a struggle to detach away from the laptop or smartphone. Having just returned from a short break away, I was reminded that even when you are doing something you love every single day, it's still super important to ensure you have a self-care regime.
Creating a self-care regime is essential for our health and wellbeing, it should be something we are taught from an early age. We shouldn't feel guilty about taking an afternoon to sit with a book or indulge in a film for a couple of hours. In order for us to take the next challenge in our life, we need to ensure we are taking time to recharge our batteries, rest our minds and nourish our soul.
Here are my powerful top tips on how to up your game with your self-care. These tips are for everyone!
- List all of the things that help you to feel great; the things that nourish your soul, recharge your body and rejuvenate your mind. This could be going to yoga, taking time for tea and cake, having a massage or soak in the bath for an hour. It doesn't have to be costly or extravagant, the most important part of this is that it helps to soothe you and puts you in a happy place.
- Schedule time in the week for you; make an appointment with yourself and keep to it! Use this time to do something from your list. Just 10 minutes can make a huge difference. If it helps, pick a day in the week that you know works for you; Sunday always works with me.
- Check in with yourself to see how you're doing; take notice of the thoughts occupying your mind, carry out a body scan from head to toe and observe any aches or tense muscles. You're bringing your awareness to what's happening, so you may wish to journal your thoughts to help take some pressure off your mind or, perhaps you need a massage to help with any aches and pains.
- Be kind to you! It can be too easy to criticise what we're not doing well or what we could to improve situations or experiences in our life, but punishing yourself is not the way forward. Remind yourself of all the accomplishments you've achieved over the last month - big or small, they all count.
- If you can, take a break from what drains you. This could be a technology or social media break, a negative friend or perhaps a couple of days holiday from a tough working environment. To add on this point, that this isn't forever. It's good to take some time to recharge our energy, so that we are able to deal with it when we are fully refreshed. We often have a fresh pair of eyes and don't feel as drained as we did previously.
So, what can you do differently in your life to ensure your self-care is top notch?
Make a commitment and a promise to look after you; your future self will thank you for it.