Mastering self-care, here’s what I learnt.
Believe it or not, allowing yourself downtime will increase your progress.
Mind blown much?
If so, I get it because I would never have believed this either. Like ever. As if I needed to master self-care?
And it’s still something I’m trying on for size.
I have days where my old thoughts jump back in saying, “No, Gemma, you need to do all of the things now to get to where you want.”
It’s ok that these thoughts still come into my brain because I’ve learnt that I’m not in a rush.
And I don’t judge these thoughts, I let them be there, but I choose not to pay attention to them anymore.
But over to you,
I want to ask you some questions.
- The harder I work, the further I’ll get
- I can’t be lazy
- I’ll take a longer lunch break tomorrow, but today I’ll work through it
And then tomorrow comes.
What do you do? Work through lunch again?
Plus, you miss your 6 pm gym class because you’re still working…
If you can relate to any of the above, then I’m talking to you.
For a long time, I’ve been struggling with fatigue.
It comes on and off in waves.
I work so hard, always pushing and striving for more.
Because I’ve always had thoughts about hard work produces results.
Lazy people are wrong, and the list goes one.
However, I always thought these thoughts serve me.
They’ll get me to where I want to be.
I’ll get success, achievement and fulfilment.
But what I’ve learnt is they won’t. And these thoughts won’t get me mastering self-care.
I know I sound insane but stay with me here.
Here’s the thing, telling myself I can’t be lazy means I don’t allow myself downtime.
Working hard means I’ll never indeed allow myself to slow down.
When I take a break, all it does is drive guilt, which creates fatigue.
Can you relate?
Earlier, I told you my fatigue comes in waves. But they’re more like tidal waves.
When I get tired, it consumes me.
I go to the doctor, and of course, they tell me it’s probably a virus.
But there isn’t ever anything in my blood. I’m never sick. I’m completely healthy.
In fact, I’m super healthy.
So what is it then?
Well, my friend, it’s all in your thoughts. Mine as well.
And let me tell you clearly, my thought about “I can’t be lazy” drives me to absolute burnout.
As when I’m burnt out, I’m mentally exhausted and pulling at any bit of energy to do anything.
Furthermore, because I’m not producing at my best, I then go into beating myself up.
So not only am I physically exhausted, but my mind is indulging in negative emotions.
And my friend, it takes up a lot of mental and mind space.
Do you still relate?
So then, what did I learn about mastering self-care?
Well, first of all, I wasn’t allowing myself to have self-care.
I thought I was, but when I did have downtime, my mind wasn’t in it.
Which meant I didn’t truly allow myself to rest and take a proper break.
And without allowing myself to rest, burnout will come with it.
- Do you work through your lunch breaks?
- Take work home
- Work at late hours of the night?
It’s ok if you do. Because I’ve always done this too and I thought it’s the right thing to do.
But I’ve learnt it’s the wrong thing to do for me.
How can I produce at my best if I never let myself switch off?
To rest my mind so it can think, focus and be at its best.
And by best I mean during working time, personal life and clients.
Late last year, I chatted with Kate Toon on my podcast. And we talked about all things running a business.
We got to speak about hobbies, and she said until recently, she had none.
Everything was her business.
She realised she needed to allow herself time. Perhaps mastering self-care some might say.
I’m telling you this because I know you’re not alone.
You probably do the same thing, right?
In fact, you’re probably busying yourself more with unnecessary work to fulfil your thoughts of hard work.
Why am I telling you this?
Because if you find yourself overworking, then I want you to slow down.
I know you’re thinking, but it’s all about working hard.
If you don’t put in the time, then you won’t get the results.
I hear you.
And I’m still often you, but I’m slowly changing it.
As I said above, if I don’t allow myself rest, everything becomes challenging, overwhelming, and stressful.
And all for no reason.
Now, your business isn’t going to be rainbows all the time.
But it should also be fun, enjoyable and fulfilling.
And it shouldn’t be driving you into constant brunt out.
So then, how did I go about mastering self-care?
I’ve been creating a self-care and time off routine for myself.
That’s right, to the point I schedule it into my calendar and ensure I take it.
Further to this, I’m practising constraint.
It’s not because I need to constrain, so I honestly give myself the time off times. Otherwise, I won’t do it.
I’ll find myself “something” else in my business to do.
So now, when I get to my lunch break time, I take it no matter what.
Even If I haven’t finished my current task, and that’s ok.
But I ensure I give myself an hour to eat, move around outside and maybe listen to a podcast.
Because I put myself first. Why? Well, working through a lunch break isn’t looking after myself.
My body needs a break, food and sunlight.
And here’s a mind blow moment for you.
I’m super productive in the afternoon now, as much as in my mornings.
Now over to you,
Ready to begin mastering self-care?
Is taking a break something you should practise more?
If so, I invite you to journal and delve into what thoughts you have about working, running and business yourself.
From there, sit with these thoughts and look at them.
However, please don’t judge them. They’re sentences in your brain.
But look at them and ask yourself if they’re serving you.
If they’re creating the results, you want in your life.
And if some aren’t, then start the question these thoughts and challenge your thinking.
Because by doing something as simple as this, you’re going to create changes in your life, you never thought possible.
Like having a guilt-free break
You’re giving yourself a day off and enjoying it.
Reading a book with focus and not thinking about work.
Try it on for size.
Because I’d love to hear what thoughts you uncover.
You know where to contact me.