Ah, self-care. The newest buzzword that will solve all our ills and motivate me to take a long bath, go on a run, meditate…but will that reduce my anxiety and activate a euphoric Zen state?
Not so much for this entrepreneur-writer-mom-wife. For me, self-care must be found in other ways.
Yes, baths and meditation are relaxing, but rarely offer the care I need. I do run, but that is purely preventative care—preventing diabetes, preventing obesity, preventing throat-punching idiots.
Whenever someone suggests I take a bath or meditate, I want to respond, “You’ve met me, right? I’m an entrepreneur because part of me likes the hustle.” An important, self-actualization kind of part.
Recently, a light bulb exploded in my crowded brain: The hustle is in my blood, imprinted on my DNA, so the hustle must be part of my self-care.
My priorities are 1) family, 2) work, and 3) creative writing. My stressors are 1) lack of time with my family, 2) failure to complete work tasks, and 3) failure to write.
See? My priorities and my stress go hand-in-hand.
Knowing this I asked myself, what will make me feel nurtured? What will actually reduce my stress? I tried the hot bath and meditation. I used the bath bombs and listened to the plinky-plinky music. My skin wrinkled, and I fell asleep.
So, here is my new self-care plan:
Improve productivity at work so that I complete tasks, can remove tasks from my to-do list, and breathe the glorious breath of someone who has accomplished what she set out to do.
Rather than do catchup work in the evenings (because I’m ahead of the game as a result of #1), color with my kid, or play Hot Wheels or Legos or superheroes, whatever that precious ball of joy wants to play.
Have a conversation with my husband every day. I like my husband. He makes me laugh. And, he’s not bad on the eyes so the view is always on point.
Write. Even if only fifteen minutes per day. Just write.
So, what will you do to nurture yourself? As much as I hate buzzwords, this one—self-care—is important. We have to do it, but self-care is definitely not a one-size solution. Before you make your self-care plan, define your life priorities and your stressors. Then, define what self-care you need.
The answer may surprise you and have nothing to do with Enya and bath bombs.
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