Are you a stressed-out, busy, self-employed online marketer with no free time? I bet you answered with a resounding YES that was so loud you startled your kids, your dog, and yourself. You know, that feeling when you look around and think “did I do that”?
Marketers today have more on their plates than ever before. And women especially, who often place the needs of others before their own, have to make time for their career, kids, friends, siblings and parents, and even their coworkers and neighbors. After all, this is the ‘sandwich generation’.
Self–care often becomes a lesser focus as you work on not only growing your business, but also healing and caring for those around you.
But, self–care should be something we have in our minds at all times. It should become a habit, a lifestyle and a routine that is seen as something just as important as taking care of other people’s needs.
Somehow we still find ourselves at the end of a week, exhausted and with no energy or effort left to put into ourselves. We gave away all our energy to clients, business partners, family and friends.
Well, here are 5 steps you can take to make sure you’re keeping self–care at the tip top of your priorities list.
Listen to Yourself
One of the things we do often is ignore our own emotional needs. Psychology Today recommends that people start taking care of themselves by active listening — to their own self. You can work on this by practicing how you restate your thoughts gently, out loud to yourself.
A good example of active listening to yourself will be if you are feeling lonely at your home office to state softly, “It‘s difficult to feel lonely working by myself.” This practice of saying the truth out loud puts you in the habit of acknowledging your emotions and getting them out in the open.
Take Time for Meditation and Reflection
A few minutes of meditation or quiet reflection every day can help you soothe your soul. My friend, Dr. Kathy Gruver, says you don’t have to sit in an ashram saying ‘ohmmm’ repeatedly to get the benefits. Just a few minutes of silently watching the rain or reflection on the beauty of the present moment is just as helpful.
The best part about meditation is that the longer you do it, the easier it gets. Start with as little as five minutes a day and see if you can work up to 20. Meditation also helps reduce your physiological reactions to stress and can help you feel better.
Make Time for A Morning Workout
Most of us have good intentions when it comes to working out. We have every thought of working out once work is done and that last email is sent, but then it just doesn’t happen. What happens instead is that extra large pizza from the place on the way home!
Huffington Post recommends you commit to working out in the morning. First, you are guaranteed to get your workout in. Second, you are going to feel amazing all day because of the post-workout endorphins.
I recently joined a gym because my daughter convinced me to partner with her this summer. Sometimes having an accountability partner can help with your workouts. Also, scan the calendar for the gym to see what you can fit in for the week. Zumba is one of my favorites!
Learn to Say No
Saying no is one of the most important parts of self–care. You learn to honor yourself by respecting your time. If you cannot do a project or a favor for someone, then just say no. Don’t add stress to yourself just to be accommodating and please don’t take on unnecessary guilt.
You can’t save the world by being a martyr.
Learning to say no can also be amazing freedom. People will learn how to respect your boundaries, and it allows you time to continue your focus on self–care.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Other People
Strong Sensitive Souls recommends you stop comparing yourself to other people. When you practice constant comparisons, you rob yourself of the ability to be happy with who you are.
This is sooo easy to do on sites like Facebook, but please make a conscious effort to stop!
It is impossible to be perfect all the time. With the birth of social media, we mostly see the perfect images of people’s lives they want us to see. The reality of these people probably looks much different.
When you stop trying to be something that isn’t real, you learn to be happy with who you are.
If you can remember to do these five things, self–care will always be at the front of your mind. It is so important to take care of yourself mentally and physically.
And as an online marketer, setting social boundaries online and offline can improve your self–worth almost instantly. Do these things, and your entire perception of yourself will improve.