For most of April, I have been running on less than a full tank due to a lingering cold that arrived at Easter and stayed around until Anzac Day.
With all the symptoms of headache, congestion, fever and fatigue, I had to take a few days off and take it easy to recuperate. What is challenging when you are in a paid role can seem insurmountable when you are self-employed. Not only do you have to allow yourself time to rest and relax, but also keep the anxiety bugs at bay.
So this month I have been reflecting on self-care and how it fits with the world of creativity, leadership and business. What I have found is what it is not:
- Self care is NOT beating yourself up about all the things you have not done – which includes what you should and should not eat, how much you should exercise, or when and how you should sleep
- Self care is NOT holding yourself up to standards of high-achievement – sometimes good enough is just that and doing more is waste of time and resources
- Self care is NOT being in competition with your friends, colleagues or siblings – rather it is developing connection to mind and body and discovering what you personally need at this point of time
- Finally self care is NOT to be found in a book or a program – it is found in the moment when you hear the need of your “self” to put down the phone, ignore your emails, ring your mum, sister, friend and listen (really listen) to your partner and family. It is found in moments when you give in to the urge to sleep, eat, move at whatever time of day it happens to be. It is also found when you hear your inner self saying you may be ready for a new challenge or adventure, that your current world is safe but a bit boring, and it is time to take a few steps out of your comfort zone and find a new way.