How Self-Care Improves Success
We live in a go-go-go society that often demands long work hours and little time to focus on ourselves. Whether or not it has been designed that way, our declining health and increasing stress-levels are a clear indicator that grinding it out is not necessarily the key to success. After all, success should not come at the cost of our physical, mental and emotional health. Burnout is real, and adrenal fatigue is hard to bounce back from.
Self-care has been on the rise in recent years, but it is still sometimes met with an eye-roll. Our society does not embrace and promote taking care of one’s mental health – a sad reality that causes some of us to shy away from self-care for fear of judgment. But self-care is a critical step toward success. In fact, some might say it’s the most important step to take and should be taken first.
Why We Need Self-Care
Forget any notion you might have that taking care of yourself is somehow indulgent or selfish. Self-care does focus on the self, but with good reason. While it may seem like you’ve got everything under control and you’re on top of family life and things at work, if you aren’t taking care of you¸ you’re headed for a burnout.
It is impossible to take care of others if your basic needs aren’t being met. And the easiest way to make sure your needs are being met is to meet them yourself. Investing in your mental and emotional well-being can only improve your ability to help others and allows you to do so without becoming emotionally exhausted or physically drained.
Focusing on wellness helps you develop and improve your relationship with yourself, leading to increased self-trust and confidence. When you feel confident and faithful in your decisions, you’ll spend less time mulling over options and fretting about potentially choosing the wrong path. You know that no matter what happens, it will serve as a lesson for a future endeavor. When you feel taken care of, you worry less about the possibility stepping off our paths, because we know we can never really wander too far from our life’s purpose.
Self-care also makes you feel a sense of control over your life. You will never be able to control everything about your external reality, but you can certainly control how you react to it. When your emotional and mental wellbeing are tended to, you are much more capable of handling challenges or setbacks. You have a sense that things will be OK, because you are OK.
Self-care is especially needed during times of stress and challenge, and yet these are the times when we forget to take care of ourselves because we are so concerned with out surroundings. We can never fully control our surroundings, but we can work harder to control how we react to our surroundings. When your needs are being met and you feel cared for – especially cared for by yourself – you will be able to see things with more clarity and objectivity, giving you a wonderful perspective for finding solutions to inevitable problems.
Self-Care & Success
These two concepts are not typically referred to in conjunction with each other. Success is thought of as working hard, long hours and barely taking the time to sleep or eat. Ever heard the phrase, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”? As studies show, less sleep is correlated to a shorter life span. So, while burning the candle at both ends may result in a financially successful career, filled with accolades, is it really worth it? If your body and mind are exhausted, is it really success?
One method of self-care is redefining your vision of success into a version that includes harmony between career, family, mind, body and soul. Financial success is only one piece of the puzzle for a successful life. But, working hard enough to make all the money in the world will not make up for adrenal fatigue, lost hours, dwindling relationships and chronic stress.
“Success,” like “wealth,” is subjective. For some, being wealthy means having love in their life, enjoying the small things, having new experiences or reveling in nature. Some may see themselves as wealthy simply because their loving dog greets them each day with the same enthusiasm, or because they are lucky enough to have free time that allows them to witness their child’s first steps.
Success can mean many things, such as a rewarding career that allows you to live comfortably and enjoy time spent with your family and friends. Success does not necessarily equate to a six-figure income or worldwide recognition for a craft or talent.
The famous actor, Jim Carrey, once said, “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”
Part of self-care is asking yourself what success really means to you, just as self-care leads to more success than does running yourself into the ground. Don’t allow anyone else’s version of success permeate your own. Your life does not have to look like any other life in order to view it as outstanding.
Find your own path and your own unique methods of incorporating self-care more tangibly into your routine. The smallest thing, like allowing yourself a nap if you’re tired or simply lighting some candles and taking a relaxing bath, can propel you further into motivation than you ever thought possible.
For true success, you must learn to be there for you.
Related Article: How to Make Decisions Using Your Intuition