Self-Care is Non-Negotiable

4 January 2019

Right now, is a good time to take stock of how well you’re taking care of yourself. Self-care is a bit of a buzzword, but it is one of the most important things you can do for your health, happiness, relationships, and even your productivity. Self-care is the key step in being your best you. Sadly, it’s also likely to be the most neglected part of your life.

So how can you tell if you need more self-care? See if this checklist applies to you:

  • You feel overwhelmed at work and home
  • Your calendar is full
  • Your to-do list never seems to get any shorter
  • You have many people counting on you
  • You could do with some more sleep
  • You get lots of colds and coughs
  • You don’t have time to go to the gym
  • You don’t have time for self-care

If you’re always just pushing through, if you’re stuck in survival mode, if you’ll do some self-care ‘when you have time,’ you need to stop right now and make self-care a non-negotiable part of your life.

Having poor boundaries, too many obligations, and an inability to say no will start to show up in some unpleasant ways in your life:

  • increased stress and anxiety
  • higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol
  • high blood pressure, heart disease, and bodily inflammation
  • a reduced immune system
  • insomnia and poorer sleep quality

You’ll also become resentful, exhausted, and grumpy. And less effective as the stress and tiredness affect your cognitive ability.

The big thing you can do to turn this around is to stop handing your power over to other people and to start putting yourself first. Starting right now, you can take three simple steps to making yourself a priority:

  1. Learn to say no. That can take practice if you’re usually everyone else’s go-to person. But be clear, polite, and keep it simple. You don’t need to explain or make excuses.
  1. Think about what’s important to you and set some boundaries around what you will and won’t do.
  1. Clear the decks so you can make sure you get the downtime you need. Schedule non-negotiable spaces in your diary for exercise, yoga, and relaxation time.

Self-care isn’t a reward or a luxury, and it’s certainly not selfish. Be kind to yourself and make sure that self-care is a non-negotiable part of your life from now on.


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