We’re excited to partner with LUMO to bring our audiences a life and leadership series to support mothers. Over the next few weeks, this series will give mothers practical advice to become leaders in every aspect of their lives!
“Self-Care,” is a word that’s used so often and in so many different contexts across all manner of media outlets that one can’t help but roll one’s eyes when asked, “How’s your self-care?”
At least that’s how it seems to us as professional coaches. In every session we have with our parent clients, we do a “well-being” check-in (we’re clever, so we use a sneaky different word) and then…
Cue the eye roll. The sigh. The confession that their well-being isn’t a top priority when they are so BUSY.
We fervently disagree. But as coaches, we’re not supposed to pick fights with our clients. We’re supposed to help separate facts from interpretation, raise curiosity, and help them see their greatness and the horizon of possibility.
Here are five big “What For’s” that explain how critical it is to create the space and time to tend to our well-being:
- Well-being is the access point for everything you want in life: love, abundance, joy, energy, patience, generosity, connection, and success at home and at work.
- Without a solid baseline of well-being, achieving the results you desire becomes nearly impossible. The foundation of your self-care must be solid or else you’re building a house on sand, and it won’t stand for long.
- Well-being gives you the gift of more space and energy for friends and loved ones and for the activities you most enjoy.
- Prioritizing your own well-being actually increases your productivity during work periods and helps you accomplish more goals with more energy and focus.
- Taking excellent care of your mental, spiritual, and physical self gives you the capacity to access the joy and satisfaction that should accompany your accomplishments instead of collapsing as you cross the finish line.
For many parents, a commitment to their own well-being lands squarely at the bottom of the to-do list, if it even makes it on the list at all. While some see self-care as an indulgence or a thing to dabble in during one’s “free time,” a commitment to well-being is a foundational necessity when it comes to “Results,” with a capital “R.”
Well-being is an individual practice. It’s person-specific. Everyone takes care of themselves in different ways, and it’s important to remember that what works for someone else might not work for you.
To begin identifying what works for you, ask yourself:
- What does well-being mean to you?
- What is the current state of your well-being?
- Without any financial or time limitations, what would your ideal version of self-care be? (Dare to dream big!)
From these “blue sky” ideals, what can you see as a possibility for additional self-care practices you can incorporate in the reality you’re living in right now? What are the obstacles that crop up in your way, consciously or unconsciously?
Are you staying up late? Overcommitting or getting distracted by things like social media and Netflix? Generating awareness helps you identify the stumbling blocks and create actions to remove them such as establishing a bedtime and sticking to it, setting alarms for TV and social media use, or learning to say “Let me check my calendar” before making commitments.
We have found that the easiest times to begin setting new practices is at the beginning and end of your day when other people’s priorities are less likely to get in the way. Start by developing a nighttime routine to support healthy sleep habits. Create a regular schedule of bedtimes, rise times, and rituals that allow time for winding down at night. Take note of what changes for you. Sleep deprivation not only leads to fatigue and irritability, it can impact your ability to focus and remember. And maybe you’ve noticed that it reduces your sex drive.
In addition to creating a nighttime routine, start a morning routine too. First thing in the morning, check in with yourself. Ask yourself, “How am I today? What do I need?” Here are a few of our team’s early morning greatest hits: Jotting down five things we’re grateful for or excited about, stretching on a yoga mat with (gasp!) no instructor, five minutes in silent meditation, spooning the dog. Feel free to grab one of those if it’s supportive for you.
Well-being is a lifelong journey. It isn’t a “one and done” or a box to check. It’s a way of creating and recreating your relationship to yourself as your life evolves. If you become committed to your own well-being, you will be well on your way to accomplishing your goals and celebrating your wins, and you’ll be high on your own supply when you discover that the real secret to foundational well-being comes from inside of you.