Self-care: why you need to listen to your gut

self-careIt goes without saying we’re all really busy. Whether we’re dealing with essential tasks or things we’ve chosen to take on, there’s always something to do. It often means that self-care gets pushed to the back of the queue. That’s if we think about it at all.

When we have a family, or our own business, or both, the idea of looking after ourselves suddenly becomes problematic. We might think of self-care as being selfish, or lazy. Business gurus tell us that we won’t build a six-figure business if we’re not working 15 hours a day. Or that there’s no such thing as a work/life balance.

I don’t know about you, but finding 15 hours in my day to devote just to work would mean giving up eating and sleeping. My work/life balance isn’t completely there but it’s not bad. Ultimately, you do whatever works for you and your family.

Do you have time for self-care?

Once you’ve factored in work and family, ask yourself this: is there any time left for you? When did you last have fun? What do you do on your own? Are you ever alone? I know when you’ve got small children a solo trip to the toilet can count as ‘me time’, but that shouldn’t be all you get.

I’m an only child so I’m used to my own company. Of course, I know plenty of only children who try to avoid solitude at all costs but I like it. I find myself getting stressed if I don’t have some time alone. I know I work alone, but it’s not the same thing.
For me, self-care means having time on my own. I might go for a run, have a hot bath or just sit with a cup of tea. It’s all about allowing my brain some breathing space. If I can’t find time for any of that I start to feel rushed and that’s when I get stressed.

Why you need to switch off

I know, you’ve heard it all before. In fact, you’ve heard it from me before and I’m not even your mum. But just in case you’re listening now and you weren’t then, here it is again.

Relaxation helps you to sleep better, stay healthy, be more creative and make better decisions.

That could make a huge difference to your business. When I’m tired and stressed I don’t eat or sleep properly so I get run down and sick. I try to make rational business decisions but my stressed brain doesn’t co-operate. Once I’ve had a bit of peace and quiet to relax and reflect, everything seems better. I remember the things I’ve done in the past that have grown my business but that I might not have done for a while. I realise that the insurmountable problem actually has a simple solution.

Basically, it allows me to listen to my gut.

Listen to your gut

Instinctively, most of us know when something isn’t right. We just ignore it because we haven’t got time to address it. It’s like getting a cold. You can feel that there’s something lurking but you think one more late night won’t hurt. You’ll eat a proper meal tomorrow. Suddenly you’re fighting for breath but still you plough on.

Taking time out to relax gives you the space to listen to your instincts. If you keep doing it you can start to identify the areas where your self-care is lacking and address them.

That’s good for you, your family and your business.

Need a writer free guideHow do you take time out for self-care? Drop me a comment and let me know!

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