Investing in self-care

If self-care is our priority we must make actions speak louder than words.

Earlier this week I was scanning through Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism and came across a sentence I’d highlighted:

If we underinvest in ourselves, and by that I mean our minds, our bodies, and our spirits, we damage the very tool we need to make our highest contribution.

It’s from a chapter that’s specifically about the importance of getting enough sleep, however I feel it can be applied more generally. Looking after our mental and physical wellbeing is something we often say is important but how often do we actually make it our priority?

This is on my mind now as our lives are once again expanding outside of the home. Schools are back, offices are opening up and for many of us old habits and routines are returning. It feels timely to revisit an article I wrote back in May, learning from lockdown. In it I posed two questions:

What routines and practices will you keep from before lockdown and what will you change?

What new routines and practices that you made during lockdown will you choose to keep?

My answers to these questions included slowing down, and making time for reflection and exercise in my daily routine. During lockdown, these things were essential in helping me keep on top of things. Back in May, continuing to do this after lockdown was my intention. Now it’s time to turn those intentions into action, to examine what I say and whether my actions back that up. Whether I choose to make those things my priority. Whether I remember that self-care is an investment, not an indulgence. And what boundaries I set over who I allow to, or how I, manage my time so that I’m making space to look after myself.

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