When my body hurts, I’ll get a massage.
When I have somewhere nice to go, I’ll get my nails done.
When I rise early every day, I’ll allow myself to sleep in on the weekend.
When I work hard during the week, I’ll relax on Friday evening.
When I get all my marking done, I’ll treat myself to a work-free evening.
When I do a, I’ll reward myself with b.
For some reason, I have developed a long-standing relationship with my when/then approach to some of my own self-care practices. Almost like they have to be earned. I couldn’t possibly get a massage because I feel like one, get my nails done just because or sleep in more on a weekday because I need it, could I?
Apparently, I can. And you can too.
Taking care of yourself shouldn’t have to be earned. With wellbeing, self-care and looking after yourself, you want to aim for prevention rather than cure. You want to prevent the stress, overwhelm and burnout from occurring, not try and cure it once it’s here and you have nothing left to give.
Prevention of burnout. Prevention of overwhelm. Prevention of sleeping through your entire weekend. That’s the key reason self-care matters, even when you don’t think you need it, you do. It’s a prevention strategy.
So, what do you need? What is your self-care plan? Exercise, rest, a good book, kickboxing, reflexology, connecting with friends, baking? There is no right answer here. It is about finding ways to stop and remove yourself from your daily grind, re-energise yourself, and relax.
Instead of waiting for your when… then…, find regular ways to look after yourself. Schedule self-care as part of your day and week. You deserve it now, not because you need to earn it when…