Caring for yourself is an important aspect of being a freelancer and entrepreneur. When you work outside of the general corporate infrastructure, the need to balance your work, your health, and your life is written in the invisible ink of the job description you’ve created for yourself. As a single woman who operates as a sole proprietor in a psychotherapy private practice and a freelance creative writer, I want to share with you tips on to not only how to survive, but to thrive with self care.
Identify “self care”
Sometimes to define something, you need to understand what it is not. One myth I hear and read often is that self care is selfish.
It’s common for individuals to believe that they can’t give others the love they need, or pour into their work, if they step away and nurture themselves first. Taking care of your emotional, physical, and spiritual health has been given a bad reputation. If you’ve ever been on an airplane the flight attendants remind us with their instructions to put our airbag on first, then assist others. That is the definition of self care. It’s not about luxury, it’s about survival.
Give yourself a self care mantra
Is there a phrase that clicks with you and makes you feel better? When I’m scrolling away on social media, I’ll screenshot a quote with a short sentence that hits the area in my heart currently needing some tenderness. What phrases have provided you with a jolt of energy, affirmation, or comfort?
After you identify a phrases or two, make it your phone wallpaper, or write them on an index card and to keep in your wallet. When life feels heavy, give yourself a dose of affirmation.
Set limits on negativity
Telling you to cut out the negative and toxic people in your life is not what this tip is about. I’m not encouraging you to delete your social media accounts, either.
Instead, it’s important to set limits with those individuals or platforms that mix your positive energy with negativity. We all have that friend, family member, or co-worker who sucks the fun out of most conversations or social media posts. Cutting them out entirely is not always healthy or realistic, but setting boundaries with them can be beneficial for you. Setting limits with toxic people, depressing television shows, scary movies, and even the news can provide you the space to have some positive rejuvenation.
Set Clear Boundaries with Clear Communication
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Establish grounding exercises
When I was a little kid I used to collect rocks. I know, I know. I was that kid on the playground who wanted to play with rocks, instead of engaging with others.
As an adult, I’ve found a way to hang out with my rocks in a more socially-acceptable way. Welcome to the world of grounding. During therapy sessions, movies, or any time that I could be emotionally stirred, I play with a rock. Maybe you’ve been around others who play with ink pens, tear up napkins or straw wrappers, or pull grass when sitting on the group. Our hands fidget when we’re anxious. So try grabbing a small object, put it in your bag, and reach for it when you’re feeling stressed. Self care doesn’t have to take time away from your other activities.
Other grounding exercises include taking a bubble bath, drinking a hot cup of tea, or concentrating on deep breathing during any activity.
Dance it off
Good ole’ T-Swift wrote “Shake It Off” for a reason. Life is heavy. Relationships end. Families fight. Friends cancel plans. Clients are demanding. Projects fail. Sometimes the best way to take care of yourself is to just move your body for a moment. Imagine the weight you’re carrying falling off of you by shaking your limbs and your torso. Sway your hips, bob your head, relax your shoulders. Find your groove, let your mouth move into a smile, and feel the rhythm of the words, “I’m going to be okay.”
Want to learn more about how to incorporate self care routines into your daily life and thrive in your business as a result? Get our Ultimate Guide to Self Care here.
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