One of the biggest adjustments I’ve had with self-employment is taking time off. It’s really easy to become wrapped up in work when you work from home and your work life is constantly there in the background. Thus the increasing importance of practicing self care.
It’s so easy to work for a few hours on a Saturday morning or a Sunday evening. It’s easy to work late on weekdays. Where do you draw the line? I have to draw the line myself. Can you relate?
Practicing Self Care
Working from Home Challenges
I don’t have paid vacation (at least in the sense that most people know it) so I’m not pressed by a superior to take vacation days before they expire, when practicing self care. I took about 10 days off one summer. I also took off a solid three months when I had my baby a few years back. I was adamant to have a maternity leave even without an employer paying for it.
But I have not become accustomed to regular vacation outside of that. I will usually take time off during the holidays and I have taken a few extended weekends here and there. In any case, lately I was feeling little burnout as the holiday season came around that year.
It’s challenging to distinguish burnout from lack of motivation, at least for me. At first I thought I was just being lazy. Then I realized I had been pushing myself pretty hard for three to four months back to back. Maybe it’s time for a break?
What is Self Care?
Now enter the practice of self care. Working from home and running my own business has made me realize this more than ever. I have to take breaks, time off and step back. This week we have some unseasonably warm weather.
I already decided I would spend more time outdoors to really take advantage. This is a form of self care and only one example of what self care can look like. Self care can be a physical act or a mental break. Really it is whatever action will allow you to step back, relax and improve yourself.
Why Practice Self Care?
There are many reasons to do this. This week I’m taking it easy, working a couple fewer hours, enjoying some really warm weather and practicing self care. What does that look like? I will share some ideas below as to how to practice self care in your everyday life.
Ways to Practice Self Care
There are many ways to perform self care rituals. Below are some examples I have used currently and in the past as a form of self care:
- Massage Appointment
- Getting a Haircut (or having another salon appointment)
- Extra Yoga Practice (at home or at the studio)
- Getting Plenty of Sleep
- Wearing Sweats as Much as Humanly Possible
- Catching Up with a Friend (in person, phone, email or mail)
- Not Stressing Over the Little Things
- Reading a Book
Practicing self care is important for you and those you love. By taking care of yourself you can better take care of others. This is especially important I have learned now for caregivers such as moms (including myself). I hope these ideas can help you spend a little time on yourself and take a break for you.
What is your favorite form of self care?
*This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated and republished for accuracy and comprehensiveness.