In the journey of life, it is important to have a roadmap. When seeking your path towards personal development, you’ll want to map out your goals and create a step by step path to get from your starting point to that achievement. It’s easy to remember what obstacles you have to overcome and what lessons you will need to learn, although moving past these steps can require tenacity and effort.
What many people forget on their path to personal developmnt, however, is rest. If you planned a road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway, you would consider logistics like logic, gas, traffic, time, and weather. You would also add in stops to rest and refuel. These stops are also necessary on your personal path too, which is where self-care comes into play.
Self-care consists of giving your mind, body, and soul time to rest and recover. While your personal development goals will take effort, it must be balanced with this rest.
The Importance of Self-Care
When speaking of self-care, it’s easy to envision someone relaxing at a spa, lounging in front of a tv with some junk food, or glorify in some press on nails with a glass of wine. While all this sounds fun, it also brings one vision to mind — lazy.
Yet self-care couldn’t be farther away from lazy. Self-care offers the opportunity to recharge.
Similar to the way you plug your phone in every night, you also need to recharge your body. The benefits of self-care are just as essential, and just as necessary as your phone charger. Life Hacker details a few points on the benefits of self-care.
- Preventing overload and burnout. Overwork can stunt not only your body through lack of sleep, nutrition, and exercise, it can also stunt your brain function. You need to take a break so you can be your best for that next step in development.
- Reducing the negative effects of stress. Let’s face it, to learn, grow, and get through the day will involve stress. As something you can’t avoid completely, you can work to reduce the negative effects on your mind and body that stress can cause. Doing something you enjoy, or even nothing is a great stress reliever.
- Regaining focus. Self-care allows your mind and body a moment’s respite, which gives you time to refocus as you start anew.
Here are some self-care suggestions for those on the busy path of personal development.
Disconnect to Reconnect
Nurses are some of the most talented people around when it comes to caring for others. Perhaps this abundance of concern and empathy is why so many nurses also end up neglecting self-care. For this reason, many nurses were surveyed to develop techniques to promote their self-care routines, such as disconnect. These nurses suggest turning off your phone for 1 hour when you’ll likely have incoming messages or activity. After an hour, allow yourself permission to check the phone and consider whether each message was actually urgent, or whether it could wait. As you get more comfortable, consider turning the phone off more often or for longer periods.
Tiny Steps for Big Results
It’s important to remember that self-care is a repetitive process, not a one-off contract. In order to maintain your health for personal growth, you’ll need to take lots of tiny steps in addition to some bigger leaps. Consider taking tiny steps to promote mental health like goofing around, taking a different route to work, or turning off your internal auto-pilot for a moment. Promote physical health by increasing your water intake, grabbing an apple instead of a donut, or taking a walk during your lunch hour.
By taking repeated tiny steps, you’ll work towards your larger goal. And don’t forget what is good for the soul — splurge on a new book, grab some chocolate, or call up that old friend. If you don’t take this time to focus on what makes you happy, you might end up losing a best friend or you might even let life pass you by without doing what you truly love.
There are so many options to take care of yourself along life’s journey. Find advice through others online or create your own plan. Just remember, take care of yourself so that you can achieve the goals you set.