When people typically think of “self-care”, it usually brings up ideas of drawing a bath, getting outside for some fresh air or unwinding with a glass of wine after a long day at work.
While these stress-relieving activities are beneficial for managing health, they are generally reactive; rather than proactive.
“Self-care” can go far deeper than this, and rather than always being indulgent, sometimes involves doing the things you don’t want to do: the nitty-gritty, down-and-dirty work. It is making choices that move us in the direction we want to be going. True self-care is making decisions that benefit our future selves.
It is enforcing a morning routine and getting up early to exercise, and no longer letting yourself make excuses like: “I’ll do it tomorrow.” or “It’s not the right time”.
As Brianna Wiest said, “true self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from. And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do.”
We’d be foolish to believe that’s the epitome of self-care or that self-care is always indulgent. Often, the biggest drivers of growth in a person’s life are born out of uncomfortable decisions, difficult conversations, and doing the hardest things.
So with all that in mind, we encourage you to do something today that your future self will thank you for! Who you are in the future depends on what you do today.
Here is a list of some of the “hard” things that your future self will thank you for:
- Waking up early – Get up early in the morning to tackle the top three things you want to accomplish in your day and regain control of your life.
- Saying “no” to things that don’t bring you closer to your goals – If it doesn’t align with your goals, avoid doing it. It will be easier to say no to things when you keep the future in mind.
- Taking a break from technology – Breaking free from technology can improve your productivity and the quality of your personal and professional relationships, as you shift your focus back to the important things in life right in front of you.
- Creating a budget and managing your finances – Although tracking your spending can be a tedious task, budgeting will ensure that you will have enough money for the things you need and the things that are important to you.
- Committing to a workout routine – There are endless physical and mental health benefits from doing regular exercise. Make a promise to yourself to stay active daily. It will help you feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, and even have a sharper memory.
- Investing time into reading and continual learning – There’s so much value and lessons to be learned from books. Try taking thirty minutes every day to sit down and read; be inspired and anchor in habits you need to level up.
- Leaving a job that exhausts you – Working day in, day out in an job that zaps your energy and negatively impacts your mental well being is not worth it.
- Not fearing failure – Often, fear of failure holds us back from achieving the very things we desire in life. Learn to embrace failure, take risks and act courageously.
- Taking the time to write down your goals – Physically writing down your goals will help create a vision in your mind of where you want to be in the future.
- Getting rid of clutter in your life – Clutter can cause you to feel overwhelmed and disorganised. Spending time decluttering your spaces can help you feel calmer, happier, and more in control.
- Creating a morning routine – “Win the morning, win the day” as they say. Having a morning routine will help you set a productive tone for the day. As you start each day fresh, you can better focus on what is in front of you, where to prioritise your time, and, ultimately, increase productivity.
- Not apologising for your decisions – Don’t feel guilty over your priorities. If it’s important to you then it is important. The people who matter will respect your decisions.
- Being honest with others and yourself – Focus on evaluting sitatuations, accepting reality and always working hard to stay true to yourself.
Just think about how good it would feel to do some of these “hard things” for yourself!