29th September 2020

By Ellen Million, Empowerment & Confidence Coach at Ellen Million Coaching

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a solopreneur, work in corporate, or as a freelancer, one challenge is the same: the challenge of adequate self-care. 

For a quick reference, what is self-care? The Oxford dictionary defines it as ‘the practice of activities that are necessary to sustain life and health, normally initiated and carried out by the individual for him- or herself.’ 

‘The practice that is necessary to sustain life and health’. Why then is it so easy for us to neglect our self-care and get trapped in the hamster wheel feeling of running between work and life duties? 

Self-care versus being selfish 

Oftentimes self-care gets confused with being selfish. But is prioritising your self-care really selfish? 

The answer is no. 

Being selfish includes an element of taking away from others, which is non-existent in self-care. Quite the contrary. Self-care helps to bring out the best in you, enabling you to give even more of yourself to others. How you show up for yourself determines how you can show up for your environment including your family, your friends, your work, your hobbies.

Imagine self-care as fuel

I like to think of self-care as fuel. Whether you drive a Ferrari or a Ford, it’s the driver’s duty to read the petrol meter and pull over for a timely refill, otherwise, you won’t be able to arrive at your destination.

The same goes for self-care. Nobody knows how we are really doing inside so it’s our responsibility to regularly assess our self-care meter and make the necessary adjustments to replenish our energy.

More bubble baths then? 

Self-care is not merely about taking more bubble baths, more face masks, and doing more exercise. Less is more and sometimes we need to be doing less in order to be present with ourselves more. That being said, nothing wrong with face masks either! 

If you currently have the feeling that your self-care could do with a boost, the below five self-care categories can serve as indicators as to where to start: 

Do you have the feeling that your self-care could do with a boost?

These five self-care categories can serve as indicators as to where to start: 

Physical Self-Care:

Physical self-care includes your exercise levels, sleep, your stress resilience, your nutrition, and your health check-ups

Intellectual Self-Care:

Intellectual self-care involves your personal growth, doing something that you enjoy, that challenges you, and adds to your knowledge.

Spiritual Self-Care:

Your spiritual self-care doesn’t necessarily have to relate to religion. It involves practices that nourish your soul and help you find meaning, peace & purpose. 

Emotional Self-Care:

Emotional self-care is about tuning in with your feelings and emotions, knowing what you need, and expressing it. Being kind to yourself and to others.

Social Self-Care:

As humans, we are social creatures and social self-care is about your connection to others. This might look different for introverts and extroverts.

How do you currently look after yourself in each of these five self-care categories? 

On busy days we might not be able to tend to all 5 categories of self-care. Instead of completely putting our self-care off, it’s important to have a few practices on hand to help you quickly replenish your energy.

3 self-care rituals for busy days:

  1. Take 3 deep breaths. Already a few deep breaths can combat the fight or flight reaction and leave us to feel instantly more relaxed. 
  2. Do a guided meditation. Shift your energy within 5-10 minutes, for example with this grounding meditation: https://youtu.be/D58cuZ2Tjq8
  3. Get fresh air. Go for a quick walk around the block or do some squats on the balcony, it’s great for your mental health.

Dare to self-care!

Ellen Million is a certified Empowerment and Confidence Coach, accredited by the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC). Ellen supports professional women in reconnecting with their purpose, clarifying their career & life goals, and building the confidence to realise them.

If you Want more self-care ideas, feel free to contact Ellen. www.ellenmillioncoaching.com.