So, what is the definition of self care?

Let’s talk about self-care, shall we?

I was a social work major in undergrad. Self-care was a phrase used very often and respected. When I was in grad school, self-care was a phrase used very often and laughed at.

Now, I’ve been out of school for a hot minute or two, and the phrase self-care isn’t really used. Not at work. Other verbiage pops up every now and then, does the term “work life balance” or “work life integration” sound familiar? (It should, I use it rather often.) But the thing is, work life balance doesn’t address the same things that self-care does.

It’s pretty easy to break down—

Self-care:doing things that fuel you. Taking care of yourself.

Work life balance/integration:Being able to handle everything coming at you.

The idea of work life balance really popped up and took root in society when women started working after having kids and were juggling the responsibilities of their job and their family. Even now, when companies tout flexibility and work life balance, it’s stories about people being able to leave early to pick their kids up or something along those lines.

Notice how there’s nothing about spending time to take care of yourself?

Day in and day out, we get bombarded by messaging about trying to do it all. And, occasionally we’re warned about burnout. It was even the topic of my last blog post. The thing is, it doesn’t matter how many quick-use tools you have, if you spend every moment just cycling through and trying to get everything done in an attempt to have work-life balance, there will be burnout.

Idk when.

Idk what that will look like for you.

For me, it looks like avoidance. Bitchiness. A general malaise and sense of being over it. For a little too long.

So often, the idea of taking time out to take care of ourselves, feels ridiculous. Selfish. Unproductive. Unnecessary. Pointless. Get the point?

This is because, for the most part, can all manage our shit. With coping skills, and tools, we can all run at a bare minimum level of functioning.

But to be inspired. To be inspiring. To be creative and fueled by your passion? You need to fucking feed the flames. We’re not just talking about ways to manage your life, but to move it forward, to get to the next level, to be in a better situation than you are right now. You can’t get there, if you don’t take care of yourself. Because, the be in a better position than you are right now, means to be better than you are right now. And, you can’t get better if you’re constantly focused on the basics.

So, what does self-care or being better look like?

You tell me.

Self-care looks different for each and every one of you reading this blog.

When I woke up this morning, I was burnt.the.fuck.out.

I was managing my shit. But just dealing with it.

Coping, and recharging myself? Ha! My goals for the last 10 days or so have just been to make it through.

Then I went to a conference this week. And, it may have been for work. I may have had to re-adjust my normal schedule and wake up earlier. (There may have even been a 4:30 am alarm.) Some work projects may have been put on pause. But I went to the conference. It was honestly the last thing I wanted to do. The last thing I felt like I should do. But I went.

And can I just tell you the LIFE it gave me?

OMG you guys.

My mind was going 100 miles an hour. I have 3 or 4 courses brewing in my brain. I have new strategies and best practices to take back to work.

I met so many great people who have been in the entrepreneur hustle and are killing it. I met so many folks in the corporate space who are owning their place.

It was magical. Inspiring.

It was self-care when I needed it the most and least expected it.

Don’t forget though, there can be too much of a good thing.

By the end of Day 2, I couldn’t think. I got home and fell asleep at 9pm. It was still light out. The thrill and excitement of my brain running 100 miles an hour from Day 1, turned into feeling like I my brain had run an ultramarathon by the end of the second day.

If you read my last blog post, you know that one of the biggest pieces to handling the anxiety and stress of life is to simply notice when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Well, when you’re looking for inspiration and ready to kick ass, one of the biggest pieces to harnessing that is knowing when you’ve hit the sweet spot, and not going overboard.

Self-care isn’t about taking every single moment you can until it no longer becomes special. It’s about giving you space to grow and breathe, so you can step back into everything and be awesome.

It’s all about balance.

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