How To Practice Self-Care When You’re Obsessed With Personal Growth
How many times have you, a personal development lover, felt bad for taking time away from your goals to just do *nothing* or to focus on your self-care? I know I have put off self-care in the past because I felt like every waking moment needed to be for personal growth. However, the reality is that by not practicing self-care you are actually hindering your personal development.
It’s important to make time to take care of yourself when you are working so hard to better yourself. It’s kind of like maintenance on a car! You won’t expect your car to run properly if you never get an oil change. So why do you expect your mind, body, and spirit to be it’s best when you aren’t taking time to recharge?
If you are a fellow personal development lover and are obsessed with your personal growth but are slacking in the self-care department… this is for you! Keep reading and let’s figure out how to practice self-care when you are really dedicated to personal growth and WHY it’s almost more important than all your hard work when it comes to progress!
First off, what is self-care?
I’m almost positive that you have heard of self care and know what it means BUT in case you have not been riding the self care train I’ll give you a quick recap.
The definition of self-care is the practice of taking care of one’s own well-being. Well-being is a pretty vague category but think of things like mental health, physical health, spirituality, emotions, etc. Self-care is all about doing what makes you feel good but also has the purpose of taking care of yourself!
Many people get stuck on the idea of self-care being bubble baths and candles. Those could definitely be part of your self care routine but they are not all that’s involved. Self-care goes deeper than a warm bubble bath!
Some examples of self-care that aren’t bubble baths:
- Saying no to things you don’t want to do
- Reading a book
- Cooking nutritious meals
- Getting enough sleep
See what I mean? It’s really easy to push self-care to the side when you think it means something it’s not. Also, how difficult would it be to focus all your energy on your goals and growth when you aren’t even getting enough sleep? Taking care of yourself is the first step in achieving your biggest goals and dreams.
When I was in college I never pulled an all-nighter. I honestly felt like there was something wrong with me… everyone was talking about staying up all night studying for tests and finishing papers and I was… sleeping?! At the time I didn’t realize that I was prioritizing my self-care. I used to always tell people that sleep is important to me because if I don’t sleep it won’t matter how late I study, I simply won’t be alert enough to recall the information.
It may not seem like a big deal but it’s the small actions that add up!
Related read: The Best Wellness Products For A Day At Home
Why it’s so hard to slow down when you’re on a personal growth journey
When you become dedicated to improving your life whether that’s financially, mentally, physically, or a million other ways, it’s easy to get tunnel vision. The end goal is in sight and you want it! There is nothing wrong with that either… your personal growth goals are important!
Slowing down to practice self care can be difficult for several reasons:
01 – you’re afraid of lost progress
I’ve had this exact fear when it came to fitness! I felt that if I stopped working out for a few days to rest or to enjoy a weekend “off” I would suddenly lose the progress I’ve made. I convinced myself that 2 or 3 days off would somehow change my muscle gain or would ruin my improved stamina.
In all reality, if a couple of days or even an afternoon off from working on your personal growth goals made all your progress disappear I would question if there was any progress to begin with.
Just like nothing changed overnight when you started on your journey, nothing will change overnight when you take a break!
02 – you feel like you’re wasting time
When you already have limited time (hello jobs, kids, responsibilities) taking time to “relax” seems a little counterproductive. However, not taking breaks is doing you more harm than good.
Remember what we talked about before? Your body and mind NEEDS breaks in order to perform its best! So even though it may feel like a waste of precious time when it comes to your personal development, it is actually helping you!
03 – you might think you’re engaging in self-care through personal growth activities
So, you may have heard before that working on yourself is a form of self-care and that is not a lie! Activities like journaling, learning, exercising, listening to podcasts, counselling, etc. are all forms of self-care in themselves.
Its important to separate what you are working on from what your self-care is. For example, if you are training for a marathon and are running daily you may not find working out is filling your self-care cup.
Or, if you are going through something and attend counselling, those sessions may not be part of your self-care routine because it’s actually putting more strain on you right now.
When I was in college I loved to learn but when I needed to refill my cup at the end of the day I didnt turn to podcasts and books to educate myself more because learning was burning me out!
Knowing yourself, what you are working towards, what makes you happy, and most importantly what you can handle is key to making sure you are getting self-care in on top of your personal growth goals!
Tips for practicing self-care as a personal growth lover
- Schedule self-care into your week, every week – you should be doing something for yourself regularly
- Think of yourself as your best friend. Would you tell you best friend to never take breaks and only work on their goals? No, you wouldn’t! Treat yourself like you would your bff
- Be accountable to yourself. If you told yourself that you would take the night off and go see a movie… go see the movie! If you said you’d get a project done by the end of the week, get it done! Have trust in yourself and take yourself seriously.
- Take a social media break – its easy to get wrapped up in what other people are doing and how successful they are but you are just seeing the highlight reel!
- If it helps your mindset, think of self care as another personal growth goal you want to achieve!
Creating a self-care routine
Hopefully, by this point, you have an idea of what self-care is, what types of activities you consider self-care, and a desire to implement self-care practices into your busy life!
Chances are you already have some daily, weekly, and monthly routines that you follow. These might be morning routines, fitness routines, cleaning routines, and so on. Why not add another routine to the mix and create a self-care routine?
The idea here is to make this as SIMPLE as possible. There is no need for anything crazy because remember, self-care is supposed to be enjoyable and rejuvenating NOT stressful.
Step 1: Brainstorm self-care ideas
First, decide what you want to do. You can be flexible of course, it’s not like once you pick reading you are stuck with that, however, it’s good to have an idea so a) you don’t have to think about it later and b) you know how much time you’ll need.
A few ideas might be reading, exercising, walking, playing with your pets, coffee dates with friends, listening to a podcast, or baking!
Related read: 50 Ways To Start Practicing Self Love Right Now
Step 2: Determine when the self-care will happen
Are you a morning person or an evening person? Do you have more free time on the weekends or after work? Will you need time to prep for it or is it easy? Will it happen daily, weekly, etc?
I tend to read at night before bed. Usually, it lasts for about 30 minutes but I stay up later if I’m really into the book. This routine works for me because at night I have the most free time as opposed to the morning or even the weekends.
Step 3: Start the routine
Once you’ve decided what you want to do and when it will happen, get to it! Try the routine out for a week or two and see how it goes! The best part about creating your own routine is that you can alter your own routine.
Step 4: Be okay with changing things up
I find reading is one of the most relaxing, self-care cup-filling activities for me. However, some days I don’t feel like reading or just feel the need to do something else. On those days, I substitute something else in that I still enjoy and consider self-care. It’s okay to change it up and be flexible!
Loving personal development doesn’t mean you have to skip out on self-care! Will you be adding more self-care into your daily life? + let me know in the comments if you are a personal growth lover like me!!
Until next time,