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Self-Care Isn’t Selfish It’s A Necessity

The Coaching Academy Blog

Posted: July 2022

It’s not just about role modelling what we often support our clients in doing its about ensuring we truly embrace good self-care routines so we sustain ourselves. I found that as I love the work I do, supporting others to flourish and become the best version of themselves, but would get absorbed in the work and not really allow time for rest and renourishment of myself. 

I have spent a number of years working with and learning about; wellbeing, resilience and energy, all of these start with good self-care routines. 

What do we mean by self-care? 

It’s about looking after the whole you, your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being and taking care of your mind and thoughts, your energy and spiritual nourishment. In my book the Tree of Resilience, one of the acorns of resilient growth is about support, one aspect of support is about how supportive are we to ourselves. 

To enable us to be our best, connect with others, be kind and considerate and achieve what we want to achieve in life we need to ensure that we look after ourselves.   What happens when we don’t?  We run out of energy, we become ill, cranky, less compassionate and considerate about others, and our behaviours are probably not as we would like them to be both at home and in the workplace. 

From a coaching perspective, although we believe we put our personal issues to one side to support our clients, if we aren’t feeling on top form and have not balanced that energy expenditure with energy renewal routines…then we won’t be the best version of ourselves, and I’m sure you’ll agree our clients deserve the best we can be. 

I have found when working with coaches on these aspects and delivering workshops with coaches on self-care, that we are like our clients, a bit up and down re our commitment to self-care routines, and that often we’ve not taken an honest look at our working and life routines for a while.   That we might not have really explored what it is that gets in the way of us committing to strong and regular self-care routines. 

Below are a few helpful questions to explore around being supportive to yourself around your wellbeing:

  • Do you ensure you eat the right things? Do you eat things that give you sugar rushes or do you manage what we eat to help maintain energy your levels? 
  • Do you drink enough throughout the day to hydrate? 
  • Do you get enough sleep? Research now supports the fact that we really need between 7-8 hours sleep a night to function at our optimum.
  • Do you listen to what our body is telling you that you need and act upon it? 
  • Do you spend time on renewing your energy or do you spend time in high energy states all the time? Whether positive or negative, our mind and body need renewal. 
  • Do you take regular breaks at work enabling you to focus more effectively? 
  • How do you talk to yourself – are you overcritical and not supportive? 
  • Do you balance pleasure activities with purposeful activities?
  • When did you last just have fun and enjoy a good laugh?
  • What regular renewing routines do you engage in? 

 

Take a moment to reflect on these questions and assess how supportive you are to yourself.   

Then ask yourself how can you be kinder and more supportive to yourself? What advice would you give a friend if they were you? 

We can only be supportive and kind to others if we have looked after ourselves first.  Start with self-support, you have a responsibility to look after YOU – believe it or not YOU deserve it too. 

Taking care of ‘you’ means the people in your life will receive the best of you rather than what’s left of you.

Alan Alda

 

 Julie Hickton Julie Hickton is an executive coach who specialises in supporting leaders and teams in leadership, being authentic, personal and team wellbeing and resilience. Having developed a personal and team resilience model to support her clients she works with others in a holistic way supporting her clients to raise their self-awareness and self-compassion, ensuring that leaders lead themselves well first, so they are the best version of themselves when leading others.

 

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