Have you ever told yourself that there aren’t enough hours in a day? Yeah, me too.

Have you ever said I don’t have time for that workout? How about, “I’ll just grab something quick today for lunch because I don’t have time to make a healthy lunch?”

As busy professionals, whether you work for a small, business, corporation or own your own business, self-care isn’t selfish, it’s smart. No, it’s downright critical to you creating career success on your terms.

What is self-care? It’s anything you do to take care of your spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical aspects, which are the elements which make up who we are. We have a professional life and a personal life, but we are one person. From a mindset perspective, when we ignore an aspect of who we are, we diminish ourselves and our potential. If you want to achieve that career goal that allows you to play bigger, then you’ve got to be willing to take care of the foundation that allows that to happen. You.

And, as busy professionals, it may not be so easy to accomplish. Just like any big project or career goal, it requires some planning and a bit of creativity. Think of the strategies you use in other areas of your life to create success and apply them to your self-care.

Spiritually, you can meditate and 10 – 15 minutes a day, and when practiced consistently, it can produce profound results. You can focus on participating in organized religion and attend church. You can volunteer at a charity, take yoga, or do whatever allows you to feel fulfilled from a spiritual perspective.

Mentally, you need to support your brain. Take time to do things that support your mental well-being. Focus on positive thinking, especially when you catch yourself falling into the trap of trash-talking yourself or holding yourself back by adopting your limiting beliefs. Creative exercises also allow you to think about things differently. Hula hoop anyone?

Emotionally, choose wisely when it comes to the people you surround yourself with, personally and professionally. Having people around you that you trust is a must so that you are comfortable talking things out that weigh you down or asking for help. Having a practice of dealing with your emotions that leave you feeling off-kilter, like journaling, talking to others, or a negative emotion release process. Focus on where you find joy and find more of it.

And finally, physically. Taking care of your physical body. You know how to do this. You hear this all of the time but just because you know it doesn’t mean you do it. What are ways that you can get more sleep, eat better, and exercise more? What are the little ways you can get more of what you need physically throughout the day? Get an accountability buddy. Join a group of like-minded people and leverage the power of the group to develop better habits.

It seems like adopting a plan of self-care would take away from your already busy schedule, but actually, you can only do more when you put yourself first and take care of the only “you” you have. The saying goes that you can’t give of an empty cup. But, I would go further and say unless you are giving from your “overflow,” anything you give is depleting you.

Would you do me a favor? Hit reply and let me know what self-care strategies are your “go-to” and why. I’d love to share a compilation of your responses to help others think differently about their self-care too!

Be good to yourself and here’s wishing you the clarity and self-care you deserve!