Self care. It’s that thing we know we should be doing but struggle to find the time for amongst all our many responsibilities and commitments. The thing is though - if we don’t take care of ourselves, how do we expect to then take care of our business and creative work?
I’m a big believer in working hard and making things happen - it’s pretty much the mindset that my entire brand is built upon. I do also believe though that committing to some serious self care along the way in this journey is a huge part of making things happen, and there’s no point giving all of our energy to building our big and beautiful lives if we’re not also living them fully along the way.
So that’s where Seven Days of Self Care for Creatives comes in - it’s a challenge for both you and I to help us implement some self care into our daily routines. I’m also going to use this opportunity to bring some life back into my very neglected Instagram and throughout the week you can keep up with the challenge over there where I'll be sharing some of my own personal insights as I make my way through this challenge too. If you're struggling to make time for both yourself and your work (and if you're anything like me, you'll probably default to putting work first), this challenge is here to remind you that it's a-okay to prioritise a little self care throughout your awesome journey of making things happen.
Day One: Set Some Boundaries
Although the perfect work/life balance is most likely a myth, boundaries are key for if we want to do good work and enjoy it in the long run too. It's so easy to feel like we have to be everything to everyone and be available at all times, yet without a little rest and some boundaries in place we'll struggle to actually then be able to do our work to the best of our ability.
Boundaries ultimately keep us productive, sane, and moving forward. The tough part is implementing them and then sticking to them along the way. For Day One of this challenge, spend some time to figure out what boundaries you need to set in your business and your routine so that you can have the space and freedom to thrive and stay productive and healthy. For some of us that may mean having a specific switch off point every night, for others it may be having email boundaries set in place, maybe it's your turnover time for clients, or how many clients you take on at one time. Whatever it is you need to cultivate a healthier routine that makes enough space for you to recharge and relax, give yourself permission to start exploring them today.
Day Two: Get Moving
If you ask anyone who knows me in real life, they'll tell you that I'm the last person they'd expect to build a work-out regime into my routine. Exercise has always been this thing that I have avoided as much as possible - I've always felt intimidated by how unfit I am and how little experience I have with the world of working out. Last month though I joined the gym and discovered that it's definitely not as intimidating as I thought it would be - actually, on a good day, it can be pretty fun.
The issue is that I'm now struggling to make time for it in my routine. There's always something more important to be doing, some work that needs my attention, or an inbox that can't be left unattended any longer, and I find myself waking up with all the best intentions to work out that day but finding myself never ending up taking that trip to the gym. Now I've always rolled my eyes when I've heard people talk about the importance of exercise, but after just a few trips to the gym I've already started to see the benefits of making time to sweat it out a little throughout the week.
Whether you're a lifelong gym bunny already, or you're like me and you didn't even know the difference between a cross trainer and a treadmill, my challenge for both you and I today is to get moving. If we stay static, so will our mind and our creativity. Whether it's a quick morning walk while listening to a podcast, an afternoon session at the gym, an evening yoga class, or a 30 minute jog, challenge yourself to find a way to implement a little exercise into your routine.
Day Three: Join In The #Jennypurrchat on self care for creatives
Put Wednesday 24th June at 8pm UK time in your calendar as over on Twitter we're going to spend an hour talking about self care and sharing our own experiences of making it work for us. So much of what we spend our time talking about is work, work, work. It's all invoices, meetings, and social media marketing, but sometimes what we need is to connect with some awesome likeminded people and dig into the behind-the-scenes stuff that we're doing to take care of ourselves and our wellbeing along the way. That's exactly what I'm hoping this weeks #jennypurrchat can be - an hour out from our hectic weeks to encourage each other to make the time for a little self-care.
Day Four: Systems, Systems, Systems
There really aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done and one of the best things we can do is implement some systems that allow us to streamline and automate our process as much as possible. This is where the magic of a streamlined client on-boarding process, canned email responses, scheduling and automating, and systems comes into play.
Everyone's business and brand is built differently, and the systems you need will be different to the ones I need and visa versa. Take the time today to look into your process and see where you can streamline things to make it just that little bit easier to manage. Maybe it's something as simple as an FAQ page, or putting together some canned email responses, or maybe using a web tool like IFTTT or Zapier to automate some tasks for you.
This may sound like a boring step, but once you've got some systems in place you'll be so grateful that they do the hard work for you so that you then have more time for you.
Day Five: Show Up For Yourself
We're always showing up for our business, our clients, our readers, and our friends. Sometimes the last person we tend to show up for is ourselves, yet that's the person we should be looking after the most. When we start to neglect self care, the first thing that will suffer is our own health and wellbeing. We'll silence our own needs in the hopes of not letting anyone else down, yet this is a one-way path to self destruction and burn out.
For Day Five, give yourself permission to show up for yourself. Be honest and really pinpoint the areas in your life right now that need attention. Maybe you need more sleep, maybe you need a break, or maybe you need to spend more time doing the things you really love. Whatever it is - don't tell yourself that it's not okay to put yourself first from time to time. Don't neglect the things you need and don't tell yourself the lie that it's weak or lazy to make time for a little self care.
Day Six: Fuel Yourself
As a child we're forever told that we are what we eat, yet these days I'm really starting to understand the truth behind the cliche. It's so easy to fall back on quick and easy processed meals, or rely on a little sugar to get us through the day because we don't feel like we have the time to prepare a hearty and healthy meal. After years of never really taking my eating habits too seriously - I've always tried to eat as best as I can, but I will happily eat a takeaway or two throughout the week and rarely pay attention to the consequences behind the food that I eat - I decided just recently that enough was enough and I'm going to commit to fuelling myself better so that I can live a healthier and happier life, both in work and outside of it too.
To kick start my healthier approach for food I've decided to do my first Whole30 - which is pretty intimidating for a girl who loves cake for breakfast and popcorn as a bedtime snack. This isn't to say everyone needs to embrace a drastic diet change to fuel themselves better - Day Six is just here to encourage you and I to fuel ourselves more throughout the week. Whether it's through what we eat, or how much we sleep, or how much time we're giving ourselves to rest and recharge - let's do something today that will fuel and recharge our body and mind.
Day Seven: Don't Forget To Live A Little
All work and no play is no way to live, and even when our schedules are jam-packed and our to-do lists look never ending, it's up to us to find a little time each day to live a little. Whether it's just 30 minutes with your favourite people, or a whole afternoon spent away from work, a huge part of self care is letting ourselves enjoy this big beautiful life that we're working so hard to build.
Day Seven is for having a little fun. For me that usually looks like a good meal and good conversations with my closest friends, an afternoon spent lost in a good book, or going on a day long adventure with Alex. I know how much time and energy it takes to bring our big crazy dreams to life, but I also know that without a little fun along the way it doesn't feel quite as dreamy as we first hoped.
Are you joining in with Seven Days of Self Care for Creatives? How are you going to show up for yourself this week?
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