The Self Care Dilemma

by Jo Anne Nelson on April 1, 2011

As many of you know, one of our key mantras is “Self Care First!”

We believe that you are your core asset. No question. And your success is directly tied to how you manage your core asset—you.

If you are not eating well, not getting enough sleep or exercise, overly stressed, you are sub-optimizing your performance. All of these things fuel our ability to think rationally and creatively, and sustain our performance every day and over time.

Our culture has developed the interpretation that if we put self-care above taking care of others, we are selfish. But, in the true sense of the word, if we take care of self (self-ish), then we are in better position to take care of others.

When I was in private practice, I found that most people were unable to take care of themselves because they thought they had to be working out at the gym for an hour or more, going for a long run or walk, something that required a big commitment of time. Because they didn’t have “time”, they didn’t do their self-care.

People who are most successful at consistently caring for themselves and building their level of well-being do it in a variety of ways. They do the long run or time at the gym, but they also have short practices that they can do in a few moments. While they are cooking dinner, in between meetings, before they start the next project, or driving to pick up their kids.

It might be as simple as taking a deep breath or being focused solely on the present moment rather than what has happened or is about to happen. It can be taking the stairs rather than the elevator or doing a few quick stretches after sitting at your desk.

What can you do in a short period of time that will be self care and elevate your wellness? How can you incorporate it into your week in addition to longer activities like exercising?

Are you willing to sub-optimize your performance? If not, put self care first.


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