Putting yourself first in your business isn’t selfish. It’s healthy self-preservation that helps you to thrive rather than just survive. If you don’t care for yourself first, you put yourself on the fast track to burn-out, sick-out, and checking out. Self-care isn’t something that should be thought of as your last priority, it should be your first.
My definition of a successful creative business is one that informs and inspires, serves and supports, and fuels and feeds the whole of your life. It doesn’t swallow you whole, but instead is a place of harmony, fusion, and balance. With a proper self-care routine that works for you, you can get off the hamster wheel and get back your sanity and the time that you and your family deserve.
Self-Care Does NOT Mean Self-Indulgence
Now, when I say self-care, I don’t mean self-indulgence of the sabotage variety. Self-care isn’t just about propping yourself up in front of the TV with some bon-bons to mindlessly channel surf for a few hours. You are what you eat, for better or for worse, and I’m not trying to encourage a crash from binging on sugar as a form of self-care when it is only going to bring you down in the long run.
Instead, I really want you to consider what it is that you need the most. Do you need quiet? Do you need music? Do you need people around you? What will fuel you the most and create that kind of routine? I consider self-care as time to imagine, to dream, and to focus on what I most want and need. It’s what you are doing for the whole of your body, the whole of yourself, your mind, body, and soul.
How To Find a Self-Care Routine That Works For You
The most important component of self-care is that it looks different to everyone. Everyone has different needs and is going to need to feed those needs in different ways. For example, once I decided to take the advice of a self-care guru who suggested taking time for yourself in the middle of the day rather than at the start.
Prior to this, I had always begun my day with quiet time in the morning to meditate, exercise, and slowly step into my productivity. I am an early riser, so this method always felt like the best way for me to begin my day with the self-care that I needed. However, I tried his method because he had so much experience in this realm and I thought it might help me to find a new balance.
It did not! Instead, I found that starting my day by jumping straight into productivity only made me feel burned out sooner. I could not take the time in the middle of the day to shut off everything going on around me and focus on myself. Instead, I felt that my self-care routine was harder to reach. It was an eye-opening experience for me and proved that just because something works for one person does not mean it will fit for another.
I am someone who needs that quiet time to charge up to my goals in the morning. Trying to jump right in and taking a break mid-day only tires me out and prolongs my self-care. You may find the same is true for you, or you might prefer to postpone your self-care routine until right before bed, or perhaps your lunch-break is a great time for you to unplug. There is no one way of doing this, as long as it feels genuine to you and helps you to feel your best.
Whatever you choose, make sure that it works to bring you peace and wellness and inspires the rest of your creative day’s process. Remember, it is never selfish to honor yourself and put yourself first. Let’s thrive together!
When you’re ready to take your design practice to the next level, explore your expert coaching and training options with Melissa Galt. To catch the entire podcast episode LISTEN HERE.