I am studying to earn my Coaching Certification from the Coach Training Alliance. I don’t need to do it, but I am a lifelong learner and believe in credentialing whenever I can. Early on in my coursework, my classmates and I had a lively conversation about the importance of self-care. The work we do as coaches can get pretty intense and we need to show up for our clients in the best, healthiest, frame of mind, at all times. Self-care should be refreshing, calming, rejuvenating, and create the space necessary to help our clients Imagine their Life’s Possibilities.

I started to take inventory of what I thought self-care meant and questioned whether I practiced enough of these things. Hair, nails, lashes, and shopping were what came to mind first. Ironically, when I engage in these activities I feel anxious, stressed and uncomfortable in the chair. It feels like time is passing by and I can’t get it back. But, I love how I look and feel afterward, so I’ve imagined the alternative to NOT getting these things done:

  • I thought about going grey but when I saw a preview of that look, I realized I wasn’t quite ready for that change yet. 
  • Having my hands and toes done makes me feel good, but I’ve cut back on how often I have someone else do them, and now give myself regular mani and pedis.  
  • Eyelash extensions are THE BEST! They’re beautiful, and I’m totally obsessed! But, I’m rethinking this one because it requires a lot of maintenance, which requires a lot of time. 

These things all fall into the category of personal care, along with showering and teeth-brushing, but are not self-care.

Self-care, I’ve come to understand, is something altogether different. I’ve committed to daily self-care practices during COVID, and I know I will continue beyond the pandemic. Each of these practices has become vital to my productive day: 

  • Gratitude Journal- I spend the first hour of each day drinking coffee and water. My first cup is savored, in pure darkness and silence. While enjoying the second and third cups, I express my gratitude in a journal. I have so much to be grateful for that the simple practice of writing it down gets my day off to a positive start, so I don’t rush my daily journaling. I also spend about 10-minutes reflecting on the previous day and re-reading earlier entries. 
  • Vision- I created a vision for the next five years and wrote it down. Each day I read that vision so I’m clear on what I am working on, and toward. This takes me about a minute.
  • Health- In my weight loss program, Vitalife, we get body scans that provide us affirmations. I have done three scans and have three sets of affirmations I read daily.  This takes about a minute. Maybe two.
  • Mediation- I use the Headspace app to assist my meditation practice. Did you know that you only need to quiet your mind for three to 10-minutes to gain the benefits of meditation?
  • Fitness- I workout twice a week with a personal trainer via Zoom, and the other days on my own. Before my foot surgery, which I’m still healing from, I did Zoom yoga. Soon I’ll resume my yoga practice as well.

All of these things combine to help me reduce anxiety and stress, which in turn enhances my creativity and boosts my energy. As you can see, I’m not spending hours and hours in self-care.  And, in full disclosure, I don’t do ALL of these things every single day. Sometimes I slip up or miss a day. I’m not perfect, but I know and understand the benefits. I’m fully committed to continuing these practices for life because when I adhere to them, I’m a happier person and a better coach for my clients.

Are you struggling with self-care, either finding the time or feeling worthy of it? As a result, you might be feeling STUCK in life or your career. I can help!