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For these next few posts, we will keep the focus entirely on YOU. Put aside your concerns about caring for your spouses and families for just a short time and let’s have some fun.
In the “Life with Coach” survey, I asked athletic coaches’ wives/partners where they felt most effective in their lives. The number one response given by almost half of the people who participated was that they were most effective at providing support to their husbands and families. When I asked the question of where they wished they could be more effective in their lives, the number one response was taking care of themselves – whether it be focusing on their personal health or just finding time for themselves.
We recognize that taking care of ourselves is important and should be a priority, but often, we are not quite getting there. In my situation when my husband was fired (Championship Life Post #1), I gave up myself for a couple of months. That wasn’t healthy for either my husband or me. I am NOT saying that our husbands/partners and families should not be priorities. Of course they should. What I am saying is that we need to be right up there with them at the top of the list.
Think about your own mother. Did your mother take really good care of herself while she was raising you? Did she take time for herself on a regular basis – to pursue her own interests, enjoy her own friends, or just to spend valuable time by herself? If she did, what kind of example did she set for you? Are you happy she did that? What effect did that have on your life? Do you feel like a stronger woman as a result? Based on the responses to this question discussed at one of my workshops, women were proud of and happy for their mothers having made themselves a priority, both back when they were growing up and currently.
Alternatively, for those whose mothers did not make themselves a priority and did not take care of or find quality time for themselves – alone or with friends – on a regular basis, is there a sense of regret on your part and, perhaps, on hers as well? What short- and long-term effects did this have on her, your father, your siblings, and on you?
Making time for self-care is just as important for men as it is for women and often, I believe, men do an even worse job with it. Over half of my business coaching clients are men. Part of my practice in working with people, even for “business” coaching, is to dig into and support ways in which they balance their overall lives. It does no good for a person to be successful professionally, when it comes with a sacrifice to family or personal life, right? Every single time I ask one of my male clients what they do for themselves, they always go right to “I need to exercise more, right?” That might be one way, but it certainly is not the only one.
Self-care and making ourselves a priority means not only supporting our physical health, but also our emotional and spiritual health, and doing so in a way that is in alignment with our most authentic selves.
When we do practice self-care – consistently and deliberately:
- We naturally take better care of those around us. We come from a more centered, calm base that allows us to make our greatest contributions to our partners, our children, our families and friends, our jobs, and to the world – in a healthier and more effective way.
- We make choices from a place of love and compassion instead of guilt and obligation.
- It forces us to make choices and decisions that reflect the very highest priorities in our lives.
For me, now living in Long Beach, NY, there is nothing that fills my soul on a daily basis like a walk on the beach followed close second by quiet time in meditation then journaling. About once a month, I treat myself to a spa half-day. (funded by Christmas and birthday Spa-finder gift certificates that my family knows I love and use)
What about you? How do you take care of yourself? Are you doing it as often as you need? What can you do to improve your self-care this week? Please share in the comments below.
Click below if you missed previous posts in the series:
Championship Life #1 – Welcome to the Championship Life Series!
Championship Life #2 – New Beginnings
Championship Life #3 – Roller Coaster Life!