Yesterday, during a coaching call with one of my clients, the topic of self-care and making time to do things other than work came up. It’s one that I personally have been working on for the last few years and believe as a female entrepreneur it’s one I’ll likely be working on the rest of my life.

Funny, when I started my business one of my goals was freedom and flexibility, then I spent years working more hours than I wanted, thinking I had to prove something. Competing in a way with myself to work more, get more done and accomplish more. To PROVE something to an unknown someone.

What did that get me? A business I resented, a body that was exhausted, nearly on the verge of a breakdown and a family that missed me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do know there is value in hard work, and that we have to do things that others won’t do to achieve big goals, but what happens when we’re too tired to enjoy them? Or can’t continue the journey because we’re exhausted physically and mentally?

Is exhaustion and burn out the goal? Or is it a business that supports you in living the life you want? I now choose the latter.

Each year I choose a theme for the year, to remind me of the vision I have for the year and help me make decisions. Here is my current theme

This year, I commit to saying YES to myself. The more I fill my cup, the more I have to offer others.” 

I think now more than ever as we enter the busy buying season we have to make self-care and time to recharge a priority.

I’ve found that when I take that 20-minute walk in the afternoon or go to lunch with a friend I feel better and surprisingly I actually get more work done. All of the coaching clients’ I’ve polled say the same thing, YET, we all struggle to make the time to do things for ourselves.

Is it because we were raised to clean our room before we go out to play? To do our homework before we watch TV? Or is there a tinge of guilt that someone may judge us for not working hard? We may be caught doing something fun or for self care during our normal work hours? Or a combination of all of the above?

The reason I am sharing this with you is that I know that without taking the time to fill your cup, you won’t have enough to share with others. That eventually, you’ll be like I was, tired, resentful and exhausted.

One of my favorite self-care daily rituals is meditation and journaling. I set aside 30 minutes each morning for this before I start work. I also make time for afternoon walks, when it’s not snowing, and time away from work to play.

I still get my work done, I’m still working on new projects and creating new services. Best of all, I’m loving it rather than resenting it.

Join me in saying YES to yourself, to making self-care a daily ritual and time off on your schedule a regular part of your work week. Do something to help you relax and recharge.