Prioritize Self-Care with Daily Discipline

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When it comes to taking care of yourself, most of us have it all wrong. Self-care is viewed as a luxury—something afforded only after you have exhausted yourself taking care of those around you in the workplace and at home. From helping a colleague finish a project on deadline to making sure the dog is fed, the clock always seems to leave so little time for you.

For women, self-care often seems like the light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, that tunnel is miles long and full of roadblocks along the way. After all, who has time for a much-needed massage, a Saturday at the spa or a delicious dinner cooked by, ahem, someone else when there are a million other priorities?

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That sort of thinking often comes at a major cost to mental, emotional and physical health. Living a fulfilling and healthy life means putting a stop to thinking of self-care as an indulgence. If you treat self-care as a daily discipline instead, surprisingly, both you and the people around you will reap the benefits of a fresh, focused outlook on life.

Making Self-Care a Priority


So what exactly does self-care entail? For many people, it means re-examining personal priorities, making disciplined decisions and finding a purpose in everything you do. Changing your mindset may involve some of the following:

  • Powering down your electronic devices at least an hour before bed in order to meditate.
  • Skipping out on going out for drinks after work in order to make it to your 6 p.m. CrossFit class.
  • Cooking your own meals instead of relying on fast food or takeout.
  • Reading an interesting book rather than spending hours binging a Netflix series.
  • Finding a job that brings fulfillment along with financial security.

I know, easier said than done.

Making the more disciplined choice certainly is not always the most exciting. In fact, when you truly exercise self-care you will often prioritize security over immediate gratification. Yet, when you put yourself first and stop worrying about everyone else’s problems, you can also end up making serious strides in both your professional and personal life.

Removing some of the outside stressors – even if they’re just minor habits that suck your time with little return – can open up your creative side, or simply allow you think more clearly.

How Self-Care Affects Those Around You

What most people fail to understand is that self-care is not a temporary indulgence. You don’t fix problems as they pop up by exercising self-care. Rather, actively make disciplined decisions to maintain balance in your life on a daily basis. Build and maintain routines that allow you to succeed and, most importantly, grow.

Once you make the pledge to care for yourself, you will be able to contribute more to your circle of friends and family. By prioritizing your mental health and minimizing stress, your energy and mood may improve – may even be infectious. Ultimately, the happier, healthier version of you can become a more reliable friend, a more understanding partner, a more reliable teammate or more caring sibling.

When you set, work toward and achieve personal and professional goals, that satisfaction will be more valuable than those indulgences you once found worthwhile. We have one life to live, so make it the most rewarding by putting your health first.