When should you practice self care?

And how much self care is enough? Do your self-care practices look different on weekdays versus the weekends?

Then there’s the question of when does self care turn into laziness? Or when does self care turn into an excuse to avoid things in your life?

What’s not up for question, though, is that self-care practices help you refresh.

Since I’m an introvert and a highly sensitive person, self-care practices are a must. I’m of no help when I haven’t had time to rest and relax after the hustle drains my energy.

So when should you practice self care?

I have found that in order to keep yourself balanced, you must practice self care at the right time–before the stress, overwhelm, or burnout gets out of control.

You should practice self-care in the following instances:

1. When you’re working your butt off

When you give your best effort in all areas of your life, whether it’s caring for your family or working over-time, you’re bound to feel stress, pressure, or overwhelm.

Communicating and collaborating with people requires you to be alert, open, and focused. There’s a need for a positive attitude, or, in the least, a flexible attitude.

Self-care keeps you centered while you hustle.

2. When you’re going through a lot

There are phases in your life when you need to be extra gentle with yourself.

For example, when you experience times of change or grief, practicing self care helps you come to terms with change or loss.

When you have a lot going on, practicing self care helps you become aware of what’s important so that you stop causing yourself unnecessary stress.

3. When you’re preparing for the upcoming hustle

Preparing for the upcoming hustle is just as important as refreshing yourself after the hustle.

When you prepare for the upcoming hustle, you prioritize feeling balanced, recharged, and refreshed so that you can be your best self and give your best work when it’s time to hustle again.

No matter what your self-care practices look like or how much time you need to reenergize, don’t ignore the signs telling you that you need a self-care break.

Stop causing your own stress. Seriously. Stop.

Self-caused stress is the leading cause of tense shoulders and trouble falling asleep. This is true for me. Are you causing your own stress, too?

I had a major realization the week before I visited my family in Oklahoma this last week of November. If I was stressed before I left for a week of vacation, it was because I was causing my own darn stress.

You’re probably thinking: well, life IS supposed to be stressful. *Cue in the sound effect of a wrong-answer buzzer*. No, life doesn’t have to be stressful all of the time

In reflection, I realized that there are strategies I can use to be less stressed.

If you ever find yourself in the same patterns of behavior that bring unnecessary stress, below are 3 strategies you can use to find a sense of peace 🕊️ and calm as you tackle your day-to-day, to-do lists.

1. give yourself enough time to do what’s important

In other words, stop putting things off till the end. Become diligent and disciplined when it comes to doing what’s important. 

Notice that I wrote “what’s important” not “every single thing on your to-do list”.

If you’re anything like me, some of the things on your to-do list never get checked off anyway. Hence, only the important things ever get done.

2. strive to do your best, not your most perfect

Don’t get hung up on striving to do your most perfect. There will always be a reason to say that things didn’t come out perfect. Because there will always be a better perfect.

Strive to do your best by giving it your all and by being satisfied at the end of the day with your best effort. Give yourself credit for all of things you accomplished today!

#3. You don’t have do ANYTHING to be productive

You don’t have to do a single thing in order to be productive. Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is take a break because your mind, body, & spirit need breaks to help refresh you.

When you hit the pause button ⏸️, you find strength, inspiration, and lightness that helps keep you at your most productive.

There will always be a new problem to tackle or something to complain about. Just make sure that you’re not causing yourself unnecessary stress.