Real estate, and life in general, involves a lot of stress, chaos, rejection, long hours, and nights of little sleep. The United States is a very work-focused, career-oriented nation that instills a mindset that to get to the top, you have to put your commitments and accomplishments over yourself.
As a result, we are vulnerable to treating ourselves with little care. We sit for hours upon hours staring at bright screens, eating convenience foods full of sugar and cholesterol, and sleeping less than 6 hours a night. Right now with the coronavirus pandemic, people are tempted to overfocus on their health to their detriment. They panic at the lack of control over the circumstances and their inabilities to find comfort in these trying times.
But even now you can still find ways to take care of yourself with what you have. This action of taking structured time to take care of yourself is termed “self-care.”
Should We Really Hop on the Self-Care Bandwagon?
On social media, it is customary to see celebrities and friends post about putting off work to get their mani-pedi or shopping spree with the tag “Treat yo’ self.” Popular trends like these associate self-care with over-indulgence and laziness.
In reality, this is not what self-care is. While self-care sometimes calls for an occasional treat, it is much more important than the occasional luxury activity. In fact, overindulgence and laziness are great ways to not take care of yourself. Depending on the circumstances, your shopping spree could deplete your financial health, and your binge eating of a large family-size pizza on a Friday night by yourself can hurt your physical health.
Self-care, on the other hand, is crucial to your well-being and productivity and should be treated with serious thought. Like exercise and sleep, self-care is something you need to carve out structured time for.
You need to designate a regular time to assess whether you have taken care of yourself in the following 7 areas. We call these the Pillars of Self-Care:
- While this includes your most immediate needs to survive, like food, water, and fresh air, you also need to think about habits you’ve formed that are inhibiting your body.
- You may be eating too many processed foods, or have a hard time getting to the gym, or stay up too late despite your inability to stay awake at work.
- You’re likely aware of these habits and know you should fix them. What little things can you do to change these habits to take care of you?
- What tactics can you use to take care of yourself when you are emotional? Are you often in touch with your feelings or are you too distracted? What times of the day do you most need to check in with how you’re feeling?
- Do you feel like you carry negative emotions with you for longer than you should? What do you do with negative emotions, or positive emotions? Do you call a family member, or play with your pet, or pray, or journal, or meditate?
- What tone do you use when you talk to yourself? What do you think when you look in the mirror or wake up in the morning? Are these thoughts how you would like your friend to think to themselves?
- We are social creatures. It is difficult for some to find social comfort during this quarantine, but you don’t have to go it alone. You can call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. You might be surprised how happy they are to hear from you!
- Do you feel that you put enough time into socializing? If not, why do you think this is? What can you do to overcome this barrier?
- It’s amazing how impactful financial health is on your physical well-being.
- How do you feel about your financial situation? If you are not happy with it, what can you do to change it?
- Do you pay your bills on time? Do you have a healthy credit report? Do you need to ask for financial help from a loved one?
- Do you need to educate yourself in how to save, invest, or keep a budget? Do you need to start looking for other job opportunities? When can you carve out time to do this?
- Our professional and academic lives are so instrumental to our routine, but it’s rare to assess the health of these parts of our lives.
- How do you feel about your professional life? Do you feel challenged? Do you feel like you are on a career path that fits you? Do you feel you are accomplishing as much as you would like to be?
- Do you feel like you never have enough time in the day? Do you feel overworked?
- What can you do to make your professional life more productive, comfortable, and meaningful for you?
- You may be surprised to think that your intellect is a part of your well-being.
- Do you feel that you have time to think deep thoughts? Do you feel intellectually challenged by your peers?
- Are you exposed to ideas that excite you and give you a zest for learning about the world? Have you found books/videos/shows that expose you to stimulating ideas? If not, what can you do to change this?
- Even if you’re not religious, it’s important to find avenues to connect with the world around you.
- Some people achieve this by connecting with nature or reading poetry. Some do this by volunteering or spending time with their loved ones.
- What can you do to ignite a passion and connectedness to the world?
It is important to reflect on these pillars and find one or two that you most struggle with. Think of small changes you can make to improve your self-care. Although our circumstances may limit our ability to address some of these, the investment in other areas could greatly help our overall well-being.
Remember that you deserve to take care of yourself not to make you more productive but solely for the reason that you are worth all the love you can possibly show yourself.
We hope this information helps you! Which of the pillars of self-care are you going to work on? We’d love to hear them!
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