Daksha Patel 
Mobile: (+44) 0781 579 3597 
Email: info@your-mind-at-work.com 
Running my own business, working as a Senior Associate for a Health and Social Care Consultancy and being a Carer for my parents presents lots of challenges, especially when it comes to finding time for self care.  
Whether you are self employed or an employee, one of the biggest challenges you can face is finding the time for self care. There just doesn’t seem to be enough ‘me’ time in any given day. Unless you schedule self care activities into your day, there will always be something else that takes up your time. 
Learning to take care of yourself means you have a lot more energy for your business, for your staff and others you may support outside of work. If you don’t take care of yourself, the chances are that in the medium to long term you are going to be exhausted, experience burnout and your health will inevitably suffer. 
Self care is a very personal matter and you will need to work out what suits you and your circumstances. 
Step 1: Prioritise Self Care 
Are you someone who always puts everybody’s else’s needs at the top of the list before you think about yourself? If so, you may have a limiting belief around self care. I know I was brought up in a culture where self care was viewed as being selfish. The truth is when you are running on empty, it’s difficult to support others, think clearly, make good decisions, be creative, stay focused or perform at your best. 
Step 2: Make a commitment to self care 
Only you can decide how important self care is to you. The truth is if it’s important enough, you will prioritise it and find the time. Decide what activities and practices are going to work for you. Below is a list (not exhaustive) of some of activities and practices that can support self care: 
• Physical exercise 
• Healthy eating 
• Taking regular breaks 
• Deep breathing 
• Hobbies 
• Reading 
• Relaxation 
• Meditation 
• Mindfulness practices 
• Journaling 
• Time with friends and family 
• Time in nature 
• Vacation 
Step 3: Plan your self care activities and practices 
Even if you know that the activities and practices associated with self care are important and have long lasting benefits, you don’t always commit to them for lots of reasons. Once you know what self care activities you are going to commit to, schedule them into your diary. If it’s planned into your diary, there is more chance of it happening. You will also need to decide whether your self care is non-negotiable. You may be tempted to schedule in other appointments which means it replaces time that you have scheduled in for yourself. Obviously, it depends on the situation, however become aware when this is an exception and when it becomes a re-occurring pattern. 
Step 4: Make self care a habit 
Unless you consistently practice self care the chances are you may go back to old patterns of behaviour. When you want to make lasting changes you have to create a new habit until it becomes unconscious. This means practicing self care repeatedly. Don’t forget to review your progress. It’s important to know what is working, what isn’t and adjust, if required. 
When you sacrifice self care, you are diminishing your effectiveness in all areas of your life. True self care is not only important for your well – being, it also includes where and how you invest your personal energy. Despite my own personal challenges, This year I decided to add regular yoga classes to my existing self care practices which include daily meditation, journaling and excercising.  
Over To You 
I’m really curious to find out what your self care activities and practices are and how you ensure you stay committed to them. Leave a comment below. 
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