My, it has been a WEEK! Between coming home from a road trip, wrapping up one big project and kicking off another one, winding down our homeschooling year, client work, and of course normal life, I’m feeling a bit stretched!

Which makes this the perfect time to share some thoughts on a topic near and dear to my heart, and that is SELF CARE. 

(Earlier this week, I recorded a video about this – if you prefer watching/listening to reading, you can catch it here). 

Here’s my take on it… when you’re doing big things in the world — and, let’s face it – we’re all doing BIG things! — you have to take care of yourself. 

Like our time, energy is finite – we only have so much energy available to us in any given day. However, unlike our time, we can actually refill our energy levels

I like to think of it like gas in your car. Your car needs a certain amount of gas in the tank in order to get you from point A to point B. And, as we all know, the farther you want to go, the more gas you’ll need to get there. 

When we think of it in those terms, it makes sense. After all, you wouldn’t expect to drive from say, California to Maine on a single tank of gas (or a single charge of your hybrid). That would be absurd!

When you’re operating your car, you understand that you’re using energy (in the form of gas) and that eventually, you will need to put more in the tank. 

The same is true when you’re operating yourself. The more energy you put out, the more you need to put back in. 

Let me say that again. 

The more energy you put out, the more you need to put back in. 

And yet, so many of us tend to push ourselves well past the point of being depleted. 

Just like pushing your car when it runs out of gas, this is possible for the short term, but it’s really not sustainable.

 If we push ourselves too hard for too long, we WILL start wearing out – physically, psychologically, spiritually, and emotionally.

Self-care isn’t optional, but it doesn’t have to be a big thing. You don’t need to carve out a ton of time to practice it, and it doesn’t need to be a major event requiring planning and coordinating and jostling of schedules. 

One of my favorite quotes comes from Master Coach Bridgette Boudreau – “Self-care is an attitude, not an activity.”

Instead of thinking of self-care as an activity, we can shift towards thinking of it as an attitude

Having an attitude of self-care makes it a lot easier to begin weaving it into things we are already doing. 

Instead of struggling to squeeze in opportunities to refill our tanks in huge gulps, we can focus on taking small sips sprinkled throughout our day – every day.  

Some examples of small sips of self-care:

  • Sitting outside for 5 minutes, feeling the sun on your skin

  • Going for a short walk

  • Savoring a cup of your favorite tea

  • Pausing between meetings to take 5 slow, deep breaths

  • Standing in the shower and allowing yourself to just feel the sensation of the water flowing over you (without mentally running through your to-do list or replaying yesterday’s conversation)

  • Lighting the ‘fancy’ candle

  • Reading a few pages of a book, just for fun (Need a reco? Here’s one)

  • Listening to a favorite song (Here’s one of mine!)

  • Watching a video that makes you smile, like these goats 

Taking many small sips is just as effective as taking one or two huge gulps. 

In fact, I think it’s more effective because it trains our brains to honor our needs and reminds us that our energy is precious, and managing it is vital to our well-being. 

So I’ll leave you with this. Self-care is NOT optional. 

If you want to do big things in the world, you have to refill the tank.