Dream Bigger Tip #7: Take Care of Yourself

Back in 2010, when my journey toward dreaming bigger started, one of the first things I learned was how important it...

Dream Bigger Tip #7: Take Care of Yourself

Back in 2010, when my journey toward dreaming bigger started, one of the first things I learned was how important it is to take care of ourselves. Whatever you want to achieve; making sure the body, mind, and soul achieving it are nourished in a meaningful way is essential to succeed.

As women we’re conditioned to put everyone else first. Many of us are taught to be good, quiet, not too demanding, and certainly not selfish.

We’re expected to do all things without complaining. To bring children into the world, to care for our families, to look gorgeous, to be exemplary daughters, sisters, mothers, wives, and mistresses. In recent times to be wildly successful at our careers and businesses too.

The result is an epidemic of over-extension and overwork. Of perfectionism, people-pleasing, and dieting. Of trying to live big lives while keeping ourselves small, exhausted, trying to do it all.

It doesn’t work.

You cannot dream big while trying to please everyone. You cannot see the possibility in everything when the only way you believe you can be is perfect (read white, thin, and young). In order to achieve your goals you need to nurture yourself, and put yourself first.

Because pursuing big dreams is a marathon, not a sprint. So you need to be in optimal physical and emotional condition to keep at it over time, and to get to the finish line.

How to take care of yourself?

  • Self-care is not selfish

One of the first things we need to unlearn as women is the belief that taking care of ourselves is selfish. It’s not. Putting ourselves first is smart. It’s necessary. Even taking care of others works better when we take care of ourselves first. There’s no need to feel guilty, ashamed, or not good enough.

  • Self-care can be anything

The media easily associated self-care with spa days, and massages. Or time off in the Sun on a tropical island. Sure, those are great ways to take care of yourself but not the only ones. They’re also costly, and time-consuming which makes it harder to fit them into your life.

If we look passed this limiting picture of self-care a whole world opens up. Self-care can be anything. It can fit into any amount of time on any day of the week. It doesn’t need to cost anything. It can be a phone call to a friend, going to bed early, a babysitter on a Wednesday afternoon, five minutes of stretching in the morning, clothes that fit you perfectly. Self-care is about filling your cup, doing what you need to be nourished, strong, happy.

  • Self-care is a practice

Giving yourself some me-time when you’re about to give up or break down is always a good idea. It will help recharge your batteries, and pick you up so you can keep going. But to reap the long-term benefits of self-care, so it can help you achieve your biggest dreams, it needs to be a practice. Something you do regularly, if possible every day.

Over time, five minutes of self-care every day will be life-changing. It will bring you closer to yourself, help you identify your needs, figure out how you operate from the inside out. You’ll learn to recognize when it’s time to focus on yourself, and have plenty of options to choose from.

If you want more Dream Bigger Tips, I’ve got great news for you! This tip is part of a series, you can find all entries here.

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