Self-care: why it's important and why I'm focusing on it

The big thing about self-care is this: it must be self-initiated.

That’s where I’ve been struggling, because in total honesty, I have been OBSESSED with my business the last two years and have prioritized basically everything other than self-care. I’ve prioritized client deadlines, Hearthfire Creative marketing ideas, and constantly watching new software tutorials over my own health and wellbeing.

Now that the business is running like a machine, it is time to check in on my own health and take the initiative to prioritize self-care. I’ve gained around 30 pounds over the last two years, haven’t had my hair cut in over a year, and have felt disconnected a bit from Spirit. I need to connect more intuitively with my clients and friends, cut out gluten and dairy for good, and get back to a healthy exercise routine. I need to start caring more about me… After all, if I don’t start caring more about myself, who else is going to?

Here are 10 reasons why self-care is so important, especially for entrepreneurs:

  1. If you don’t practice self-care, you won’t feel clear on your goals – or clear on much of anything really.
    • Problem solving becomes more of a challenge because your mind is fogged. There’s no clarity. It is hard to make great strides towards your goals when you don’t even feel clear on what they are.
  2. If you don’t practice self-care, you won’t respect your own boundaries, and your clients will take advantage of you.
    • Getting taken advantage of is commonplace when self-care isn’t a priority. “Sure, I’ll do another round of revisions for free” came out of my mouth more times than it should have these last couple years. When you aren’t respectful of your own boundaries, no one else is going to be either.
  3. If you don’t practice self-care, you’ll be tired and less productive.
    • Without a sense of self worth, depression and fatigue set it. Instead of giving yourself that 30-minute nap, you sit there spinning your wheels for hours and hours without progress…
  4. If you don’t practice self-care, you won’t value your services as much as your competitors value theirs.
    • Simply put, you won’t be getting paid what you should. Truth is, you are a badass. You deserve to make as much money as you need. You are worth (probably more than) the industry standard rate. Without a sense of pride in yourself, you won’t make as much money as our competitors.
  5. If you don’t practice self-care, you’ll let important opportunities slip through the cracks.
    • When you don’t love yourself fully, it’s easy to make excuses. Instead of submitting that proposal for the huge, life-changing gig, you tell yourself, “meh, I probably just wouldn’t get the job anyway.” Instead of following up on with that big potential client, you tell yourself, “they will probably just think I’m annoying.” Taking action is a lot easier when you prioritize yourself and have a strong sense of self worth.
  6. If you don’t practice self-care, your stress levels from work will affect your personal life negatively.
    • It’s easy to pass up that camping trip opportunity, girls night out, or board game session when work comes first. Come on, self! What is life without fun? Work stress should not carry over into your personal life – you must shut down the computer or leave the office a little early here and there. Or at least on time.
  7. If you don’t practice self-care, your physical health will suffer.
    • You may gain or lose too much weight, develop an addiction or unhealthy behavior, or even cease to upkeep personal hygiene. Self-care is mission critical for our physical health, which we all know translates into our self-esteem, vibrancy, and energy levels.
  8. If you don’t practice self-care, you won’t feel connected to your community, your tribe, or your spirituality.
    • If you don’t love yourself, it’s hard to believe that others should/will love you in return, and therefore you lose connection with valuable friends and family. But these are the people that want to watch us thrive, support us, celebrate successes with us, and help to pick us up when we experience failure. Connection is important – maybe even a requirement to exist as a human; self-care comes first.
  9. If you don’t practice self-care, you’ll miss out on big (and little) life events.
    • Didn’t make it to your best friend from middle school’s wedding? Probably because you didn’t care enough about yourself to prioritize an event that would bring you great joy. Late to your siblings’ college graduation? Maybe you were thinking they wouldn’t notice anyway – you aren’t that special. You struggle to make commitments when you don’t care about yourself, and you can end up losing friends and/or living with regret.
  10. If you don’t practice self-care, you’ll feel triggered by anything and everything.
    • When you’re not in touch with your heart and soul, you’re fragile. You’re insecure and unstable. This makes it easy for anything to trigger a reaction from your past or present life – sadness, fear, anger, you name it. It’s easy to trigger these difficult emotions without a sense of self-awareness, self-conviction, and love. My triggers cause riffs in my productivity in business, in my love life, and in my relationships. When I’m grounded in myself, caring for myself wholly, I’m in control of my triggers and can move through them with grace and ease.

When we don’t focus on our own baseline needs, we fail to meet the needs of others as well. Classic oxygen mask on yourself first scenario. We all need to stay properly hydrated, properly nourished, active, and clean. You know, basic shit like taking a long hot shower, eating a salad, going for a walk.

Self-care, for me, goes beyond baseline needs. It means being in touch with who you are and making that a priority. Taking pride in your work and yourself. Saying “no” when it’s not a good fit. Not saying “I’m sorry” for everything and instead saying “f*ck yeah, that’s what I meant!” I meant that and I’m sticking to it. It’s caring for yourself enough to make yourself a priority. You deserve it. You ARE worthy.

I’m committing to self-care.