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Self-Care, The “Unsexy” Essential

Written by: Leslie Gaudet, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Hi. It's me again. I know. It's been a while since I last published an article, and the simple answer is that I wanted to write about something that's truly important.

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But first I needed to figure out what that was. And so, as I thought about what was (is) important to me, I realized that it's Self-Care and why I believe it should be our 1 non-negotiable. It's something that most people know about but a staggering number of us either don't practice or don't practice with consistency. Self-Care isn't Sexy but It's Essential. It's essential for our emotional well-being, our physical well-being and our spiritual well-being, and here's why. Statistically, most men don't practice self-care, and only 32% of women practice any kind of self-care which is leaving a whopping 68% of women who don't. To me, that number is unacceptable. As women, we tend to wear so many hats: wife, mom, businesswoman, caregiver and we oftentimes take on the added responsibility of the caregiver to our aging parents, confidant to our friends and family and the one person who needs us the most often is put on the back burner, and that's ourselves, because we are so busy serving other people that we forget about us and what we need. I've noticed this trend on social media of women saying they're taking a break to attend to self-care because they're feeling overwhelmed, tired and confused as to how they got to this place. I've spoken to friends, other coaches and have conducted Self-Care Assessments and many of the woman I've spoken to have either said they have a self-care practice but often don't stick to it regularly, or they don't have one. Some of their reasons for not sticking to a routine is because of Time. They're busy with life and often other things bleed into their self-care time. So, what once was a walk to clear their mind and unwind has become a time to record videos for social media. Or they have a busy day and work through it without breaks believing that they're fine, they're used to working straight through and don't get mentally drained but not realizing that consistently working through without breaks is affecting them over time because they've found themselves all of a sudden breaking down, tired and unable to perform as usual and having to drastically cut back their schedules, canceling events on their calendar and saying No to opportunities because the thought of more is an overwhelming thought. So, what do you do, especially when you know that your well-being is at stake? You go back to the basics. Yes, Self-Care isn't Sexy but it 100% should be non-negotiable. I'd like to give you a few steps for you to add to your daily routine that I believe will help you so that you don't end up in burnout-ville and so that you start taking better care of you.

Step 1


Start your day with gratitude and end your day with gratitude.


This is what I like to call Gratitude Stacking and what I have been doing for myself and what I teach to my clients. It’s simple really. What you do is you start your day with gratitude with the power of 3. What you do is you take 5 minutes to meditate on 3 things you are grateful for which are one person you are grateful for, one experience you are grateful for, and one thing about yourself that you are grateful for. And it’s not just about thinking about what you are grateful for. It's about getting into the feeling of why you are grateful for and what you are grateful for by knowing this person, by experiencing this one thing,and by what you have been gifted with. At the end of your day, you write down in your gratitude journal (yes you will need one of those) and you will write down 5 new things every day that you are grateful for which will have you anchoring in present day moments or what I like to call anchoring in celebration memories. By starting your day with gratitude and ending your day with gratitude, you are stacking up and enhancing your gratitude energy. In fact, if you search on Google the benefits of practicing gratitude, you will find that people (including the scientific community) write that it

  • can improve our sleep patterns (in that “people tend to sleep longer and better”)

  • can strengthen our relationship with others.

  • can reduce stress and anxiety; and

  • even“boost serotonin to activate our brain to produce dopamine”.

Step 2


Take mental breaks throughout your day so that you don't end up missing the signs and end up burning out or worse. In fact, I have been doing some market research lately and what I have found is that a lot of women say they are good to work long hours and that they don't usually feel the need to take breaks but then somewhere in their journey, they come to realize that they are getting burnt out and have to stop or drop some tasks because they've overwhelmed their calendar, said yes to too many things and feel stuck or exhausted or confused as to why they feel the way they do. The one thing that they know for certain is that they need to pare some things back so they can manage it all easier. What I have come to learn, from experience, is that if they had recognized the signs earlier,they could have avoided the place they find themselves in today. Again, all you have to do is Google the reasons why it’s important to take mental breaks throughout your day and you will find what I have found which is this. In an article done last year by rightasrain.uwmedicine.org, “Taking breaks helps you maintain your mental and physical health. You want to calm your central nervous system and shift brain states. Relaxing activities like walking, meditation and being in nature can improve well-being. Allow yourself time to do nothing and just be.” So, if you are one of those women who believe that you can push through it because in your past you’ve always found yourself bouncing back easily but now you find that things have changed and you find yourself starting to feel tired when before you could push through with lots of energy, or you now are stretching yourself and building your business and/or doing more and more but you are filling your time slots to capacity with no room for breaks, be wary. Because before you know it, you could be one of the many women I’ve spoken to of late that have told me that not only did they find themselves feeling burned out or feeling like they were less motivated to do some of the activities that were income generating and had to cut some things back just so that they felt confident that they could manage their schedules without feeling like it was just too much to handle. So, take heed. Avoid burnout by simply taking breaks throughout your day so that you allow yourself to calm your nervous system. And by the way. Moving your attention from work (one screen) to your phone and scrolling social media (another screen)does not count as a mental break.


Step 3


Ask for help and Learn to Delegate. One of the hardest things to do, I know, especially if you are a perfectionist. It is essential to look after you, especially so that you protect your time, which is a very valuable commodity.


Asking for help allows you to get a fresh perspective, especially if what you are doing is time-consuming. It allows you to get comfortable to listening to outside ideas and find people who you can confide in and ask their assistance to complete something that for you has been a struggle but for them (because they are not in the thick of things), they can jump in coming from a new way of thinking and maybe even one that you hadn’t thought about.


It also allows you to shave off time in your day by allowing someone else to help you so that you’re not left spinning your wheels and trying to do all the things and wasting valuable time when if you just had taken a moment to ask someone, it could have saved you valuable time even if you complete it with a new perspective or hand it off to someone else, so that you can get to the next pressing task.


This is another find in my market research which is that a lot of women are hesitant to ask for help and then delegate because it takes time to explain what you need and then to hand it off without control over whether or not you will get back what you asked for. This can be avoided if you have clarity on your vision and then can explain it to the person you are asking to do it.


But you will also have to be okay with letting go of the thought that only you can do something and do it well or better than someone else. Allow yourself the opportunity to work with others so that you can free up your time, thereby protecting your time.


Bottom line is this. When you don't take care of yourself, you risk much, like burnout, stress, anxiety, sleepless nights, and possible exhaustion.


It’s why I created my free Self-Care Guide. CLICK here, for your reading pleasure.


Its sole purpose is to get you to stop and think and to evaluate your self-care practice to make sure that you start paying attention and give yourself permission to treat yourself well.


Remember this.


Self-Care isn’t Sexy but it’s important that you pay attention to the signs your body (and your mind) are sending you because sometimes you’re burning the candle at both ends but you’re ignoring the signs until it’s too late.


Take care of yourself really well, so that you get the best of you, and everything and everyone else will too.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info! Read more from Leslie!

 

Leslie Gaudet, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Leslie Gaudet is a Mindset and Emotional Awareness Coach for women. She helps her clients achieve self-awareness around their emotional triggers by shifting their mindset to make better decisions when they respond, allowing them to bring more balance, peace, and harmony into their lives.


Almost 4 decades working as a Legal Assistant and Paralegal in the corporate world left her feeling emotionally and physically drained. That’s when she decided that she had to make some changes for her to live the life she loves. Those changes involved learning to love herself (without judgment or criticism). That mindset is the key to everything because our mindset influences our thoughts, and in turn, our thoughts dictate our words and actions. Thru her journey to self-love and self-acceptance, Leslie became certified as a Life Coach and attained further certifications in Group Coaching and Emotional Intelligence.


She works closely with her clients, starting with mindset because that is the foundational piece to self-love and self-acceptance. She teaches her clients about triggers and how they affect us emotionally by helping her clients tune into, spot, and understand their own so that they can become more self-aware of their trigger moments and emotional responses.


With proven tools and techniques and with her guidance, her clients tap into and discover their true potential to living their life and loving the life they are living.


Leslie believes that you will transform your life when you Change Your Brain (the way you think).

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