Member Update: Cornerstones of Self-Care

4 minute read

I find the beginning of the year — sometime in the first quarter — is a good time to revisit self-care routines to see how they’re serving me.

The cornerstones of self-care are good sleep, good food, plenty of water, regular movement, and healthy connections. That’s not to say there aren’t other important facets of self-care, but in my experience, getting these five nailed down makes it easier to recognize and address other issues and needs.

Sleep is when your mind processes the events of day, and your body replenishes your energy and makes repairs. Without good sleep, you’re likely to feel mentally foggy and more edgy in your emotions. You’ll also be more prone to getting sick. A good night’s sleep here and there is something to build on, but ideally, you want good, consistent sleep to be the norm, not the exception.

A few questions to ask yourself about sleep habits:

  • Is my mattress comfortable?
  • Do I have a good pillow that supports my neck properly?
  • Have I established a “before bed” routine that primes me for sleep… one that gives me at least 30 minutes of screen-free time before I drift off?
  • Do I have a consistent sleep schedule?

Healthy foods and lots of water also keep your body in good shape… and can improve your focus and emotional well-being.

When I visit my eating habits, these are the questions I ask:

  • How many servings of fruits and vegetables do I eat a day? (7 to 9 is ideal.)
  • How much fiber is in my diet? (Recommended is in the neighborhood of 25 grams for women, and 35 for men.)
  • How much sugar am I eating in a typical day? (Less than 35 grams of added sugar a day is optimal.)
  • How many ounces of water am I drinking? (Aim for half an ounce for each pound of body weight.)
  • Am I enjoying my meals?
  • Do I stop eating before I feel full?
  • If I need a snack, what do I typically reach for?

Movement promotes good overall health, as well — physically, mentally, and emotionally. And regular movement can also help you sleep better.

My questions on this front are…

  • How often am I exercising each week?
  • Am I doing physical activities I enjoy?
  • Is there a balance of stretching, strength training, and sweating?
  • How often do I walk and how far?

And then, it’s easy to look at social time as an indulgence rather than a necessity, but your connections with the people you care about are essential. Again, healthy connections will benefit you physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Ask yourself,

  • How often do I see the five most important people in my life who I don’t live with?
  • How many people do I have in my life that I feel at ease being vulnerable with? (This doesn’t need to be a long list, but hopefully there are at least three names on it.)
  • How many times a month do I go out and just have fun with friends?

When your sleep habits, eating patterns, water intake, exercise routines, and social life are in a healthy place, you’ll be better able to meet the challenges that come your way, you’ll set yourself up for growth on all fronts, and you’ll prime yourself for more business success, too.

If you haven’t revisited your self-care routines in a while, I challenge you to do that this week.

New on the Site

When you write for yourself or for clients, you can add weight and credibility to your work by drawing on expert opinions and well-done research. When you do that, you need to be sure to credit your sources. In this week’s featured article, I offer a guide to when you should include citations and how to do it.

Have you ever wondered what the best alternatives are to Microsoft Word? In our latest Tech Corner, Andrew Murray looks at three options you can use in your writing business that are simpler than Word, but that will still let you share documents easily with your clients. Best of all, each of these options is free!

Often, when things are about to go wrong (in a big way or a small one), life sends you little warning flags beforehand. But often we choose to ignore these red flags until it’s too late… and then we wonder why we didn’t fix things before they became a problem. Suzanna Fitzgerald explores this tendency in her latest Reality Blog, and shares what she’s doing to try to overcome it.

Mark Your Calendar

Thursday, February 3: This month’s Member Update Webinar is all about unconventional approaches to setting and achieving goals. During this session, I’ll share some alternative ways of moving your business forward and making big headway on your most important goals. Plus, we’ll talk about new content added to the site, look at things that are coming up, and answer your top questions about web writing and freelancing. I hope you’ll join me!

Around the Web

This article from Ed Gandia is so helpful if you have to have a difficult conversation with a client… or with anyone.

I love this look at how you can transform a business by serving your ideal clients and kindly (bravely) turning others away.

This is a quick, valuable read about writing lessons gleaned from life and experience.

And if you’re a content marketer, be sure to check out these trends to watch for the year.

That’s all for now. Make it a great week!