Don’t Forget About You

 In Self Care

Not long ago I was getting my annual physical. I complained to my physician: “My husband refuses to get his annual check-up, no matter how much I push!”

My husband had many reasons. Hadn’t been to the doctor in years (and see, no issues?). Felt fine, why go? And, anyway, he was too busy.

My doctor nodded. Clearly, he’d heard this one before! “You know,” he said, “Most diseases today can be cured or managed if found early.”

Then, he caught me completely off-guard.

“With your husband choosing not to get a physical, he is actually putting himself and his family at risk. People just don’t think about it that way.” He commented that this was unwittingly a selfish move on my spouse’s part.

I shared the conversation with my husband… and he made his appointment the very next day.

Self care is not a selfish practice. Quite the opposite. It’s about taking care of yourself so that you can be your best self. Let your new mantra be: It’s important to take care of the whole me – outside as well as inside. Here are three Power Challenges to help you choose YOU – the whole you!

Power Challenge 1: Vacations ARE for Everyone

Do you ever envy people leaving for or coming back from a vacation and think to yourself, ‘Wow that must be nice… I’d like to take a vacation, too!”

Vacations are not just for your employees. Or your neighbor. Or the CEO of some big company that you rationalize can take a break, because she has “made it and can afford to take some time.” Vacations are for everyone.

A work martyr believes that it they give and give and give, success will follow. But it doesn’t play out that way. Vacations are the time to build up resiliency and recharge.



People who took fewer than 10 of their vacation days per year had a 34.6% likelihood of receiving a raise or bonus in a three-year period of time. People who took more than 10 of their vacation days had a 65.4% chance of receiving a raise or bonus. (Shawn Achor & Michelle Gielan Harvard Business Review, 2016) 

Think it will all fall apart if you aren’t there for a week? I believe you will be surprised to find that your employees are able to function without you, and that they will get the work done in your absence. So here’s what I want you to do, step by step:

  1. Pull out your calendar/planner. Pick a week and a destination.
  2. Commit to the week by publishing it on the company calendar.
  3. As you get closer to leaving, meet with your leadership team. Make sure they have the information and details they need to run things in your absence.
  4. Let them know you will be available for emergencies. Only emergencies! (And note, you might need to define what constitutes an actual emergency.)
  5. Put a vacation autoresponder on your email, letting people know you are away and when you will return, and who (and how) to contact in your absence. As you leave for vacation, close the door to your office.

And a final note: Don’t micromanage your business while on vacation. Trust your employees; they’ll respect you more if you give them the opportunity to shine in your absence. Now, go and have some fun!

Power Thought:

Over time, even the Energizer Bunny will run out of juice! Everyone needs a recharge.

Power Challenge 2: “Self Care” is not Selfish

We all do it. We get overworked, and take on more projects than we should. We sign up to be cookie mom at our kid’s school or volunteer to chair the local fundraiser. And, we burn the midnight oil to get it all done.

Our friends and co-workers marvel at how we do it, wondering if we actually ever make it to bed. The untold truth is that we often don’t.

As leaders at home and at work, in our need to do it all, we put everything and everyone else first. We don’t take care of ourselves. Folks, that’s not a good thing! Every one of us needs to practice and incorporate self care into our daily routines. Taking time for that does not mean you are a slacker or not working hard.

But I know what you are saying, “Really?! Who has time?” Well, let me tell you: You do! Try to incorporate a few key elements into your daily life like the following:


It’s not just about losing weight. I’m talking about eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet — the foundation of good health. Eat high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, heart-healthy fats. Take vitamins and minerals and drink plenty of water. Minimize processed foods, saturated fats and alcohol.


If you don’t already have a dedicated exercise routine, get one! The American Health Association recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate activity a day. This can be walking, biking, an exercise class, etc. I’m not talking boot camps or marathons, I’m talking about a heart-healthy regime of moderate activity. Start slowly. Choose an activity you enjoy and keep an exercise diary to mark your progress.


It’s a miracle drug. Lack of sleep affects your happiness, your sex life, short-term memory, and even prevents building muscle. When you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night, you perform better and see increased fitness levels, healthier skin and overall better performance. Get those zzzzz’s!

Power Fact:

In 1942, less than 8% of the population was trying to survive on six hours or less sleep a night; in 2017, it was almost one in two people. (Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker)


Whether spending time with friends, reading a good book or binging a series of your favorite TV show, everyone needs time to turn off and enjoy a bit of time away from the office and the never ending to-do lists.

Self care is not a synonym for pampering or indulging yourself. Advertisers have led us to believe that self-care is about pedicures, massages or buying that blouse we saw in the window. While enjoyable, those activities alone are not self care.

Self-care is a way of life. You are less likely to experience burnout or be consumed by stress, and you are in a better position to focus on the things that matter most to you.

Power Challenge 3: Taking Care of Yourself on the Inside as Well as the Outside

The checklist is done. You shaved a couple of seconds off your mile run-time and you had a nice weekend with family and friends. You’re eating right, you’re exercising.

But still something is missing and your smile is slightly forced. You tell everyone you’re ok, and you’ve even convinced yourself… almost.

Somewhere along the way, you lost you. You’re going through the motions and the demands of the day without ever really feeling. You just want to get “it” done, whatever “it” is. STOP!

Power Quote

There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do. (Amy Poehler)

It’s time to start taking care of the whole you — the part of you that’s inside, the part that no one else sees. You need to:

  • Take time to just be. Turn off the cell phone, the TV, the laptop, whatever distractions keep you from being still. Reconnect with you. You’ll be surprised with the renewed energy you find from these moments of meditation and reflection.
  • Quit ignoring the elephants in the room. Don’t sweep conflicts under the rug or brush off the pain of a bad relationship (personal or professional) with an “I’m ok!” The more you ignore, the more irritated and defensive you become. Taking care of you includes dealing with the conflicts. Not everything can be fixed externally.
  • Don’t take everything too seriously! It’s ok to let go, it’s ok to laugh at yourself. It’s definitely ok not to be serious all the time.
  • NO” is not a dirty word. You don’t have to agree to every request; it can be just as powerful to say no as it is to say yes. When you do, each yes become that much more enjoyable.

Power Thought

Feeling down on occasion is normal, but when feelings of hopelessness, despair and sadness take hold, you may be experiencing depression. Talk to your doctor. It’s important. Left untreated, it can progress to more severe forms and other health issues.

Looking for a motivational speaker for your next event? Carla energizes and inspires attendees to be the best version of themselves that they can be. Contact her today.

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