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Self-care is crucial…we all know that and probably preach it to clients, right? The idea that you can’t pour from an empty cup and whatnot. We see inspirational quotes and great little reminders all over social media that remind us to take care of ourselves, that it’s ok to take a nap, that we can’t lose focus on ourselves while looking after others, blah blah blah. All those are wonderful things, but they also seem to have created an extreme on the other side of the spectrum, where we’re so eager to avoid the 60-hour work week and hustle and grind, that we’ve gone to the opposite side of it and used self-care as an excuse for laziness and avoiding anything that challenges us or makes us uncomfortable. So let’s dig into this just a bit. 

So, there is this self-care and self-love movement that is wonderful and is a great reminder to those who tend to overdo it or work or hustle too much. All that stuff. But there needs to be a balance here between working through to get the things done that need to get done, and taking the time to take care of yourself.  

Entrepreneurship can give us all kinds of benefits and freedoms, like being able to pick and choose our clientele, decide our hours each week, take vacations when it’s most convenient for us, and otherwise be able to be far more flexible in life and work than being an employee would allow. However, we can’t get to the point of being selfish and avoiding the hard things and declare it as self-care.   

While you can pick your clients and try to only work on those you enjoy, you’ll undoubtedly have those that don’t fit that. And that’s ok. You may even have clients that challenge you, and instead of just kicking them to the curb or referring them to someone else, use it as a learning experience. You can decide your hours every week, but if you’re just starting out, you may need to work longer hours to build your clientele and support yourself in that building phase. You can take days off when you choose, but consider when it really is best, not just for you, but for your clients too.   

Self-care isn’t always bubble baths and naps. It’s just as much about getting the work done so it’s no longer hanging over you.   

It’s doing the confirmation calls you don’t like to do because it cuts down on no-shows and last-minute cancellations, thereby increasing your revenue.  

It’s continuing to work with a client whose personality is challenging because it’s teaching you some interpersonal skills and you got bills to pay.  

It’s keeping up your financial documents every month so you’re not scrambling at the end of the quarter or rushing a box of disorganized receipts to your accountant a week before your taxes are due.  

Have you ever gotten something done, something you had put off for far too long, something big that you just didn’t want to tackle…but once it’s done, you feel this massive sense of relief, like a weight had been lifted off your shoulders? That in and of itself is self-care. Yes, doing the hard things, hustling even at times, and pushing through the tough stuff really can be a form of self-care. Don’t ignore your own needs; take the nap, meditate, go for a walk, have some alone time, get a massage, and take care of yourself; but do that as a reward to yourself, when you can really enjoy it because you don’t have all those to-dos hanging over you.  

Do the hard things.  

Do the self-care things.  

Just find the balance between the two. 

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