“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Anne Lamott

As an entrepreneur, I’m constantly in motion. When I’m asked, “How are you doing?” the most natural and respected response is, “Busy!” I listen to motivational speakers daily. These guys are screaming: “Get up. Hustle. Grind.” It’s been hard for me to tell the difference between self-care and laziness.

I used to think busy was BOSS, and laying down was lazy. One of my first jobs as a teenager was at McDonald’s. My boss, Cleo, used to always say, “If you got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean.” He said, “Whenever I walk by I wanna see you busy.” So, I kept a towel in my hand; I was wiping down things that were already clean. I brought this same motto into my regular life. You wouldn’t catch me resting, chilling, laying around watching television, or playing games on my phone. That behavior was for folks with no goals.

When I would hear people say “I need some ME time,” or “we’re having Girl’s Night Out,” or “it’s gonna be just me and the boys,” that always sounded a little selfish to me. How dare you rest, go and have fun, or have the nerve to go on vacation when there is all of this work that needs to be done? And, if you are a parent you know the work will never be done. However, I have learned – the hard way – that if you don’t take time to rest, it will be forced upon you when it’s least convenient.

Self-care does not mean less work; it means working differently. It means setting up some new rules, new timeframes, and new daily rituals that will hopefully prevent you from burning out. I’m not asking you to stop. I’m asking you to just pause.

Listen, If you want to reach your goals, self-care belongs on the top of your to do list. When you protect your health and wellbeing, you give yourself the strength you need to succeed.

Ironically, we often abandon self-care just when we need it the most. Feeling overburdened and overwhelmed can make you more likely to skip meals or miss workouts. On the other hand, if you make self-care automatic, you’ll create habits you can depend on to see you through major setbacks or minor irritations.

Additionally, taking better care of yourself can help with your self esteem? Lack of proper self care often causes you to feel bad about yourself, such as from not getting a manicure or pedicure in a while, or not exercising. These types of activities make you feel healthy, fit, and beautiful, which goes a long way with self care. With higher self esteem, you raise your confidence, and that can help boost your mood and help with your stress levels.

If you already have a self-care program, great! Use the month of May to discover new ways to take better care of yourself.

This challenge will last 30 days and I will be there every day giving you suggested prompts to try. Before the challenge is over, you will have an opportunity to create a self-care schedule to continue your self-care journey.

Sheréa VéJauan

 author of  the 2020 Goals Journal, as well as several other books and journals. Sheréa resides in Southern California, devoted wife of twenty-eight years to her husband Brian, and mother to their three children, Reginald, Jasmyn and Kennedy. Visit her  at https://shereavejauan.com/