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A Guide to the Art of Self-Care

Being the best version of yourself requires some maintenance

There’s a lot of talk today about the value of taking care of yourself. Our jobs, our families, our communities—these are all heavy responsibilities that we tend to take very seriously. But there’s only one person who can keep your life running—you! And if you don’t invest some time in yourself, it can take a toll in the long run.

Here’s a short guide to self-care, for students and healthcare professionals alike, to support you in feeling your best and doing your best: 

Treat yourself right

Here are some daily activities that support self-care:

  • Say or write down an affirmation—something thing you feel positive about—each morning.
  • When you accomplish something, thank yourself for the work that went into it.
  • Focus on your best qualities. What would your friends and coworkers say they admire about you?
  • Grow as a person. This could mean seeing a therapist, going to church, or developing a spiritual practice. All are ways to take a closer look at yourself and get support in positive change.
  • Accept who you are. Self-acceptance brings peace, and it’s often a crucial starting place.  
  • Don’t over-focus on your flaws. Everyone has them. They make us human!

Watch the negativity

You’d be amazed at how the impact simply of talking about yourself in positive terms can have on your life. You might not think of talk as self-care, but it is. Some things to keep in mind to avoid negativity:

  • Avoid the tendency to put yourself down, even if you’re just trying to be funny. Notice when you’re tempted to do this, and challenge yourself.
  • When you talk about other people, focus on what they’re doing well. If they ask for feedback, or you want to give it, frame things in a way that’s constructive.
  • At work, avoid the urge to gossip. It’s not good for you to join in. Let the nay-sayers find someone else to complain to.

Give up some control

We don’t always have the power to affect the outcome of situations as much as we wish. That can be frustrating, but it can also be a lesson in acceptance. Here are some tips for “going with the flow”:

  • Don’t dwell on a negative situation once it’s passed. A grudge only steals time and energy from your life.
  • Don’t take things so personally. Someone you find difficult may be going through a hard time. You don’t have to take that on.
  • Just let it go. When someone cuts you off in traffic, or says something unpleasant, it’s already passed, so why add to the negativity?

The most important thing is to do your best, stay true to who you are, and communicate your needs with others. You’ll notice that, if you invest some effort into self-care, self-love is likely to follow. These are the building blocks of a grounded, meaningful, and happy life.

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At the Harris School of Business, we want you to be the best version of your self—whether you’re at work or simply living your life. That’s why our blog offers student tips as well as career-related advice. Contact us today for more information about our career training programs.