Self-care is a very misunderstood topic these days. What comes to mind for many women when they think of self-care is activities such as bubble baths and pedicures or things reserved for special occasions. While these things are great practices for women, they really are not the self-care that makes a major difference in a woman living a healthy life day-to-day.
To lessen the confusion on what self-care actually means, here is the dictionary definition:
The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.The Oxford Dictionary
There is so much more to self-care than what most women think and it is also so much more important to your overall well-being than you may even realize.
Does any of this sound familiar?… Stress weighs you down all week long with no reprieve. You put the needs of other people ahead of your own. Most days you feel like you’re running on empty. You feel less than energized. You wake up tired. You feel like you never have time to do the things that matter to you. You have a hard time saying no. You feel like you’re aging more quickly than you should. You feel less than engaged with your own needs.
If any of this resonates, it is definitely time for you to make your self-care a priority in your life. And no, we are not talking about the bubble bath. We are talking about the ways in which you care for yourself so that you protect your wellbeing and happiness, especially during periods of stress.
These self-care habits are literally life-changers. It would be no exaggeration to say that they will change everything for you. But know this – it is not easy. Not at first anyway. Like all things that are worth it, it will take work to turn them into habits. But sis, you are worth it.
If you are ready to be done with living a less than optimal life, these habits are the foundation to creating a better life for yourself.
Here are 15 non-negotiable self-care habits of successful women.
1. She fiercely protects her self-care habits.
A successful woman makes self-care habits and sticks to them. She knows that her self-care habits enable her to show up each day as the best possible version of herself. She puts her habits first and in doing so she is creating the life of her dreams, rather than a life of survival. She knows that it is 100% her responsiblity and she takes it seriously.
2. She has a morning routine to start her day off right.
Even if a successful woman doesn’t consider herself to be a morning person, she’ll still have a well-developed morning routine. She knows that the quality of her day is largely dependent on the quality of her morning. A successful woman’s morning might consist of showering, meditation, exercise, a healthy breakfast, and doing some reading. There is no set formula, rather every successful woman will consciously incorporate the things that give her a leg up on the day and set her up for success. Even if she’s not a morning person, she cherishes her morning routine becuase it is part of her self-care.
3. She plans her days ahead of time, including time for herself.
A successful women doesn’t rely on hope. You will never find her just hoping that she will be able to get everything done on her to-do list. Rather, she is deliberate in her planning and takes charge of her days in advance.
Not only is she taking charge, but she is creating a realistic plan for what she will get done. Because her plan is realistic, albeit sometimes a strech because she is not afraid to push herself, the fact that she planned ahead leaves her feeling accomplished rather than disappointed and frustrated with herself for not getting done what she had hoped.
Likewise, she literally plans in time for herself, whether it’s that bubble bath, meal prep or time to sit with coffee or tea. Whatever the case may be, that time for herself is planned too.
4. She plans her weeks and months ahead of time, including time for herself.
For the successful woman, planning goes even further than just days. She thinks long-term. She knows where she wants to be a year from now and she reverse engineers how she is going to get there. Likewise, her vacations are planned in advance and so is her personal time. She is never just looking a day ahead. She looks weeks and months and even years ahead. She is the one in charge of her destiny and she knows it.
5. She says “no” and she says it often, without guilt.
A successful woman knows that she has to filter out what is not important and let it go. Many woman fall in the trap of saying yes to thing that drain their energy. We love to be helpful and needed! But a successful woman knows that she will never be of the highest service to the people who matter most to her if she is running on empty.
She is purposeful to not overload herself with things outside of her basic obligations in life that do not contribute to her overall well-being and happiness. This makes her more effective in her life, more energized and more fulfilled.
This is something she does not allow herself to feel guilty about.
6. She knows that taking care of her important responsibilities is the key to her freedom.
A successful woman doesn’t shy away from responsibilities. She knows that doing the things she has to do leads to more freedom in her life. Doing this is a form of ultimate care for herself.
She always takes care of her important responsibilities. She does not procrastinate on the things that matter. This frees up time and mental space as well as provides her with the sense of accomplishment versus the feeling that she’s falling short.
7. She seriously limits the time she spends on social media.
She is deliberate about this too. A successful woman knows the dangers of spending too much time on social media. She knows that it eats away at her precious time, provides little to no value in her life and usually leaves her feeling less than amazing.
She frees up hours in her week that others don’t have by limiting her scroll time. Instead of scrolling she spends her time engaged in the things that matter in her life and taking care of herself.
If she does go on social media, it’s in very limited doses at preset times.
8. She plans her food ahead of time.
A successful woman knows what she’s going to eat and when she’s going to eat it. Part of her self-care is planning her food in advance so she does not become ravenous and grab whatever food is most convenient.
This does not mean she personally prepares or cooks all of her food. Some successful women do and some don’t. What it means is that she has it planned.
9. She drinks water all day long.
Drinking water is a priority for a successful woman. It’s not just about staying hydrated. She knows that her body needs water for her to think clearly and for her body to function optimally. The beverage of choice for a successful woman is water.
10. She moves her body throughout the day.
This can mean full-blown exercise for some and for others, it may mean that they simply are conscious to be sure they’re moving their body throughout the day – a brisk walk, morning streching, getting up from their desk, etc. She is conscious to move her body as part of her self-care.
11. She limits the number of hours she works.
When you picture a successful woman, you might picture a workaholic who goes to sleep with a Bluetooth headset on. However, a successful woman is one who puts limits on how much she works. Burnout is real and she does not go there.
12. She gets her most important tasks done first thing every day.
Similar to #6 above, a successful woman prioritizes what is important and gets that done first thing each day. She knows this is an essential self-care strategy bcause it leaves her with more mental energy knowing the important tasks are complete.
13. She rewards herself for getting things done.
A successful woman focused on self-care is not above treating herself. Daily, when she gets her tasks done, she finds a way to treat herself. Whether it’s a brief walk, a moment to breathe or a cup of tea, she takes the time to partake in the reward.
14. She makes sleep a non-negotiable priority.
She knows that sleep is one of the highest forms of self-care. Without it, her success is light years more difficult. Sleep is her foundation.
She is well aware that sleep-deprivation does not serve her. She knows that sleep is a must for proper brain and body function. She has a set bedtime that allows for her to get ample sleep. People ask her what her secret is, and it partially lies in the fact that sleep is a non-negotiable priorty to her.
15. She asks for help when she needs it and she doesn’t feel badly about it.
As women we often feel like we have to do it all by ourselves. This notion is so engrained in us that many of us forget that asking for help is even an option.
You don’t have to do it all and you don’t have to do it all, by yourself.
The successful woman knows that she struggles just like everyone, but she finds herself on the winning end because just like saying no in #5 above, she’s willing to ask for help when she needs it. She doesn’t do so reluctantly, either.
This is part of her self-care and she doesn’t feel the slightest bit guilty about it. There won’t be any reward at the end of your life congratulating you for doing it all on your own. Remember that.
If you’re ready to stop the chaos and exhaustion that you’ve come to know so well, start implementing these self-care habits today. You got to the bottom of this article for a reason. Don’t let it be something you read but do nothing about. Let these habits be something you actually do.
Make the changes you need to make so that you can show up in your life as the best version of yourself with confidence and joy.