The Importance of Self-Care

The Crash

I was flying high – tonnes of energy, happy, positive, loving life, fulfilling my purpose – then, BANG! In perfect harmony, like a well choreographed dance, my mind and body joined forces and yelled, “STOP!”

Without announcement, like a bolt of lightning, I became weak, dizzy, irritable, frustrated, and angry, all in one glorious ten-second frame. My mind and body began to shut down. Since I wasn’t taking breaks, it was like my brain said, “Okay, Jon. Since you’re not stopping to rest, I am going to make the decision for you!”

My “crash” happened on Thursday, November 1st.

As I battled an intense amount of guilt, I made the decision to use the next four days to take care of myself – “self-care”. My journey would no longer be about others. Instead, like a spoiled child, my thoughts, emotions, and energy would be entirely focused on my needs, fulfillment, and enjoyment. Hesitant at first, I have to say, I am loving the journey so far…

My “Self-Care” Journey

Self-care is all about doing things for you – planning and experiencing events that bring YOU joy. As a highly motivated person, thinking about “ME” was difficult, as I like to accomplish goals and tasks, and inspire others to achieve excellence. Nevertheless, I have noticed that self-care is easier to pursue once you accept its value and begin the journey. I will use my journey as an example for you…

Friday, November 2nd

I booked a room at a local hotel next to my favourite shopping mall. For those that don’t know me, I am a “sneaker head”. I love sneakers – particularly Air Jordan’s. I treated myself to not one, but two pairs of retro Jordan’s. Oh yeah, I also ate out three times. I despise cooking. I love convenience!

Yes, Friday cost money. I have learned however, that investing in yourself from time-to-time will keep you happy and healthy. I would rather spend to maintain my mental and physical health, than not to spend, and have medical bills later on.

Saturday, November 3rd

I’m at a hotel, so I slept in! During the work week, I generally wake up around 5AM, then journal and workout. I DIDN’T DO ANY OF THOSE TODAY! In fact, I purposefully left my workout clothes and journal at home. Instead, I laid in bed and rested, then rested some more. I didn’t checkout of the hotel until noon.

When I arrived back home, I watched WWE and YouTube videos. I cuddled my dogs. My schoolwork is still in my backpack. Untouched.

Sunday, November 4th

I love to write. I have committed to write weekly blogs every Sunday morning. Writing is part of my self-care. WHERE I am writing, however, is a little different than normal.

I usually write at a local Starbucks, not too far from my house. This morning, however, I am writing at Tim Horton’s in Morris, Manitoba. Why? When I am done writing, I will continue three hours down the highway to Fargo, North Dakota, where I will watch the Packers vs. Patriots game at Buffalo Wild Wings.

I will wake up tomorrow at my hotel, and spend the day resting and driving, all the while relaxing, and not thinking of work or tasks that need to get finished.

I will go back to work Tuesday morning, no doubt, feeling refreshed and energized to serve, and give my best once again.

What I Have Learned

Self-care is extremely valuable. I will now plan self-care as a part of my daily routine. I will use weekends to relax and shut my brain off. I will plan extended vacations where I can refuel and recharge.

If I wish to give my best to others, my tank needs to be full. I have learned that I cannot give what I don’t have. I have committed my life to bring and give infectious energy, while encouraging and inspiring others. I cannot give energy to others, if I don’t have energy myself.

Challenge

Take a rest. I am committed to spending at least ONE HOUR PER DAY just for me – doing something that I enjoy, that will build me up, and give me energy. I will no longer let my mind and body shut down, and tell me to rest. I am going to take my control back, and take better care of myself.

I challenge you to do the same. If you are feeling overwhelmed and overworked, like me, spend at least 1 hour of your day being “selfish”, living for you. If necessary, say “no” to somebody, and say “yes” to you. Enjoy your life. Take care of yourself.

Get Better.

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Time Well Spent

Time is the most valuable resource we have. Once you spend it, you cannot go back and get a refund. There aren’t any second opportunities, sales, or exchanges either. Unlike money, time is non-renewable. You cannot earn more time. Time is precious. Time needs to be treated appropriately as to what it actually is – the most valuable resource we have.

If you were to see a 10 dollar bill blowing in the wind, you would probably go to great lengths to chase that ten dollars, no matter the inconvenience or effort required. You see that ten dollars as valuable.

Do you treat ten minutes, or even an hour with the same sense of value? Do you chase those minutes or hours with excellence and vigour, just as you would the ten dollars? In a world filled with distraction and procrastination, my answer is no, you probably don’t.

I have heard it said that getting rid of distractions will automatically catapult you into the top 5%. That means, if you spend your time well, you will be incredibly successful. If you don’t, you can count on living an average life.

I witness far too many people wasting their time. Be the person who values time – who is extremely careful as to how they spend it. Like purchasing an expensive item at the store, before you put down 5 hours of your life, be sure it’s a purchase you want to make. The more time required, the more expensive the purchase.

If you were to walk into a car dealership and they were offering Ferrari’s and bus passes for the same amount of money, we would all purchase the Ferrari. We would choose the more valuable item to get the most for our money. The same can be said for your time…

STUDENTS AND THOSE IN THE WORK FORCE…YOU ARE MAKING EXPENSIVE PURCHASES WITH YOUR TIME EVERYDAY! INSTEAD OF PURCHASING A DOLLAR STORE ITEM WITH THOSE 6 -10 HOURS; STUDY, WORK HARD, AND CHALLENGE YOURSELF, SO THAT YOU ARE USING THOSE  HOURS TO PURCHASE A FERRARI INSTEAD OF A BUS PASS.

Here is the plan to be above-average, and chase excellence with your time…

Track Your Time

Find a piece of paper and record very specifically, what you did yesterday and the day before. For example, yesterday, I woke up at 7, then spent 10 minutes getting my coffee ready, and writing in my “confidence journal” (Read: Mental Fitness Plan). My time entry would look like this:

7:00 – Woke up

7:05 – Coffee

7:10 – Confidence Journal

Track your entire day. This will take some time, but the time spent will be worth the purchase!

Be sure the two days you are reflecting upon reflect your typical day. If the past two days are unique and not a true reflection, reflect upon days that are your norm. You want this activity to be as accurate as possible.

When finished, search for sections of your day that are “wasted” or not used efficiently. Most will find their phone use to be the main culprit of wasted time. Research shows that on average, people are on their phones for 2 hours, and 25 minutes per day; or 145 minutes. If you do the math, in a year, the average person will be on their phone for 52, 925 minutes, or 882 hours, or the equivalent of 36.75 days! The average person will spend MORE THAN A MONTH on their phones in a year!

If you want to push the math even further…in the course of 60 years, an average person will have spent 2, 205 days on their phone – or just over six years of their life.

A Quick Change For Excellence

For the purpose of this article, I am using phone statistics to reveal how distraction is the behaviour of the average. But your “time-vice” could be television watching, shopping, gambling, socializing, etc. Whatever your “time-vice” may be, you can also use the following “quick change” to your advantage. A “time-vice” is an activity that you spend an unhealthy amount of time on.

So, the average person is on their phone for 145 minutes a day. What if you used your phone for 60 minutes a day? (I still think 60 minutes is excessive – 30 minutes would be optimal – but for the sake of making a change manageable, 60 minutes will be the number.) Instead of 882 hours spent on your phone during the course of a year like the average user, you will spend 365 hours on your phone. This is a difference of 517 hours; or 21.5 days! In the course of 60 years, you will have saved 1,290 days, or 3.5 years in direct comparison to the average person!

Think about it…by simply reducing your phone time, you will save 21.5 days every year of your life. It’s like finding that ten dollar bill in the wind…no wait…it’s like finding thousands of dollars blowing in the wind!! If you spend your “found time” learning, growing, reading, training, and working on your passions and goals, you will go from average, to an influencer, and a top person in your field. 

Challenge

Write down, very specifically, how you spend your normal day. Do this by tracking your last two days. Find your “time-vice”. Once you find your time-vice, the true work begins. ACTION! Many people know they should change, but very few put in the work to do so.

For the next week, cut your “time-vice” in half. Use the extra time productively, like reading, working out, mediating, and writing. Watch your productivity grow! You will see amazing results quickly!

Get Better!!

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