During the pandemic, I learned ways to practice self-care and recovery, which has become an essential part of my life. Self-care is a way to ensure we take the time to breathe, practice mindfulness, and, most notably, allow ourselves to rest.
Unfortunately, many of us don’t practice self-care. As a result, we can experience faster burnout, anxiety, fatigue, and depression when we do not replenish our spirits and recover from stress and work. The current research suggests regular self-care can yield a better physical body and healthier mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Wealthy and successful people are often tuned to the need for self-care and recovery to perform in the most optimum states, especially if they must manage and run successful businesses and careers.
When we incorporate self-care into our routine, we revitalize our spirits and enhance our motivation for success. We can learn eight self-care and recovery practices from wealthy and successful professionals, entrepreneurs, and leaders.
1. Meditation Morning Routine
We must start the day grounded, and meditation is a way of becoming in touch with our inner self. Anthony Robbins, one of the most successful personal life and business coach, begins his morning routine with guided meditation.
”Since the mind, body, and emotions are interconnected, you can learn to reset your emotions through physical and mental exercises that bring the mind and body into harmony.”
— Tony Robbins, Business Insider.
Knowing ourselves affords us essential wisdom about what we need to address in the present. In the process, we can also work on those needs and create a blueprint of self-care for the future.
This unique blueprint dramatically improves our chances of achieving important milestones, as we won’t get burned out. Getting in touch with ourselves means practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness through meditation is an excellent way to begin this path to self-care.
I wrote a simple guide for starting meditation here:
Tony Robbins also described his 9-minute meditation practice in the morning in Tim Ferriss’s book. Here is Tony’s technique:
- While seated in a meditation pose, In the first 3-minutes, think of 3 things you’re grateful for. Robbins suggests thinking of simple things like the sunset, last night’s great sleep, etc.
“When you’re grateful, there is no fear. You can’t be fearful and grateful simultaneously,” Robbins said.
- In the following 3-minutes of the meditation, focus on gratitude and imagine. Imagine an inner presence that can heal and solve all our life obstacles. Robbins visualizes God. Regardless of religious beliefs or creeds, we can think of this power in any way, shape, or form.
- In the last 3-minutes, identify 3-things we will make happen for yourself. Robbins calls these “three to thrive” things. We imagine what it feels like to complete these tasks and visualize them already done.
2. Read Motivating Content Daily
We expect motivation to last very long, and my favorite quote from Zig Ziglar is his sage advice. Motivation doesn’t last, like bathing, recommends we motivate ourselves daily!
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
— Zig Ziglar
One of the most successful people is Oprah Winfrey. Her success in talk shows, books, and movies has created an empire. And her daily routine is reading motivating content or quotes to start her day. Oprah knows that motivation must be replenished daily. She says:
“8:30 A.M. I have a series of spiritual exercises that I do every day,” she told Harper’s BAZAAR. “After reading Gathered Truths, I check out “Bowl of Saki” on my phone; it’s delivered to my inbox every morning. It contains the teachings of the Sufis, a Middle Eastern sect that believes all paths lead to God and that all religions are one, pointing to the same north star.”
— Oprah Winfrey, from Harper’s Bazaar.
A huge part of self-care is experiencing unconditional love and giving unconditional love to ourselves and others. We can start this practice of daily motivation by adding this to our daily habits.
Whatever our goals and dreams, we can find books or content that can elevate our spirit and motivate us to keep chasing our dreams to success. However, we must actively pursue this motivation daily.
3. Making The Bed
Tim Ferriss is the author of the 4-Hour Work Week book and various personal self-development content. He is an investor, podcaster, entrepreneur, and guru to millions. His daily habit includes making his bed every day when he wakes up.
Tim believes that life is unpredictable and often out of our control. We can encounter many challenges and unexpected problems. But through his study of stoicism, especially the written works of Marcus Aurelius, he has deduced that making the bed is a great habit to adopt.
Here is a quote from Marcus Aurelius that puts his philosophy into perspective:
“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own—not of the same blood or birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me.”
— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.
Making the bed allows us to feel we have the energy, power, and ability to change things. It is also a great way to start the day. It requires self-discipline to do this habit and is a way to elevate our experience and our living space. I have written about feng shui and how our living area reflects our inner self here. Making the bed every morning is a self-care habit of many successful, goal-oriented people.
4. Exercise, Running, Yoga
Many studies have linked exercise with improved physical health, increased mental acuity, decreased risks of severe health conditions, and improved emotional and mental states. It’s no wonder that many successful people, including countless celebrities, praise exercise as their favorite form of self-care.
“Most days, I run or lift weights for at least 30 minutes,” she says. “Or I’ll take a CrossFit class on indoorphins.com. But if I don’t have the energy, I refuse to beat myself up. Instead, I’ll do a 10-minute meditation or stretch class on YouTube to prioritize myself.”
— Kristen Bell, Shape
“I have a hard time sitting still. I can be all over the map. Yoga has given me the ability to be more focused and make better decisions that come from a clear place. Maybe more than anything else, yoga teaches you to be still and calm under challenging circumstances.”
— Adam Levine
During the pandemic, one self-care method that I used was walking. The ability to walk outside and not think about work or anything but to enjoy the view and focus on being mindful helped greatly during those tough times.
Exercise has many benefits and effects, such as:
- Stress and overall mood improvements.
- It helps us increase our self-confidence.
- Improves our sleep quality.
- Reduce risks of long-term health-related problems, such as diabetes, dementia, and more.
“For years, people would tell me how much they love to run, or how a long run ‘clears their mind’ and for years I would try my best to think of running the same way. The problem was, no matter how hard I tried, running felt like a chore and my internal voice kept begging me to put my body out of its misery. Getting into a workout routine felt hopeless. Then one day I stepped into a barre studio and suddenly my mind cleared, my focus sharpened and my body was challenged. Combined with hot yoga, I finally found a workout routine that makes me feel happy inside—my internal voice now cheers me on. Finding what works for me instead of trying to force myself to do what works for someone else is the best way I’ve learned to take care of both my body and mind.”
— Maegan Holder, actress
5. Journaling and Writing
During the pandemic, I took a creative writing course online. That course helped open up myself to the use of writing to process my memories and traumas and relish the things I am grateful for in life. Writing is one of those activities that we need to do more often.
We may think that journaling is a teenage girl’s pastime, but throughout history, men of renown have kept journals or diaries. Writing in this way is a great self-care practice. To sit down and process the day on a page to jot down thoughts on paper will help create a sense of control, help improve our moods, inspire us to create, and reduce the stress of life.
“Something I really like to do when I’m struggling with anxiety is a brain dump. What I do is just write down anything that I’m worried about. I just write and write and write and I don’t think about it and I don’t read it back. I find it’s really, really helpful for me to get it all out on paper.”
— Emma Stone, source
Tim Ferriss wrote about journaling many times in his blog, his favorite quote from Julia Cameron below shows why writing is an essential practice.
“Once we get those muddy, maddening, confusing thoughts [nebulous worries, jitters, and preoccupations] on the page, we face our day with clearer eyes.”
— Julia Cameron, from Tim Ferris’s blog
6. Therapy and Coaching
Seeking the help of a professional to listen, comfort, and enable us to create a space to process our trauma is a great way to self-care. Many cultures and families stigmatize going to therapy, but thankfully things are changing.
The most successful men and women rely on a therapist or a life coach to help them become the best versions of themselves. Hiring a therapist or a coach can mean having a trustworthy professional external to our life and with only one primary goal, which is to help us be better.
“Mental health is self-care too. I’m learning to break the cycle of poor health and neglect, focusing my energy on my body and taking note of the subtle signs that it gives me. Your body tells you everything you need to know, but I’ve had to learn to listen. It’s a process to change habits and look past the bag of chips and the chaos everywhere!”
— Beyonce, Harpers Bazaar
7. Massage and Relaxation
Stress can affect our bodies in various ways. Our muscles and bones can feel the tension, and our health could suffer. Getting a body massage and relaxation is an excellent way to self-care.
A massage can help us focus on our body and tune in to relaxation. It helps release muscle tension, resulting in a calmer nervous system.
There are also other relaxation techniques besides massage, such as acupuncture, cupping, reiki, etc. These techniques are a great way to relax the body, focus on ourselves, and ground our minds and body.
“Sometimes, when we’re feeling challenged in life, we feel a pull to isolate, and for me part of the joy of being a wife, a mother, and in a cast of friends is allowing myself to be in spaces of love. So being open to that love. Then, for me, self-love is like, ‘Am I sleeping enough? Eating well?’ Not: A’m I eating well to be able to fit into my skinny jeans?’ But: ‘Am I eating well to be healthy and strong?’ And to acknowledge the good, because there is always a lot of good,”
— Kerry Washington, Glamour in 2017.
We don’t need to depend on a masseuse to get a massage. Getting an electronic massager can also be great. Whenever we are stressed or need time for ourselves, we can use massage to get attuned to our body’s stress level. Massaging our body relieves stress and can be a grounding activity and a perfect way to self-care.
8. Turning Off Social Media
I have written about 8 Ways to Manage Social Media (To Preserve Your State of Being) and believe that it’s a valuable resource for ensuring that we can turn off social media as part of our self-care process.
Social media has dominated our lifestyle. Our smartphones and various devices integrate with social media, and overexposure to it could detrimentally affect our state of mind. A social media downtime can help us be more in the moment. We do not need to post and update everyone on everything we do, nor do we need to consume these contents to enhance our lives.
Social media does a great job of connecting people, but often we can become addicted to the use of social media for entertainment purposes or to waste time. We must become purposeful when we use social media. When we spend a lot of time scrolling, it can increase our feelings of stress and anxiety.
We can start by turning off any notifications and setting a time limit for social media usage. When we take control of our social media usage, we become mindful about using it, and we can take ourselves off of the adverse effects that social media could bring.
To ensure that social media positively impacts your health, we must be conscious of how we use it. That means knowing when to take a break and directing our attention elsewhere.