Self-care was never meant to be selfish. It can actually be a gift to everyone else in your life. As the season of giving is upon us, your inbox may be piling up with Amazon wishlists and gift ideas to deliver to your loved ones’ doors. Yet amidst trying to find the *perfect* presents, we often forget how easily we can give those we care about gifts that will last them a lifetime.
Self-care refers to anything that helps you maintain strong mental, physical, and emotional health so that you can be your best self regardless of what life brings your way. And while it may seem counter-intuitive, your own self-care practice can become a gift to another.
How? By choosing to share your self-care journey with another and offering to help them on theirs, you can help them build positive habits that will improve their well-being!
Committing to taking better care of yourself by integrating positive habits into your days - such as a workout routine or a daily meditation practice - is not easy. But one of the best ways to stick to your self-care practice is to commit to doing it with a friend!
Here are three reasons why self-care is better done with another:
1) You become an example and give them the gift of encouragement
2) You skyrocket the chances of reaching your goals
3) You find more meaning as you help them meet their goals
Think back to your middle or high school days – who was your favorite teacher or sports coach? Maybe you looked up to them because they accomplished things that you wanted to achieve yourself? Regardless of how much further along the journey they were, they probably treated you with respect and kindness no matter how tough things got.
If you were having a hard time – whether in the classroom, on the field, or at home – they wouldn’t give up on you. They nudged you to keep going, seeing the tremendous potential within you, even when you couldn't see it. They gave you the gift of compassionate encouragement that helped you succeed in what you were trying to accomplish.
By becoming someone’s self-care partner, you can give them that same gift. It all comes down to being encouraging while also “walking the talk” - being a real life example. If your parents told you to eat your greens but avoided salads like the plague, it probably didn’t inspire you to eat more greens yourself! If you’re trying to tell your best friend, children, or parents to take better care of themselves but you’re not doing it for yourself, what kind of a message are you sending them?
Whether it’s your intention to eat more nutritious food or to meditate daily so you can navigate stress more effortlessly, it’s harder to stick with these things when you don’t have a real life example. And that’s where you can come in to help that person in your life who knows they have more in them but sometimes needs a little nudge to get going! Who in your life would you like to see feeling more empowered, taking better care of themselves, and living out their full potential?
You know that initial wave of excitement when you set a new goal or decide to commit to a new habit...and how quickly it can fade. It may be nice to have someone tell you that “you can do it” - but even this motivation is only short-term. Your commitment comes to the test weeks later - when it’s time to do one more push up or to get up 15 minutes earlier to meditate.
Procrastination is much easier when there’s nobody around to share your accomplishments with. And that’s exactly why accountability partners are often so effective in boosting the odds of achieving goals! How effective exactly?
According to the American Society of Training and Development, having someone hold you accountable for your goals boosts your odds of reaching them up to 65%. These odds shoot up to 95% when you have a specific goal and a date to report on this goal with your partner!
When you commit to sticking to your self-care routines by partnering up with a friend, you also help them reach their goals faster! You know their potential and you care for them enough to help them stick with their decision - especially in times when “life” gets in the way.
These are the times when they are most likely to give up. They could use help but may find it hard to ask for it. When you’re both committed to self-care, it makes it much easier to ask your partner for help or guidance!
As you’re reading this, you may already have someone in mind who you know would benefit from paying more attention to their own well-being. They’re always busy taking care of others – the kids, their spouse, their business or clients – all the expense of their own peace of mind and happiness.
Do you know what some of their deepest and most “unrealistic” goals are in life? What if you could help them achieve these by holding them accountable for taking those tiny steps towards them?
Maybe your best friend has always wanted to open a beauty salon or spend a month backpacking Europe. You could hold her accountable for taking an hour every week to research the initial steps needed to make that happen. But you could also help her believe in her own dreams by being the partner on her journey of better mental self-care. Through introducing her to meditation for example, you may even be the reason she’s able to finally overcome the voices of her inner critic!
Imagine how meaningful it would be to know that you were able to help her achieve this dream by keeping her accountable for taking care of herself!
You probably don’t think of self-care and leaving a legacy as going together. But here’s the thing: when you take care of your own needs and stay committed to your dreams, you can’t help but inspire others!
Thanks to you, everyone in your life gets to see a living, breathing example of what can be accomplished when action overrides fear.
When you feel your best, you then have much more energy to help others. You become more conscious of how you spend your most precious resource – your time. When you have more energy, you can then direct it towards the things that move you closer to your life’s biggest visions, including leaving your legacy on the world.
A daily meditation practice plays an important role in attending to your mental and physical health because it helps you notice all the negative thoughts that keep you feeling stuck, stressed, or overwhelmed. And while finding the time in your day to meditate can be hard, making it part of your self-care practice and committing to it with a friend makes it much easier!
Who in your life do you know that has been wanting to commit to taking better care of themselves? Consider offering them the gift of holding them accountable to their well-being by talking to them about becoming your self-care partner. Share this article with them so you can get them to start thinking about how you can both achieve your self-care goals together!
If you’re both interested in reducing stress, finding more calm, feeling less lonely, or boosting your manifestation powers, then learning to integrate meditation into your days can help! Grab our meditation starter kit while it’s on sale - learn how to meditate in just 10 days and start the year fresh with three months of unlimited access to our meditation classes to keep your practice going!