Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kick Back . . . Or Kick It Up a Notch

You deserve a break today! Don't you? There is nothing wrong with taking a well-deserved break, but sometimes what I need to do to feel better is to dig in, not escape. Running to the spa when I've been procrastinating on a project never makes me feel better—it just makes me feel guilty.

Procrastination is the most common soft addiction. And we use our other soft addictions to procrastinate—we turn on the TV, surf the internet, grab a snack, play solitaire, text-message our buddies...But the reality is that soft addictions are not real self-care. With a soft addiction I momentarily distract or numb myself with a surface craving but miss the opportunity to really take care of myself by meeting my deeper needs and hungers—like the hunger to be connected, loved, comforted, or to make a difference, to matter, to be fulfilled, or to be respected.

Real self-care sometimes means understanding all the activities you could do to take care of yourself and then picking the one that's the right fit at that time. And surprisingly sometimes hard work itself can be my best source of nourishment. There are times when I stay up a little later to get completely organized for the next day, and I have a much better night's sleep than if I had collapsed into bed after a long workday thinking, "I'll handle the rest in the morning."

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against taking great breaks. In fact, it's one of the things I often have to coach and train people to do in order to be more productive. But by expanding my definition of self-care, I don't need to wait for a certain type of break—a massage or an escape—to recharge my batteries. I can even use challenges to provide more nourishment and energy for my days.

May your days be filled with satisfying work and nourishing rest, and I hope that by taking good care of yourself, you'll be able to accomplish more than you ever thought possible.

Attend my Soft Addiction Solution Training August 28-30 for only $299 and learn the secrets of true self-care!