Tips for Cultivating Self-Care in 2024

Happy New Year to you!  As we kicked off the new year, we offered this piece of advice:  Make yourself a priority by practicing self-care and honor your own boundaries.

These topics are near and dear to my heart as I recognize how fundamental they are to maintaining individual happiness and success, but sadly I have been challenged to remain consistent in practicing them over the past few years.  

Prior to losing both my parents in the span of the last five years, and most recently my mother-in-law this past December, I had a regimented self-care routine and was in a great place physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I felt good. My confidence level was strong, and I was much more consistent with my spiritual practices that helped ground me and enabled me to perform at my best and live my best life.

I did what I could to balance being a caregiver to both my parents while managing my business and overall life. It wasn’t easy but I would not change a thing about the amount of love, care, and compassion that was provided to both my parents. At the same time, I did my best to ensure I was there for my clients and offered my full self to all my engagements.  

I hit rock bottom a few times and had overwhelming moments of burnout along the way, but I still managed to get back up and keep going. I practiced my version of self-care when I could, but there was just not enough time in a day to find a semblance of balance.

This past December I spent some time looking back and reflecting on the past year and thought about what I wanted my intentions to be for myself this year. For those of you that follow my blog series, you know that I am not a fan of establishing resolutions and we have written a lot about the topic of self-care in our previous blog series throughout the years.  

I have learned how to be more of a realist. I recognize it’s not about perfection in keeping up with self-care and boundary setting. All we can do is do our best, and sometimes our best might not live up to the standards or expectations we have established for ourselves and that is okay. I have learned how to give myself grace in those moments and to keep moving forward. Thankfully, I have also learned some lessons along that way that I want to share with you to help support you on your journey in establishing a realistic self-care routine.

Let’s start by defining what self-care means to you. I have learned there are many different forms of self-care that we can practice in our lives. Self-care also means different things to different people as we are all unique human beings. We all have a story and have had our own unique life experiences that have shaped who we are. We also have individual needs, goals, dreams, and aspirations that we strive to achieve, and they will vary from person to person.

Self-Reflective Questions to Help You Define Self-Care 

Defining self-care involves understanding your own needs, priorities, and overall well-being. 

Here are key questions to ask yourself when exploring and defining self-care:

  1. What does self-care mean to me?

Reflect on your personal definition of self-care. Is it physical, emotional, mental, or a combination of these aspects?

  1. What are my primary stressors and challenges?

Identify the main sources of stress or challenges in your life. Understanding these can help tailor your self-care practices to address specific needs.

  1. What activities bring me joy and relaxation?

Consider activities that make you genuinely happy and help you relax. These could be hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or engaging in leisure activities.

  1. What are my physical well-being needs?

Assess your physical health. Are you getting enough sleep, exercise, and proper nutrition? Identifying areas for improvement will help guide your self-care routine.

  1. How do I manage my emotional well-being?

Explore how you handle emotions. Are there healthy coping mechanisms you currently use, or do you need to develop new ones? Emotional self-care is crucial for overall well-being.

  1. What role does social connection play in my life?

Evaluate the quality and quantity of your social interactions. Building and maintaining supportive relationships is a key aspect of self-care.  

  1. Do I set boundaries in my personal and professional life?

Reflect on your ability to set and maintain boundaries. Establishing limits can prevent burnout and foster a healthier balance in all aspects of your life. The key is establishing boundaries on a relationship-by-relationship basis and that is something we will explore in our next blog, so stay tuned.

  1. How do I maintain and nurture my mental well-being?

Consider your mental health needs. Do you engage in activities that challenge and stimulate your mind? Mental self-care can involve learning, creativity, and relaxation.

  1. What is my relationship with time management and work-life balance?

Evaluate how you manage your time and whether you have a healthy work-life balance. Striking a balance is essential for preventing stress and maintaining overall well-being.

  1. Am I practicing self-compassion and self-acceptance?

Reflect on how you treat yourself. Are you kind and understanding toward yourself, or do you engage in self-criticism? Cultivating self-compassion is a vital component of self-care.

  1. How do I respond to signs of burnout or fatigue?

Be aware of the signs of burnout and fatigue. Ask yourself how you typically respond to these signs and whether your current self-care practices effectively address them.

  1. What are my long-term goals for self-care?

Consider your future well-being. What long-term habits or practices do you want to incorporate into your life to maintain and enhance your overall health and happiness?

Remember that self-care is a personal journey, and it's essential to regularly reassess and adjust your practices based on your evolving needs and circumstances.

Why Is Self-Care Important?

Having an effective self-care routine has been shown to have several important health benefits such as:

  • Reducing stress, anxiety, and the potential of burnout. 
  • Strengthening resilience muscles.
  • Feeling more fulfilled and happier.
  • Enhancing energy levels. 
  • Deepens relationships and connections with others.

I have spent time with countless leaders who felt like they needed permission to have fun or enjoy themselves. I have also spent time with leaders who have no idea what they enjoy or how they like to spend their free time because they dedicate their lives to work.

Don’t be the leader who devotes themselves so fully to their job that you lose yourself in it. You are a human being with lives outside the workplace so choose to live your life to its fullest.  

I encourage you to think about these self-reflective questions to help you dig deeper and identify what is most important to you and then you can establish a self-care routine that works for you.  

Determine what gives you joy, pleasure, richness, and fulfillment in life. Then spend some time doing those things. Yes, you are “busy”, but that doesn’t mean your free time should be spent worrying about how busy you are. It should be spent living life in a way that energizes you and gives meaning to your story.

Do You Practice Self-Care?

Do you practice self-care? How do you define it? What are your go-to self-care practices that work for you? We want to hear your thoughts, so please reach out by email to or call me on 416 560 1806 to share your thoughts. In our next blog post, we will explore the topic of boundary setting, which is part of establishing a healthy self-care routine and best practices.

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