As we’ve discussed many times, if we don’t make space to care for ourselves, who will? Our minds, bodies and spirits need constant nurturing to maintain good brain and physical health. Yes, corporate wellness programs abound, but if you are like me, you are your own corporation. We are the only ones who can make it happen! Why is it so hard?

We know we’ll suffer later if we don’t make space to care for ourselves now. It seems we make excuses instead of plans. Too often I am guilty of those excuses. And, exercising is part of my DNA!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I’m a cancer survivor and I know that exercise and nutrition, along with minimal stress, play a big role in managing it. I walked back and forth from the hospital – 21/2 miles – every day while I underwent radiation. I made sure I got plenty of sleep and watched what I ate. I read articles and medical information to stay up on the latest approaches to care. Now, so many years later, I still exercise regularly and watch what I eat. And, I feel good. My energy is high and I can focus easily. (Women Over 70-Aging Reimagined is donating 20% of all donations during the month of October to The Busters Project. Learn more here.)

Does it have to take illness to bring us up short? Surely we can motivate ourselves without threats hanging over our heads. We all know about the good endorphins released during exercise. We have to exercise to experience that, however, and first we need the motivation to do it. This is definitely a case of which comes first, the chicken or the egg!

Step 1 – Physical Well-being

Stop thinking of exercise as a must-do, and start thinking of smart ways to include it in your everyday activities. For example:

  • Park further away from your destination so you walk more
  • Hold meetings over power walks instead of lunch
  • Plan weekend outings that include exercise

And, I’m sure you can easily add to this list. Yes, going to the gym is good for a deeper level of fitness. We can, however, maintain a good level just by switching things up a bit.

Your Employee Wellbeing website tells us that wellbeing is “the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy’ but that doesn’t reveal anything about the multi-faceted nature of wellbeing, made up as it is of the four intertwined ‘pillars’ of emotional, physical, social and financial wellbeing.”

Let’s take a closer look at the others.

Step 2 – Emotional wellbeing

According to the Your Employee Wellbeing article in the website referenced above, emotional wellbeing relies on social wellbeing. Here at Wonder Women Mastermind Club we pride ourselves on connectivity, not only while we are on zoom, but all during the month when we are not. Women supporting women offers a strong sense of social wellbeing. Seeking other like-minded women and moving out of your comfort zone is Step 3 – Social wellbeing.

My women friends have literally saved me thousands of dollars in therapy by offering support, ideas and friendship. I know I’m not alone when I say that! I’ve been on my own these last 11 years and that means these circles of friends and colleagues are ever more important to my mental well-being. Isolation is a well-known reason for emotional unwellness.

It isn’t always easy to motivate yourself to leave the comfort of your workplace or home. Networking leads to business relationships that lead to important resources and sources of referral. Volunteering for social services is the #1 way to increase your self-esteem and make you feel better about yourself. As we hear from the women we interview on Women Over 70-Aging Reimagined, purpose is the number one driver that keeps them feeling vibrant and vital.

Step 4 – Financial security

What is financial wellness? Having control over day-to-day and month-to-month finances. Having the capability to absorb a financial shock. Being on track to meet financial goals. Having the financial freedom to make choices that allow one to enjoy life.
Source: National Fund for Workforce Solutions

Now we know that talking about financial security and accomplishing it are very different. I congratulate young parents today for instilling financial capabilities in their children at a very early age. All of the above discussion on self-care relies on feeling secure financially. Basic needs must be met. Period.

A good part of my coaching business owners involves understanding how and why numbers drive the success of your business. This is one area that cannot be delegated without oversight. It should never be delegated until you have total clarity on the key aspects of the business that directly relate to your profit, loss and growth. Profitability is how you pay yourself and your employees. It’s how you gain freedom to manage the first 3 steps in your self-care.

This entire topic is of great importance to me personally and professionally. These 4 steps are deal-breakers and when followed often are the keys to successful living and working.

About Gail Zelitzky

Since 2000, Gail has coached women business owners in all stages of growth to make the leap to the next level. Recognized for her practical, no-nonsense approach, astute perception of challenges faced by business owners, and her strategic and creative approach to problem solving, Gail consistently produces extraordinary results that are at the core of her success as a consultant. Her passion is creativity and resilience, and champions innovation for business owners. Learn more about her projects, GEARSHIFTWonder Women Mastermind Club and Women Over 70-Aging Reimagined podcast.