This article was originally published in FeedFront Issue 49.
Putting your success first means prioritizing yourself first.
For affiliate marketers and entrepreneurs, it can feel like the only way to succeed is through unrelenting hustle. From best-selling authors claiming they know the secret to fitting three years worth of work into 30 minutes, to the barrage of blogs promoting “life hacks”… these micro-messages practically scream, “Burnout is sexy!”
Those who have burned out (and risen from the ashes of their to-do lists) will tell you the opposite: twenty-four-seven hustle is not sustainable. Self-care is essential. Here’s a few tried and true methods:
Anyone who has operated on minimal sleep and a steady stream of caffeine knows that, at a certain point, exhaustion becomes a liability to your work. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found that just five hours of sleep deprivation can cause learning and memory impairment. Thus, running on empty is likely to create more for you to do in the future because you’re probably not producing your magnum opus after slamming three Redbulls to keep your eyes open at 2 AM.
So, instead of burning the midnight oil, just go to bed. Or, if turning in for the night is out of the question, take a nap instead. Even a 20-minute little snooze can help improve cognition.
One of the most important elements of self-care is positive self-talk. In this age of “The Screen,” it’s easy to view a curated stream of social media and use that as the ultimate standard for your business or body or whatever. Comparison is the thief of joy and measuring oneself against someone else is a definite path to Bummer Town. Instead, manage your screen-time and treat yourself right by integrating positive self-talk into your day.
If you’ve never said nice things to yourself before, becoming your own personal hype man might feel foreign. Give it a try anyways. Even if you’re just going through the motions, you’ll start to notice mental shifts for the better.
Including physical activity in your self-care routine doesn’t mean you have to add “Train for a Marathon” or “Take up CrossFit” to your to-do list. Instead, try to get your heart rate up any way you can a few times a week.
So often “physical activity” is stereotyped to include lots of protein powders, spandex, and mirror selfies. It doesn’t have to be like this. (Unless that’s how you do self-care, and if that’s the case, that’s a good thing.) Each body is different, and movement comes in infinite varieties—just like self-care.
Find What Feels Good For You
Ultimately the basis of self-care is making a commitment to yourself so you can be your best. There isn’t a checkbox of requirements for something to be considered self-care… so long as it is mindful and meaningful.
For marketing newbies (and even the time-tested affiliate rock stars), there are days where this hustle-centered climate might make you feel like you’re falling behind. Relax. Give yourself a literal break to recharge, re-center, and recommit to your most important asset: yourself.
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