Five Ways to Achieve Work-Life Harmony through Radical Self-Care

We talk about self-care as a way to take care of ourselves, to prevent burn out, and to re-energize so that we can continue working towards what we believe in. For many years, I did just that. I went on vacation, exercised, turned off my work email after hours, and hung out with friends. And for a little while, it worked - that is, until I engaged in radical self-care. Radical self-care taught me how to take care of myself and to appreciate the world and those around me. It brought purpose, meaning, and joy to my life.

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In its most simple definition, radical self care is the bold act of making your quality of life a top priority. It means accepting that self-care is of utmost importance and changing your work and personal life to fit that. Below are 5 ways to practice radical self-care that I’ve used in my life to have work-life harmony:

1. Do what you LOVE, and negotiate a work schedule that complements the life you WANT.
Instead of asking yourself, “What kind of career do I have want to have?”, ask: “What quality of life do I want to have, and what kinds of jobs would fit into that lifestyle I want?”

2. Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets Your SOUL on Fire.
Being authentic means self-forgiveness, self-awareness, and letting go of the fears that prevent you from moving forward. Ask yourself, “What would you do if you were not afraid?” “What would you do if there were no constraints?” If you find that you are still stuck, then ask yourself what it will take and what your willingness is to get out of that stuckness.

3. Have HEALTHY relationships.
To have a healthy relationship with others, we must first develop a healthy relationship with ourselves and then learn to meet people where they are at. Let go of judgments, assumptions, and unrealistic expectations that you set for other people. Honor your ancestors, and show gratitude for those who support you.

4. FORGIVE Yourself.
Have the courage to forgive yourself, to understand internal trauma, and how you have developed into who you are today. Stop being so hard on yourself and realize that you are always the best you can in the moment. Let go of judgments, assumptions, and unrealistic expectations that you set for yourself.

5. Live and Eat HEALTHY.
Sadly, it’s true - you are what you eat and the lifestyle that you choose. Think about how you want to feel when you get older. What are you willing and able to do to maintain your health?

It took me years to begin to actively practices these forms of radical self-care. And I am still working on it. Admittedly, I have the privilege of being able to implement these practices, and I recognize not everyone has the same opportunities. Implementing radical self-care practices in your life isn’t easy. It’s a process that evolves over time. But if you are able to do it - then you’ll find a whole new way of accomplishing work-life harmony.