“Self-care” has become quite the buzzword of late. And for the most part with good reason considering all that’s going on in the world. But when it does happen, it’s easy for something to lose its weight or to brush it off as another “millennial fad” or “Gen Z craze”. However, I’m here to tell you that self-care is a vital component of our overall health, and taking it seriously can go a long way to improving our happiness. For all the hype surrounding the term, self-care is simply making a conscious effort to protect and improve your overall well-being and happiness. Now doesn’t that sound like something we should all be doing? Whether we’re a millennial, Gen Z, or Baby Boomer? But unfortunately, many of us have been conditioned to not take care of ourselves in the way we should. In the busyness of life, we may be neglecting key aspects that could be negatively impacting on our health and well-being. Our lives are stressful – we have jobs to do, responsibilities to fulfill, and people who depend on us, and now more than ever, we’re facing uncertainties that put us under strain, whether we are consciously aware of it or not. And as podcasters, there’s also the added pressure to continually create valuable content, to put out high-quality episodes, promote and market your show, and connect with your audience. It can be a lot! And it’s so easy to lose yourself in the process. But that’s where some self-care comes in! Today’s post is full of some great self-care tips to help you and (your podcast) feel great and help you continually function at your optimal level. So keep reading for some key tips to help you feel your best, both mentally and physically. Because when you feel good, you’ll spread that great energy, and your podcast will be all the better for it!
1. Get Enough Sleep
Yup, one of the best ways to take care of your physical and mental well-being is simply to make sure you consistently get enough sleep. If your podcast is a hobby or side hustle, you most likely pay attention to it after everything else that needs your attention has been taken care of. Chances are therefore high that you often work on all things podcast-related late into the night. And while this may be necessary on occasion, especially if you’re just starting out, you should not make multiple late nights a week a habit. Sleep is important as it’s the time when our bodies restore our energy levels, as well as the fact that quality sleep gives our bodies the time to heal and repair, or simply process all that happens in a day. When we get enough sleep, we have the energy to accomplish our tasks and the emotional capacity to successfully navigate challenges. And while we may think that those nighttime hours give us the extra time we need for our show, if we prioritize getting enough sleep, we’ll have the energy to get more done efficiently in the day AND have the time needed to work on the podcast.
2. Nourish Your Body
If you want your car to run efficiently, you fill it with quality gas. The same is true for our bodies. Our bodies are, essentially, high-powered, intricate machines, which we need to take care of if we want them to endure and function at their optimal level, particularly if you’re juggling a whole host of responsibilities! Whether it’s your podcast that needs your attention or your other responsibilities that you’re handling, you need a well-fueled body to give you the stamina you need to get all jobs done, and done well. And while we all know we should be taking care of our bodies, knowing and doing are often two very different things. But practically, nourishing your body simply starts with drinking plenty of water and eating well. This is especially important while you’re working. It can be so easy to neglect beneficial eating habits while you’re busy, choosing “easy” snacks over what’s nourishing for your body. But there are some easy ways to ensure that you’re getting the good stuff to keep you going. Our first step is to keep a bottle of water at your desk to sip on throughout the day to ensure you’re hitting your daily water quotient. (FUN FACT: According to this article on WebMD, we should be drinking between 9 and 13 cups of water depending on gender and levels of activity.) Another way to help make sure you’re getting the good fuel you need is to prepare healthy meals or snacks in advance. That way, when the munchies hit, you’ve got some healthy options ready and waiting, rather than picking something “quick and easy” that will just leave you feeling sluggish and not give you the energy boost you need to keep performing at your peak.
3. Exercise Regularly
Another way you can practice some self-care is to make sure you exercise regularly. Finding the time to fit in regular exercise amongst your other responsibilities can be a challenge, but if you start by drawing up a weekly schedule, and work exercise into your daily routine, you’ll be surprised at just how much you can fit in! Exercise gives endorphins, known as the happy hormone, and who wouldn’t want more of that, right? With the extra energy and endorphins coursing through your body, you’ll begin to feel more energized and positive. And as an added bonus, you’ll be able to transmit that positivity to your podcast. Whether it’s increased inspiration for when you’re creating content or just an extra dose of enthusiasm you send streaming through your episodes to your listeners’ headphones, there’s no doubt your show will benefit from you feeling your best. So whether it’s yoga or rock climbing, trail running, or water aerobics, find something that brings you joy and gets you feeling great. You’ll benefit, and so will your podcast!
4. Cultivate “Me Time”
In the midst of taking over the podcasting world and taking care of the day-to-day responsibilities, it’s still important to carve out some “me” time – time where you can do something you love without worrying about “the next thing.” Now, your “me time” activity may be your podcast, but it’s also okay if it’s something else you enjoy doing. Even if you’re podcasting as a hobby, it’s very easy for it to become “work,” which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that if you want to practice some helpful self-care, you may need to find something else to do when you’re trying to incorporate “me time” into your routine. Run a hot bath, make a cup of tea or coffee and curl up with your favorite book for an hour, exercise, journal – anything that allows you that time your mind and body need to debrief, recharge, and build your energy levels up again. Time away from your work or your podcast may sound counterproductive, but actually, it can invigorate you with renewed energy to create more episodes and develop new content with new vigor. They do say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all, and some dedicated time away from your responsibilities can be just what you need to get you all excited about your goals once again.
Related read: Top Podcasts To Fuel Your Creative Juices
5. Spend Quality Time with Loved Ones
Another way to practice self-care is to spend some quality time with the people you love. Isn’t it great that spending time with loved ones is good for us?! Spending quality time with those people we love not only strengthens our bonds, helping us feel grounded and connected, but there are some happy hormones that get released when we spend time with those we care deeply for, and the right balance of those feel-good hormones are key to us experiencing good mental and emotional health. Whether it’s ensuring that you spend dedicated time with your family each day, or making specific time to call or video chat if your loved ones are far away, it’s so important that dedicated time with your loved ones becomes part of your schedule. This is particularly important now if you’re not able to physically spend time together because of quarantine or stay-at-home orders. Not only will this quality bonding time give you that much-needed dose of happy hormones, but feeling connected and supported gives us a sense of security and confidence, which is particularly important when we go through stressful or difficult times. Just knowing that you have a great support system can help solidify your inner strength, giving you that solid foundation you need to keep doing all that you need to do.
6. Do Something That Brings Fulfillment
In much the same way that we need to nourish our bodies, it’s also vitally important to our overall well-being that we learn to do things that nourish our minds and even our souls. This could be taking a course to learn something you’ve always wanted to try like French cooking or pottery, or it could even be courses related to your podcast, like a writing or audio editing course. It could be attending a seminar or conference on a topic that intrigues you, learning to meditate, or it could even be getting involved in a community upliftment project. Whatever you choose to do (but you’re definitely not limited to just one!) is not as important as the doing of something that brings a sense of fulfillment. Whether it comes from stretching yourself and challenging your abilities, or it comes from helping others, this sense of fulfillment brings us a satisfactory feeling of accomplishment, which is a great way to take care of our self-fulfillment needs.
7. Listen For Enjoyment
Whether you’re a fulltime podcaster or you’re taking on the challenge as a hobby, with all the effort and focus that is required to create and produce a great show, it can be very easy to disconnect with the joy that podcasting brought you in the first place. That is why we are including this self-care tip in our list – listening for enjoyment. It is important to take some time each week to simply listen to those podcasts you love. Whether it’s your favorite true-crime mystery, that great fiction show, or the latest interview episode from your top host, allow yourself the time to enjoy just listening to an episode (or two, no judgment here!) and get lost in those shows you love. It’s a great exercise in remembering why you fell in love with the industry in the first place, and it’s a great way to flame the passion and enthusiasm for your own show all over again. Create a playlist of your favorite shows where you can store up those episodes, and then take the time to sit back and just enjoy them.
Related read: Top Podcasts To Binge-Listen
As much as it’s easy to brush the importance of self-care off as a luxury few can afford, if we truly want long-term health and even success, it really is important for us to carve out the time in our busy schedules for activities that help us cultivate self-care. It can take a little time to find the balance that works for you, and there is often a little bit of adjusting that needs to be done to actively practice stopping work on your podcast or taking time away from your other responsibilities. So often, we fail to incorporate these necessary activities simply because we have been conditioned to feel guilty when we are not “being productive” or when we are doing something for ourselves instead of what we think we should be doing.t But actually, taking that dedicated time to look after our mental and emotional health can help us be more productive in our jobs, more enthusiastic towards our podcast, and can even enhance our creativity, which your podcast would particularly benefit from. Practicing self-care is, therefore, a necessity, not a luxury, as not only will you feel better within yourself, but you’ll also be able to give your best to your podcast, fulfill your roles and responsibilities with greater efficiency, and you’ll have the capacity to be better able to give care and support to those around you. Proving that a little self-care can truly go a long way!