We’ve never been fans of the term self-care, but that’s because we both see the trending combination of bubble baths, fancy candles, and face masks masquerading as some kind of magic stress reliever. That never clicked with us; these are soothing activities, but the hype has diluted what self-care really means. Self-care isn’t something that you can buy. Emotional intelligence writer Brianna Wiest put it brilliantly when she wrote, “True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.”
As entrepreneurs, the two of us were always, and still are, doing things we have never done before, so we often google “best practices” for the task at hand: best practices for hosting a staff retreat, building a board of directors, acknowledging donors, designing and evaluating programs, you name it. Best practices are the conditions that experts agree lead to the best results. So, then, what are the best practices for a life you wouldn’t need to escape from?
When you have to leave a child or a pet, you give your sitter a whole rundown of what to expect from your precious little one, right? You want the sitter to understand all their quirks so that they’ll be happy in someone else’s care. As grown humans, we may not come with our own manual of best practices—the conditions in which we thrive—but we can surely create one. Most people, including ourselves, are rarely living by all of our best practices, all of the time. Regardless, you can still feel the effects of a strong, healthy life by doing most of them. In our experience, it’s when you’re feeling in a funk that you’re probably too out of sync from your best practices.