“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
– Winston Churchill
Is the glass half-full? Is it half-empty? Does it even matter?
In my journey with burnout, I learned the relationship between optimism and health. Early on, I suffered from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and burnout. I experienced every challenging emotion on the spectrum – loneliness, frustration, anger – and felt very much like a pessimist.
And I stayed that way for a while… Bedridden and isolated from the world.
Until I realized: I was choosing to feel this way. I was choosing to feel sorry for myself. I was choosing to stay stuck.
I didn’t want to feel that way anymore. I wanted to feel empowered again. Now, I choose to look at the glass half-full. Sure, my situation sucked. But positive change depended on ME taking action and having a positive outlook.
And it worked. Through optimism and taking action, I healed from burnout and fibromyalgia.
Optimism saved me and it can rescue you from signs of burnout, as well.
What is Optimism?
Optimism is about staying hopeful and positive about your present and future.
But it’s more than a mindset shift. It’s a lifestyle change. Optimism can have a profound impact on your life satisfaction, how you make decisions, and what types of goals you embark on.
However, many pessimists and realists are skeptical of the benefits of optimism. They believe that optimists suffer from the Pollyanna Principle or positivity bias — an unhealthy fixation on the positive while avoiding the negative. They prefer to feel happy instead of taking action and facing reality.
Sounds more like delusion and wishful thinking, right?
After all, how can optimism pay your bills? Or pick up the kids from school? Or restore peace to your chronic anxiety?
I felt that way until I discovered firsthand how life-changing optimism can be.
What Can Optimism Do For You?
Optimism benefits both your mental and physical well-being. Studies show that those who are more optimistic are at less risk of coronary heart disease. Another study shows that greater optimism can reduce the effects of chronic disease.
Optimism has a healing effect on your body!
By replacing my victim mentality with optimism, I was able to take charge of my burnout and fibromyalgia symptoms. This is because my new positive outlook changed the way I related to these symptoms and empowered me to take action through self-care.
When you embody positivity and optimism, you tend to live longer, you’re more likely to build healthy habits, and you cultivate greater resilience during hardships.
Are you ready to welcome more optimism into your life? Here’s how you can do it.
4 Tips On How to Be More Optimistic
#1 Practice Gratitude
When was the last time you sat in silence, appreciating the blessings that touch your life?
It may have been a while.
Your life often gets hectic. Your calendar is overbooked. You have obligations to fulfill and deadlines to meet.
In the hustle and bustle, you forget to simply appreciate.
Take a moment to do that right now. Ask yourself:
What are three positive things that happened today?
Make answering this question a daily habit. This simple activity will train your brain to actively seek out what’s right in your life, instead of dwelling on what’s wrong.
#2 Surround Yourself with Positive People
Jim Rohn said that you are the average of the five people you surround yourself with. If the people around you are constantly complaining, negative, and pessimistic, then you are more likely to exude those same characteristics.
Instead, set yourself up for success and wellness by associating with people who:
- Set goals and take action
- Choose optimism over pessimism
- Encourage and uplift you
- Cultivate a growth mindset
- Build healthy habits
The friends and family you keep close to you can influence your daily habits and your overall well-being.
#3 Use Inspiring Affirmations
Pessimism affects more than how you perceive the people and world around you. It can also distort how you see yourself.
You put a magnifying glass over your flaws. You catalog your faults. You doubt your skills and potential.
Daily affirmations help you replace these pessimistic thoughts with more optimistic beliefs, by giving voice to reminders of your strength and worth.
Every morning when you wake up and every evening before you go to sleep, look at yourself in the mirror and say:
I love myself. I respect myself. I accept myself.
I am worthy of love and abundance.
I exude optimism, confidence, and self-compassion.
You might not believe the words at first, but they will eventually manifest into your reality. Over time, you will believe that you are worthy, valuable, and powerful.
Optimism isn’t about overnight change. It’s about being open to positive change, even when your current situation is less than ideal.
#4 Be Solution-Oriented
Think about the last time something didn’t work out the way you wanted. It sucked, right? You might have felt discouraged. Perhaps you blamed the world for this setback.
It’s okay to process your emotions before taking action. Just keep in mind that the worst thing you can do in adversity is nothing.
Optimism is more than looking on the bright side. It also encourages you to take real action to effect positive change in your life.
Don’t let your temporary setbacks limit you. Instead, take back your power.
When you’re struggling with something, approach it as a challenge to solve. This perspective shift will keep you focused not on what happened to you, but rather what can you do about it?
Think about a setback you recently experienced. What action steps can you take to solve it?
Optimism and Health Begins With Self-Love
The choice to be optimistic is an act of kindness we show ourselves.
Each time you express optimism, you’re choosing the glass half-full over half-empty. Choosing to keep going over giving up. Choosing positivity over cynicism.
Optimism also inspires you to make more empowering choices, even in hardship: choosing self-compassion and self-love over despair.
When you practice optimism and self-love, you welcome so many benefits into your life. That’s why I encourage you to claim my free gift, “From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice.”
This practice has been shown to:
- Increase mindfulness, well-being, self-confidence, and personal power
- Increase your ability to concentrate
- Cultivate a greater resilience to stress, a positive mindset, and a sense of hopefulness and calm
- Decrease stress and stress-related symptoms like frustration, mood swings, feelings of overwhelm or lack of control, anxiety, depression, low energy, headaches, body aches and pains, muscle tension, chest pain and rapid heartbeat, insomnia, and frequent colds and infections
- Reduce or even stop worrying
Click here now to download your “From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice.”
Self-care is a trending topic right now. Articles, videos, and books flood the market, revealing so many ways for women to prioritize themselves.
We’re increasing awareness of the relationship between self-care and burning out. That is, if you neglect taking care of yourself, you increase the risks of experiencing signs of burnout.
However, there are also some self-care misconceptions out there. Some companies and media outlets are actually missing the mark — reducing self-care to a pore-shrinking face mask or an excuse to treat yourself to a new outfit.
Self-care runs much deeper than that.
In this article, we’re debunking some self-care misconceptions and embracing the essence behind taking genuine care of yourself.
First Off, What is Self-Care?
Quite literally, self-care is taking care of yourself — your mind, body, spirit, and emotions. In an overworked culture where 96% of employees are burned out, self-care is especially critical to your well-being.
And self-care looks different for every woman.
For me, self-care is being mindful of how I care for myself daily, starting with a morning routine that grounds me and sets the tone for each day. I also take periodic breaks throughout the day to re-vitalize myself.
What does self-care look like for you? Let me know in the comments below!
Whatever activity you enjoy, self-care is how you recharge your batteries. It helps you enjoy your life. It builds your resilience during hardship. And it strengthens your physical and mental well-being.
More importantly, self-care is necessary for a happy and fulfilling life.
But what happens when self-care is misinterpreted?
What are the consequences when today’s trends skew your perception of self-care?
When Self-Care Gets Problematic for Women…
While contemporary culture has increased the popularity of self-care, it has also distorted it.
Women are often fed unrealistic or idealized versions of what taking care of yourself looks like. And some women use self-care as an excuse or escape from certain aspects of their lives.
My goal is to debunk these self-care myths. Also, I advocate that self-care is both essential and accessible to all women.
Coming up are five scenarios where self-care is actually misinterpreted and done wrong.
5 Self-Care Misconceptions to Watch Out For
#1 You Do It For Others
The popularity of social media makes it tempting to share everything you do with your followers.
Online influencers flood the self-improvement industry with their morning routines, diet regimens, workout routines, and more.
From a self-care perspective, this may have a hidden consequence…
You obsess over likes and comments and lose sight of what’s truly important: your health and well-being.
Remember: you practice self-care because you love and take care of yourself — not for the likes and comments.
#2 Self-Care Conflicts With Your Goals
You may not realize it, but you might be sabotaging your goals with self-care “treats.”
Let’s say your goal is to lose weight. After two weeks of dedicated diet and exercise, it’s tempting to reward yourself with a decadent (but calorie-rich and sugary) slice of cake. Your internal dialogue may eventually convince you that you deserve it.
However, indulging your appetite is at odds with what you’re hoping to achieve: a healthier you.
Let’s use another example: you want more time for yourself because you’re often over-extended. Then you hear your friends are volunteering for a fundraiser event this weekend. Sounds like it’ll be fun and it’s for a good cause, right? You decide you’ll join.
But even that goes against your goal to recharge by taking away your “me” time.
Self-care is important. However, it must also align with your goals and lifestyle.
Is your “self-care” moving you toward or away from your goals?
#3 You Put a Clever Disguise on Procrastination
If you meditated, recited your affirmations, and soaked in a bubble bath, that’s wonderful! You must be feeling great.
If you did all of that but neglected your responsibilities, then that’s not so wonderful.
Self-care can often be a pretty disguise for procrastination.
Are you practicing self-care to relax and recharge? Or is it a convenient excuse to postpone your responsibilities?
Be honest with yourself about when it’s time to work and time to relax.
#4 You Make It Your Go-To Avoidance Tactic
Sometimes, we use self-care as a way to avoid something uncomfortable.
For example, if you struggle with socializing, you might be tempted to isolate yourself all weekend and call it “me time” and “self-care.”
If you make this behavior a habit, you may be using “self-care” to mask your fear of social interaction.
When this happens, you close opportunities to challenge yourself.
Self-care isn’t strictly rest and relaxation. It can also be an opportunity for personal growth. In this scenario, self-care might actually look like scheduling coffee with a close friend to slowly overcome your social anxiety.
#5 You Attach a Price Tag
Businesses are capitalizing on the self-care trends you see on social media. That’s why industries, like skincare and fashion, are booming. Businesses want women to look and feel great when buying their products.
However, you don’t need to spend buckets of money to take care of yourself.
Self-care doesn’t have to be an expensive retreat to a tropical climate. It doesn’t have to be a luxurious day at the spa either.
Self-care can be as simple as enjoying ten minutes of silence. Or improving your sleep quality by heading to bed an hour earlier. Even going for a walk outside can be considered self-care!
Taking care of yourself can be both nourishing AND free.
What free or low-cost self-care activities do you practice? I’d love to know!
When Self-Care is Done Right…
When you make self-care a top priority, you’ll notice a positive shift in your life.
Your mood lifts. You’re more resilient. You find fulfillment in life. Your overall well-being improves.
That’s the power of self-care.
And I want to help you achieve those amazing benefits with my free From Burnout to Balance 7-Day Self-Love Challenge
During these 7 days, we’ll look at what’s really going on beneath the signs of burnout and I’ll give you simple strategies for how to turn things around so you can get on the path towards balance and enjoying your life (again).
If you’re ready to break out of the burnout cycle and desire to be…
- Relaxed and confident, knowing you’re tending to the most important priorities
- Energized, clear and focused
- Calm, easy-going and peaceful
- Sleeping like a baby and waking up rested
- Engaged, inspired and passionate about your life
Join me by clicking here to sign up for my next From Burnout to Balance 7-Day Self-Love Challenge. It’s Free!