I have a confession to make. I have times when I am utterly and completely lazy. Yep, you heard me right. There are times when I get up in the morning with the best of intentions, but end up spending the entire day reading a book. Not a self-help or book for learning. No, we are talking straight up fiction and entertainment. Gasp! How does that happen? Why do I let it? When I dive in deeper and really look at the times when I do this and why, I find a totally different answer. I am not lazy. I am practicing self-care.

We all need a self-care practice. That may look different for each of us. But self-care is investing time into your body, mind and spirit in order to keep them in optimal health. For one, it may be hiking in nature, for another it may be yoga. For me it is reading. I am an introvert by nature, so if I am interacting with people for days in a row with little to no break, I tend to get worn down. I need times of rest and relaxation and more importantly, I need times of quiet. Time for reading is important to me. I know that when I need to get something done, I will. When I need to spend time working hard, I will do it. That is not the definition of a lazy person. If my body is telling me to rest, I am going to do it. That is the definition of self-care. My reading times or days are most often times when I listen to my body and give it the quiet and care that it needs.

Our bodies and minds are not designed to go, go, go 24/7 without a break. We have been designed to have times of rest and relaxation. In today’s digital world, it is very easy to become bogged down in answering emails all hours of the day and night (because our phones are always with us!). It is so easy to take a vacation and find ourselves logging in to work or take care of one small problem while we are there. Or how about getting sucked into the ever present news and social media on our phones or tablet? That is not what we are meant to do. We all should have times where we turn it all off and just be.

There was a time when I didn’t even know what self-care was, let alone have words to define it. It wasn’t something that was talked about in the business world. I first learned about the concept during a group coaching program I participated in. When I first started allowing time for self-care in my life, I felt a lot of guilt and anxiety over it. I felt I was being lazy or selfish. However, now that I have learned to really listen to my body and understand what it needs, it is easier to allow space for it. Now I cherish those times and I’m grateful for the opportunity to take them.

I encourage you, take some time for you. Schedule it. Pursue it with a passion. Call it self-care or whatever you want to, but do it. Don’t feel like you are cheating your family or your business. The only way to be fully present and there for your family and business is to be healthy and well rested. That requires a practice of self-care and learning to listen to your body and what it tells you it needs. Don’t let your mind tell you it is wrong or don’t let thoughts of guilt creep in. That won’t serve you at all. Having a body and mind that are well cared for will serve you. You will come back renewed and ready to be fully present and active for your family and business.

Sherry Parks is a Rediscovery Coach who helps women rediscover themselves and reconnect to the core of who they are.

To contact Sherry for more information about coaching join her women only Facebook group Lives in Balance.

Originally published at medium.com