Every day we’re busy, and we often feel like we don’t have enough time to take care of ourselves.
We may think that it’s silly or useless to spend time on ourselves when we could be doing other things.
However, taking time out for yourself is important. It provides you with a break from your life and gives you the opportunity to do something enjoyable.
It’s easy to get caught up in your day-to-day life and forget about yourself. You have so much to do: work, kids, the house, the pets, your parents, your project. Did you know that having a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression? And for those of you who say, “I’m not depressed or anxious. I’m fine. I have stuff to do and people to take care of.” That’s awesome! But you’ll be able to do it even better if you take care of yourself. In this article, you’ll learn about strategies on how to fit some self-care time into your day no matter how busy you get.
Here are some ways you can use your time wisely so you can take care of yourself while still getting everything done.
What is Self-care?
But first things, first: what is self-care? It’s a word that’s used a lot nowadays, but what does it mean for you? First of all, let’s talk about what it isn’t: it is not SELFISH. It doesn’t mean taking care only of yourself. Or that you will stop taking care of others. In fact, it’s the opposite. If you want to be someone who gives, you have to have something to give. You can’t pour from an empty cup. If you are depleted and tired, you don’t have anything to give. If your cup is full, you have more to share with others. So self-care is at the heart of being selfless, not selfish.
We know about the big self-care stuff. It’s not what we are focusing on in this article, but we should mention them:
- Sleep well
- Move and exercise
- Eat right
So while we all struggle to find the time for these big items today, we are going to talk about the smaller things. Because all big things are built on small things. Let’s just talk about how to plan our day because if we plan our day well, we start to plan our life well.
Set Realistic Plans for the Day
This step is important to help you feel less overwhelmed. Don’t say, “I want to finish all my big projects, holiday shopping, and gourmet cooking today.” Instead, break it down into realistic goals. For example:
- I will get presents today for the kids.
- I will get the first draft done.
- I will do the shopping for tomorrow’s meal.
Write down the major projects and then break them down into manageable chunks for the day. Of course, the goal is to lose the weight or get off the meds, but that doesn’t mean it will happen today. Today, the goal might be to get through lunch without eating sweets.
Prioritize Your Plans
Prioritize your plans to stay productive without feeling overwhelmed. Think about your goals and what you really need to get done. Maybe getting everything for Thanksgiving dinner is not critical the first week of November, but finishing your blog post today is critical so you can get new clients.
Create a To-Do List with Deadline
Write all of your tasks down. It not only helps you prioritize your tasks for the day, but it also helps with anxiety and stress. Knowing what needs to get done allows you to focus on taking action instead of worrying that you might have forgotten something. Use a pen and paper or use a to-do list app. Tons of apps will allow you to access your to-do lists from any device you have.
Schedule Self-Care into Your Schedule
Okay, so you’ve got your plans, priorities, and to-do lists. Now, it’s time to include some self-care. You have to put it on the list or the schedule because it will more likely get done. It doesn’t need to be something elaborate and fancy like taking an hour to meditate. Take ten minutes to do your morning routine before everyone wakes up. It can be as simple as drinking your coffee in peace. Not a morning person? Take ten minutes from your lunch and do something you like: walk around the block, meditate, take a nap. It’s ideal if you can include things that will make your body move, as it can boost your energy, too.