The truth is, the time when you most need to care for yourself, is the time when you tend to drop it. The more stressed and time-strapped you become, the more you trade in self care for another hour or two of work.
If this sounds like you, here are five ways to successfully include self care into your busy schedule.
1. Change your mindset
Self care is not an indulgence, it’s a necessity. Tweet that!
The moment you start believing things like exercising, eating right and getting a massage isn’t a frivolous and indulgent use of time, everything changes. You’ll release the guilt associated with it and instead accept it as time well spent.
2. Put yourself first
Every day your body speaks to you. Perhaps you’re finding it difficult to sleep, or you have a stiff back or you feel breathless going up a flight of stairs. Those are messages your body is sending you to take better care of yourself. Make self care a priority, above all else. As a friend said to me, “Self care is what I need to be a good person.”
3. Choose the right self care
If you don’t like something, you’ll avoid it. It’s that simple. If you know you need to exercise more, but hate going to the gym … don’t join a gym. That may sound obvious but so many people still do it. Be completely honest with yourself in defining what you love to do.
4. Schedule it
What doesn’t get scheduled doesn’t get done. Put self care time into your calendar and then plan everything else around it. It’s much easier to stick to it and set boundaries when it’s already in your calendar.
5. Use self care as a reward
Reward yourself for a successfully completed project or a happy client with a massage. Or make it a ritual to have an aromatherapy bath to wrap up the week.
Your self care doesn’t have to involve big chunks of time or a lot of money. Keep it simple. Start with small, gradual shifts to make it happen.