We all know that self care is very important. I like the saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” If you don’t refill your cup, and you just keep going because it’s busy, it is eventually going to get empty and you will be no good to yourself or to anyone else you are trying to serve. So – how can you fit self care into your already too busy day?
Like most people, you’re pretty busy. You’re already dealing with work, relationships, and a whole lot of day-to-day actions. You’re running in every direction at once. If you have family, and are raising children that adds even more to your plate. How in the world are you supposed to fit self-care into a day like that?
Thankfully, it’s easier than you think.
Ask Some Important Questions
Self-care isn’t always about over-indulging yourself. Truly, at its core, self-care is more practical than you might think. You start by asking yourself what you need right now. Meeting these basic needs should be at the center of self-care.
There are many types of self care to consider – physical, spiritual, social, mental, and emotional are just some areas.
Physical self care includes things like getting enough restful sleep, moving your body, eating healthy nutritious foods, and taking care of your general health. Spiritual health is anything that helps you develop a deeper sense of your life’s meaning, understanding your purpose, or find a closer connection with your Creator.
Social self care includes developing and cultivating relationships – time with friends, family, and others. It might be one of the hardest areas because good relationships in themselves take time.
Mental self care is exactly as it sounds – taking care of your mind. It means keeping it sharp by stimulating it with new challenges and ideas, keeping it healthy with positivity and self compassion, and being aware of what you are listening about and saying to yourself.
Emotional self care involves activities that help you to process and express your emotions in healthy ways.
Think about each of these areas and decide where you need self care the most.
Schedule it today
Self-care doesn’t just happen. We can have the best of intentions, but unless you are intentional, you will never make time for it. One of my former bosses used to always say, “if it isn’t in writing it doesn’t exist.” He used this phrase for all kinds of things, but most often it had to do with scheduling. By making use of your calendar and scheduling time for yourself you are more likely to succeed in meeting your self care goals.
Start small by building in the habits which will help you the most. Go back to your list, recall the area you needed to work on the most, and schedule the time on your calendar. Schedule just like you would an important doctor visit – you wouldn’t blow that off, and you shouldn’t blow off your self care appointment either.
Let’s say you identified physical health as your main area. You can begin by adding in regular exercise date several days a week, or by making a meal plan to help you eat healthier. As you achieve one goal, add in another. The key is not to overwhelm yourself all at once.
Figure Out What Comes First
How are you when it comes to priorities? If you’re like most people, just deciding where to begin can be difficult. Here you need to figure out the difference between important and urgent. If you are still struggling as to what is most important try this method of planning. If something is urgent and important, you need to fit it into your schedule. If something is important and not urgent, you can add it to your schedule at a convenient time. If something is urgent and not important, if at all possible, give it to someone else to do. You may find that you are freeing up enough time by delegating that self care will easily fit.
Learn to Say “No”
You don’t have to feel like you have to say “yes” to everything. Sometimes the best form of self care is learning how to say “no.” Use your important vs. urgent questions, decide if it is in your best interest to do it, and then give an honest test or no. You don’t even need an explanation. By setting solid boundaries, you protect yourself from activities which do not serve you or the people around you.
Remember the Small Stuff
We think the little things don’t matter, but they do. Self care doesn’t have to be anything big (although it’s nice to splurge now and then.) Do the little things such as making sure you get enough restful sleep, practicing good hygiene, eating right, and getting daily physical movement. These daily “small” activities not only keep us physically healthy, but are also good for our mental and emotional health as well.
When we get busy, we tend to forget all of these things so easily. When you’re making an effort to take care of yourself, you have to be intentional in what you do. Consistent daily self care will long way toward keeping you healthy and happy, no matter how busy life gets.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.
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