Why I'm Writing This...
Hi everyone! Today we're going to be talking about how to fit self-care into your busy life.
So, one thing that I've noticed in my 20 years of teaching is that a lot of my clients, and even just people I know, including my friends and family, have a hard time prioritizing themselves and taking time for self-care. This is because in our society, our sort of idea of success or self-worth is tied up in how much we get done, how busy we are, or what we've accomplished. And that does not coexist well with the idea of slowing down and taking time for self-care. Most of us are really busy with our families, and our careers, and most of us are putting everybody else first before ourselves.
I think the first step in learning how to fit self-care into your busy life is realizing that in order to be your best self, to be able to give your best to your friends, your family, your career, you have to take care of yourself.
We All Know the Feeling of Burnout
I mean, we all know the feeling of burnout and how that burnout affects our interactions with people or the quality of work that we do. It affects how we feel in ourselves, in our body and there's no way, that when we feel burnt out, that that's not going to negatively affect all of the interactions that we have in our everyday lives.
So, I believe the first step to learning how to fit self-care into your busy life is to realize that to be your best self, you have got to take care of yourself first. When you do that, you're actually better for the people in your life as well as for the career that you have. You're actually helping the people in your life and helping your career if you take care of yourself first.
Self-Care Does Not Have to Take a Long Time
I also think it's important for us to realize that self-care does not have to take a long time. It can just be a few minutes here and there. I think we get mislead by the idea that self-care is supposed to take this long amount of time, whether it's like an hour-long workout, or an hour-long massage, or acupuncture appointment, whatever it may be, but that it's supposed to take this big chunk of time. That includes the time that it takes for the appointment itself and the time it takes to get there and then to get back.
With that mindset, we just feel like we don't have that kind of time to spare. I think if we realize that self-care does not have to take a long time, just a few minutes here and there, it can help us to see that we can actually fit self-care into our lives.
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Decided to head down to the beach before work even though it’s grey outside. Took 4 minutes to breathe in the salt air, listen to the waves and think about what I’m grateful for. So happy I did, feeling so much better now. #selfcarethreads #selfcare #selfcaretips #beachday #grateful #thursdaythoughts
Self-Care Is Knowing How Little Time It Takes
I do a lot of really short self-care practices throughout the day. I'm talking about self-care practices that take three to five minutes. I find that that little recharge I get each time really helps me throughout my day.
That being said,I think that's an important part of fitting self-care into your life, understanding that self-care does not have to take a long time, just a few minutes here and there. I think with that comes the idea that we want to have it in the back of our minds, that we want to make time for self-care, and that it's something that we want to start bringing to the forefront of our minds and start to have it be more of a priority. That all begins with that first intention that you make, that you want to make time for self-care because I know that once we put our mind to something, we can achieve it.
Know That You Can Achieve Anything
I've seen it over and over again with my clients, my friends, my family. When we're really set on something, we do it. If we're not really set on it, we can make a lot of excuses as to why we can't do it. So, I think it's having that intention in your mind that you want to start to make some time for self-care.
Again, self-care doesn't have to take a long time. It can just be a few minutes here and there. If we're mindful of what we are doing with our time, we will realize that we have plenty of moments in our day where we have a few minutes here and there for self-care.
Self-Care Moment Examples
There are lots of moments in our day that we can do quick little self-care practices. It's when we're mindful of our time, and what we're doing with our time, we can then have that intention and awareness.
Mindfulness of What You’re Doing with Your Time
If you have that mindfulness about what you're doing with your time, you will realize that you already have lots of few minutes in your day here and there for self-care.
Self-Care While Waiting
Sitting in the car waiting to pick up your kid(s) from school could foster a quick moment of self-care. That is a moment that you could do some self-care instead of checking your emails or texting or being on social media or whatever it is that you're usually going to do in the car.
Self-Care While Watching TV
Just tell yourself that this is a moment when I could be doing some self-care. And then practice some self-care while watching TV.
Self-Care Before Leaving for Work
I know I had like 10 minutes to kill before leaving for work and I was like, "Oh, what am I going to do with 10 minutes?" Then I went, "Oh, 10 minutes, I can do some self-care."
And I did. I got on my roller. I rolled out my upper back. I opened up my chest. I just took care of myself for about 10 minutes.
Do What Feels Good for You
I think another thing to think about is you want to do, what feels good for you. So it's like we see a lot of stuff out there about self-care: meditating, lighting candles, taking hot baths, going to get a massage or acupuncture, or stretching or whatever it is. But if it doesn't resonate with you, and if it doesn't feel good for you, well then you're not going to do it, which makes total sense. I don't do things that don't feel good for me either. So it's important that you do what feels good for you.
No Right or Wrong Way to Self-Care
There is no right or wrong way to self-care because it's so individualistic. Everybody's different. What people like differs. And so what may work for your friend may not work for you and that's fine. It doesn't mean that you don't want self-care or that you're not going to benefit from self-care. It just means that you don't like that particular thing. I don't like scented candles, so I'm not going to have a bunch of scented candles around in my house, and I'm not going to lie next to scented candle while I take a bath. Or I'm not going to listen to like monk gong music. For me, that doesn't work. That doesn't relieve my stress. So you want to be honest with yourself about what feels good for you, and your body and your mind know what that is.
You know. It's just a matter of doing what is true to you and sticking with that, and not feeling any weirdness around it. Because what feels good for you isn't the general consensus. So what? Do what feels good for you. Because if you're doing what feels good for you, then the more likely you're going to keep up with it because it feels good.
Some Self-Care is Better Than None
Another point I want to make about self-care practice is that some is better than none. It can be challenging if you try to go all-in or nothing, because building new habits is tricky. It's easy to fall off the wagon. It's easy to not be able to stick to this new habit you're trying to create. And if you get down on yourself about it, then most likely you're not even going to try because you can't keep up with it. And when you can't keep up with it, you don't feel good about yourself.
Any kind of self-care that we do for ourselves helps. Some is better than none. If you're slowly starting to build your self-care practice, then that's fine. If you're not doing it everyday, that's fine. If you only remember to do some self-care once that week, that's better than not doing any at all.
I say this a lot to my clients when I ask them, "Did you do your home routine?"
They often feel bad that they didn't, or they only did it once or twice instead of the four or five times I had suggested. And I always say to them, "Hey, that's better than nothing. It means you took some initiative and you took some time to care for yourself. And that's important."
That's the important piece to hold onto, is that some is better than none.
Being Present Allows Self-Care
Another thing I say to my clients is that they're probably already doing a lot of things in their everyday lives that can be considered self-care if they had that intention, if they were present in the moment, and had the intention that what they were doing is self-care.
For example, taking a bath is self-care. I say to my clients, "Look, if you're already in the bathtub, you can make that moment about self-care."
Bathing is a moment where you can calm your mind, calm your body, relieve some stress, get a change, a shift of the mindset. It's a place where you can have awareness of, "What is my intention of taking this bath? Do I want this bath to be pampering me or am I just in this bath to move on to the next thing and let my mind wander and think about all the things I should be doing and what I need to do next?"
Being present in the moment when you're taking a bath allows you to engage in papering yourself. That’s self-care.
There are so many moments in our day that are already considered self-care. Like I said, taking a bath or taking a shower counts. I myself try to use this all the time when I'm in the shower. My shower moment goes like, let me just be present in the shower. Let me feel the hot water on my skin. Let me feel this moment of just being in the shower instead of letting my mind race to the next thing, what I should be doing, what's next, what's next. I just let myself be in the shower. Those are moments of self-care. Self-care is about relieving your stress, helping you to recharge, refuel. There are many moments in the day that we can do that.
I Cannot Stress Enough, Set Your Intentions for Self-Care
If you have the intention that this moment is going to be about self-care, then it can be. When you're playing with your pets, when you're walking your dog, or when you're using the cat dancer with your cat, those are all moments that you can choose to be a moment of self-care, if you have that intention.
Sure, there are some self-care practices that do take longer. I go and get massages once a month. I go to the acupuncturist once a month. I'll go get my nails done about once or twice a month. Those are the moments that I schedule, that I put in my calendar, and that I prioritize. I treat those appointments as though they are just as important as anything else on my calendar, just as important as a client I have scheduled to see. Those moments of self-care are just as important. So I schedule them, and I stick to them. I don't cancel them if something comes up that I think I should do.
Saying No Can Allow Self-Care
This brings me to the last point, and that is to say no to some things so that you can create more space for yourself and time for self-care. I will say no to a networking invitation, for example, if I see that I already have a massage scheduled. I treat that appointment just as important as anything else. That sometimes can be harder to learn and do because you think, "Oh that networking opportunity could be the chance of a lifetime" or "That dinner date..."
Whatever, whatever it could be. Sometimes we want to say no to things, so that we can create more space for ourselves. That's what I do so that I can fit self-care into my busy life because I'm busy, you're busy, and we're all busy. Everybody is busy.
If Anything, Just Remind Yourself of the Importance of Self-Care
This is what I do to remind myself about how important self-care is and these ideas help me to prioritize my self-care. I definitely notice really good changes in my life because of it. I definitely have more energy to do the things I love to do. I'm definitely less stressed than I used to be. I don't worry as much. And I feel that I'm able to give my best to the people in my life that are important to me and to my clients.
I don't ever want to go back now. Self-care is so important to me because I want to be my best. I don't want to burn out. I want to love my life. I want to love every day of my life. And I want to feel good. So I take care of myself, even if it's just a few minutes a day, and it's made a big difference in my life. And I know that it can make a difference in your life too.
I hope these tips help. I hope that they resonate with you, and I wish you all the best on your journey. And I hope that you get it, and that you want it, and that you're going to start taking more time for yourself.
If you want to see what it is that I do, you can check out my Instagram account to see more now.
I have a lot of videos on there about what I do for self-care. Maybe some of them will inspire you and resonate with you.
Anyway, I wish you all the best and until next time, take care and thanks for being in this moment with me.