Self care is all the rage right now. I am all for it. I think it is so incredibly important to nurture and take care of ourselves. However, for some, that can be difficult. Maybe you have kids, a demanding job, or even both. It’s hard when everything else is demanding your attention, but it is still possible to take care of yourself. So, let’s take a look at how to practice some self care when you are incredibly busy.
Wake Up Early
Wake up a little bit earlier than you usually do. Take this time to check in with yourself, do a bit of a stretch, and just mentally prepare yourself for the day. This can be done straight from bed too. You can work this in even if you wake up five minutes before that “I can’t snooze this one” alarm. Instead of closing your eyes and wishing for a few more minutes, see how your body feels, stretch out a little bit, and tell yourself it’s going to be a good day.
You can even do this if you have kids (I can vouch for one, but no more than that). Currently, we’re bed sharing with my daughter. Look, we’re trying to get her in her crib (and she starts there!) but when it’s late, I just don’t have the willpower to fight her. Anyway, there have been a few times when I just wake up before her and that’s when I seize my moment to check in with myself.
Hype Yourself Up
Do you know who’s great and awesome? You are. Tell yourself that. I’ve noticed that I’m more likely to tell someone else that they’re doing great (and that it’s okay if they make a mistake) than tell myself that. I’ve also noticed that I don’t necessarily hear “you’re doing good” from someone else every time it would do me some good.
So, be your own hype man. Tell yourself that you’re doing great and to keep it up. Tell yourself it’s okay if you made a mistake. Tell yourself you’re going to do bigger and better things. Spoil yourself with words. Put out positive to get positive.
All right, so I’m all for cleaning up at night that way I have a clean house in the morning (it really does feel nice), but I’m also for letting things slide every once in a while. Did you just have a harder day than usual? Do you just really not want to do *insert something that can be delayed here*? Don’t. Do it tomorrow, in an hour, in five minutes, or whenever later.
Instead of doing that one thing that can be put off, take care of yourself. Do something small you really want to do. Eat some candy, watch a TV show or a movie, hide in the bathroom and eat something without your kids asking for some, have a glass of wine (or other beverage). It’s your choice really.
Mindfulness and/or Meditation
Both can be incorporated into your everyday life. I have an app for each one. For mindfulness I have an app that alerts me every hour and gives me a positive affirmation. I get to choose the frequency as well as the affirmation. It can go beyond that though. While you’re doing things, pay attention. Don’t inhale your food, notice each bite and actually enjoy the food. Take stock of your breathe and how you are in a present moment.
Meditation can be a little bit harder to incorporate. I personally use an app called Buddhify. They have simple meditations for a variety of circumstances. They have both shorter and longer meditations, different categories, and guided and unguided. Add one in to your work day or even to your morning or evening routine.
At the end of your day, (whenever that may be) find and list a few things that made you happy or that you were thankful for. Anything. It can be big (a promotion, your baby napped without you holding them, etc.) or small (your car didn’t break down). It just matters that you notice it and that you’re not focused only on the negatives or what else that needs to be done.
I’ve actually started incorporating this one into my daughter’s bedtime routine. I bathe her, read her a story, and right before her bedtime bottle, I list a few things that I was thankful about.
Also, you can find apps to remind you to note your grateful moments from the day.
Turn off your phone or just put it out of sight a little bit. You can start off as small as not checking your phone right when you wake up. Odds are that you didn’t miss anything on social media and that you won’t if you leave your phone for a little bit. Whatever it is will still be there when you get back to it anyway.
I have been guilty of scrolling mindlessly through social media as well as texting clients and checking on employees when I had free time. I always felt better when I spent whatever free time I had (even if it’s only a few minutes) not focused on my phone.
Self care isn’t easy for anyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re busy or not. It’s so easy to lose sight of yourself and just focus on anything and everything else. That’s okay. You just have to keep at it. Self care can and will become apart of your life if you just keep trying. I took years to get yoga into my life and I still don’t have it in my daily routine as I would like. That’s okay. I’m still pushing and reminding myself that it’s something I really want.
Self care doesn’t happen over night. Keep working on it. Whatever it is that makes you happy, keep at it and keep trying to get it apart of your daily (every other day, weekly) routine. That is why I’m a fan of setting reminders and alerts. If I set an alarm, then it’s constantly there to remind me to keep at it and make sure that I’m taken care of too.