Too busy for self-care?
So we’ve talked a lot about self-care recently; that’s because that’s where wellbeing starts. We need to get the foundations in place which will support us to be strong, resilient, healthy and happy and that can only happen if we take some time to look after ourselves. More than that, we can only support those we love and care for when we have our own self-care foundations in place. That message has come over loud and clear, right?
However, we know it’s not easy. Knowing that it’s good for us and even overcoming the ‘guilt’ some of us feel when we take time out just for us doesn’t mean we always do it. We looked at barriers to self-care a few days ago, one of which was finding the time in our busy lives. Finding time because we’re just too busy is a real problem but it doesn’t have to get in our way. In fact, you can’t afford for it to get in your way, especially if you intend to remain busy and not fall over! Here are a few thoughts but, as always, we’d love to hear your ideas …
1. Make an appointment with yourself – put the space in your diary and it doesn’t get taken out for anything! If you’re one of those households that has a complex jigsaw of commitments because you operate a work diary plus a family diary or calendar then make sure your appointment with ‘you’ goes into each of them!
2. How busy can you be…? So we know you’re busy. We’re all busy. We tell each other all the time! But honestly, how many times have you felt really busy but then something unexpected comes along that makes you realise you weren’t as busy as you thought but NOW you’re busy! So we’re not suggesting for a minute that you put yourself under so much pressure that time for self-care is so stressful you can’t actually reap the benefits… we’re just asking the questions… is there really no time?
3. While you’re pondering just how busy you are we’d like to ask another question (and please don’t shoot us down in flames…) How productive are you? In other words how much time do you spend procrastinating or putting off that job you’re dreading, allowing yourself to be distracted with the stuff that really isn’t critically important like losing hours in Facebook (unless you’re reading our posts of course ;-)), or cleaning the house when it really doesn’t need it or a million other things we do that steal our time and ensure we reach the end of the day feeling as though we’ve had a really busy day but achieved little. Sound familiar? Instead, try setting yourself a small number of goals for the day rather than constantly working to that ginormous to-do list which seems endless. Keep them achievable and realistic and ensure self-care features somewhere.
4. Think of building self-care into your every day in small ways, rather than seeing it as a huge chunk of time you need to find. Yes, a spa day would be great but until you can find the time don’t abandon self-care completely. How about keeping your favourite hand cream on your desk or near the sink at home and giving yourself a few minutes hand massage a couple of times in the day. Just stop for a moment and take some deep breaths as you do it. Take a walk at lunchtime and use the time to take in what you see and hear, really noticing in a mindful way. Again, practice some deep breathing as you walk or maybe do some stretches a few times a day (we have videos on our page to show you how), call a friend for a quick chat and connect with somebody you can smile with or vent with or just simply escape the busyness of the day for a few minutes. What ideas do you have for self-care snacks throughout the day? What will you plan to do? Please share.
5. Self-care is important but don’t stress…the last thing we would advocate is making self-care simply another item on the to-do list that makes you anxious because you never reach it! So don’t squeeze it in, prioritise it. This might take some planning, such as getting a date or two in your diary to meet with friends or family, but please don’t forget the spontaneous too! Spontaneous and doing things differently are really important foundations of wellbeing. Some days (when you can, we don’t want anyone getting fired!) forget the plan, the to-do list and rip them up. Instead do something different, fun and self-caring.
We hope this inspires you to be creative and experiment with building in self-care to your life. No matter how busy it is. It’s important if you want to stay busy. xx