Do you have a hard time finding time to invest in self-care? I know it can be challenging when you live a hectic life. Your physical, emotional, and mental health can be neglected just like that. We tend to put work, family, and social commitments in front of our ‘me-time’.
I get it, by the end of the week, there is little time left to catch your breath.
Once upon a time a few years ago I found myself managing and running two businesses full time. I was raising my toddler and my elementary-aged niece. She was living with us while my sister finished tech school that year.
On top of that, I was in a very rough marriage and running the entire household. Without help.
I ended up in the ER with a heart attack scare. I was running on two to three large energy drinks per day. Some days I was able to sneak a few minutes at the gym but instead of taking my time, I would jump straight into cardio.
That day I was chugging energy drinks instead of water during my workout. I needed the energy so that I could keep up with everything in my life.
One ER visit later, I knew I had to drastically change my life. I got a divorce. My sister moved in to finish school and to help me raise our daughters. As for work, I hired assistance for tasks I shouldn’t be dealing with. This is why I LOVE virtual assistants.
My life motto became “simple, easy, slow-paced life”. I no longer stretched myself too thin. And my new favorite word was No. 🙂
I am not saying you have to give up all of your responsibilities. But take a moment and see what you can get rid of. What can you outsource? What are you doing now that you don’t have to do?
Self-care for your busy self
Here are some great ways to start taking care of yourself now. Even before you restructure your life.
1. Establish a morning routine
Morning routines are a must for me. I don’t always follow the same routine and I don’t follow it by the clock either. Starting the day right is an excellent way to keep your mental and physical health in check.
Your morning routine might include a
- healthy breakfast
- daily exercise
- daily stretches
Figure out what works for you. Then implement it daily. This will become a habit over time. You’ll see that this can help you take some time for self-care every day.
2. Schedule time off
It’s so easy to get stuck in a cycle of business throughout the day. It may even feel robotic and automatic sometimes. Take some time off throughout the day. And make them ‘non-negotiable’. This could be a lunch break, an afternoon away from your usual routine, or if you can, a vacation!
Use the time off to relax and rejuvenate, so leave the laptop at home.
3. Get enough sleep
Sleep at least 5 to 8 hours per night. I know, you’ve heard this one so many times. And some of us get in the flow at night when it’s quiet and everyone is asleep. So what can it hurt to stay up late to finish that report, right? Actually, it can hurt quite a bit. The importance of sleep should not be underrated. My magic number is 6.5 hours.
If you want to perform well in all areas of your waking life, you need good quality sleep. This helps your body to heal and re-energize. It’s hard to maintain a healthy overall lifestyle without proper sleep. Think about it, the days you wake up late or tired, the last thing you want to do is reach for healthy meals. Or you may avoid exercising.
This should actually be my number one on this list. Sleep is very critical for your mental and your physical health.
4. Set goals that are realistic
There is a possibility that I am the queen of unrealistic goals. You should see my notebooks, all filled with goals that are impossible to reach. This has a horrible effect on my mental health and on my ego.
Why do we set ourselves up for disappointments? Something achievable removes the pressure we put on ourselves. Setting realistic goals helps us not feel like failures. Challenging goals are fine, but make sure they are possible for you to reach.
I am personally working on this one now.
When you start looking at things you want to do for self-care, look for realistic things. I would love to go on a spa vacation every month but that is completely out of touch with reality. Meditating a few times a week is more realistic for me.
Be the best you – for You
I know that we want what’s best for our families. So we want to be there to be the best provider, supporters, nurturers, mothers. But can we really be our best if we are sleep deprived, stuck in the ER, or too busy to enjoy our quality time with our family?
Take care of yourself and the rest will start to fall into place. I’ve been there and I promised myself I would never put myself last anymore. Do the same for yourself and your family.
If you want to read more on this subject and need more ideas, check out this ebook, Happiness Through Self-Care -How To Love Yourself More. A Simple Plan to Soothe and Care For Your Body, Mind, and Spirit
It’s a great read – it took me under an hour.
Thanks for reading!