We could all use a day devoted to nothing but a deep Thai massage, mani-pedi, and nap that lasts for hours…or a week of lounging on a beach in the Bahamas with a book and Piña Colada in hand…
…buuutttt let’s get real. Most of our tight schedules do not allow for 5 minutes of disconnection, let alone a full day or an entire week.
Self-care is essential to boost your mental health, heal your gut, and simply stay sane in this “go-go-go!” culture of ours. Regular spa days and tropical vacations might be unrealistic, but giving yourself a bit of love shouldn’t be forgotten altogether.
There is no need for anything extravagant– simple acts can make a huge difference in your overall well-being. Today, I am sharing some tips for sneaking self-care into your busy schedule.
TAKE STRETCH BREAKS
You may be on-the-go a lot, but there’s a good chance you spend more time on your butt than on your feet.
One of my favorite ways to move my body is through hot yoga. It eases my mind, relaxes my muscles, and leaves me feeling energized. However, driving 30 minutes to and from a one-hour yoga class is not feasible when I have a million-and-one things on my to-do list.
On days when I am desk-bound for a long time, taking frequent stretch breaks is a must. Stretching stiff muscles throughout periods of sedentary behavior relieves tension, improves circulation, and helps me to refocus. Try setting an alarm every 20-30 minutes reminding you to get up and take a 2-3 minute stretch break.
Self-care does not always need to be a physical activity or reward. A positive thought can be even more effective than a bubble bath or facial when it comes to showing yourself some love.
When you have a list of tasks that need to be crossed off, you might plow through one after the other without recognizing the accomplishment of completing each one. Pausing after each task to give yourself a mental or verbal pat-on-the-back may sound silly, but that extra encouragement could be just what you need.
Overall, maintaining a positive internal dialogue will boost your confidence and happiness. Whether it’s reminding yourself that you are smart and capable, or noticing that your hair looks extra good one day, filling your mind with kind thoughts is bound to keep you in good spirits.
RECHARGE WHEN YOUR DEVICES DO
It’s easy to get lost in technology for longer than what is healthy.
When you see that your computer battery has reached the red zone, you probably plug it in and continue tapping away. But just like our computers and phones need recharging, so do we.
Instead of plugging in your computer while you work, take it off the charger until it is close to dying. Once you’ve used up all its juice, plug it in, step away, and give yourself the opportunity to re-energize. Knowing that you have a limited battery life will motivate you to be productive and prevent procrastination. Of course, you will also be giving your mind a well-deserved break.
BOOKEND YOUR DAY
Once your day has started rolling, it feels impossible to carve out any spare time. Forcing self-care into the middle of the day can be unrealistic when life is hectic. Try practicing it first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
Set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier and devote the extra time to stretching, sipping on lemon water, or preparing a delicious breakfast. End the night with light reading, a face mask, or a cup of tea. Bookending each day with some stress-relieving strategies will help you to set the mood each morning and unwind for a good night’s sleep.
Making time for self-care is difficult, but it is certainly doable (and well worth it). I hope you found this post helpful! How do you incorporate self-care into your busy schedule?