Updated: Nov 29, 2022
Self-care is so important, yet it's often one of the first things to go when we get busy. We forget to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally, and as a result, our health suffers.
When we don't take care of ourselves, we're more likely to get sick, both physically and mentally. We're also more likely to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. That's why making self-care a priority in your life is essential.
But what’s the best way to go about that, how do you adjust your lifestyle to make time for yourself, and where do you even start? These are all valid questions that I frequently hear asked. So let’s take a closer look at the different ways you can incorporate self-care into your busy lifestyle.
Identify Your Preferred Method of Caring for Yourself
There are many ways to practice self-care. For example, some people prefer to meditate or do yoga to relax their mind and body. Others like to read or listen to music as a way to escape from the stresses of everyday life. And some people find that spending time outdoors in nature helps them to feel more centered and at peace.
No matter what your preferred method of self-care is, the important thing is that you make time for it every day. Dedicating even just a few minutes to taking care of yourself can make a world of difference in how you feel physically and mentally.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few ideas to get you started on your journey to self-care:
Make Time for Yourself Every Day: This can be as simple as taking a few minutes to sit in silence or taking a relaxing bath. It’s vital that you find some time each day to do something that makes you happy and helps you relax.
Exercise: Taking care of your body is an integral part of self-care. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting properties. A brisk walk around the block or a yoga class can help to improve your energy and outlook on life.
Eat Healthily: What you put into your body directly impacts how you feel both physically and mentally. Eating nutritious foods helps to boost your immune system and gives you the energy you need to take on the day.
Connect with Loved Ones: Spending time with people who make you happy is a great way to reduce stress and promote positive emotions. Whether catching up with a friend over coffee or spending time with family, quality time with those you love is crucial for a healthy mind and body.
Do Something You Love: Make sure to schedule some time for activities that bring you joy. Whether reading, playing an instrument, or taking a dance class, doing things you love is a great way to de-stress and boost your mood.
Walk Away from Negativity: Don’t be afraid to walk away from toxic relationships or friendships that don’t benefit you. Practice saying no, setting boundaries, and even cutting ties if it serves your best interest (physical, mental, and emotional health).
How to Start a Self-Care Journey
We all know how important self-care is, but sometimes it can be hard to prioritize when we have so
many other things going on in our lives. If you're feeling overwhelmed and like you need to make a change, don't worry - you're not alone. Here are several tips on how you can begin to slowly - or
abruptly - change your busy lifestyle to accommodate your need for self-care.
Make a list of things that make you happy
Think about the things that bring joy into your life and make you feel good. This could be anything from spending time with loved ones to taking a nature walk or reading a good book. Once you have your list, try to schedule at least one of these activities into your week.
Set aside time for yourself
It's healthy to have some time each day that is just for you. Whether it's taking a relaxing bath,
meditating, or simply sitting in silence, this time should be used to focus on your own well-being. Make sure to put away any electronics and give yourself permission to relax. Start slow if you need to, with only 15 minutes a day. Then as you adjust, work on increasing that amount of time. It won’t take long before you begin to see a connection between your ability to focus and stay energized and the amount of time you set aside for self-care.
Create a healthy routine
Eating well and exercising are vital components of self-care. Instead of seeing them as chores, try to see them as opportunities to nurture your body and mind. Experiment with different recipes and workout classes until you find something you enjoy and stick with it.
If this is the first time you’ve begun to take a closer look at the way you’re handling stress, emotion, and goal-setting, then there may be some trial and error on your part before you find the right routine for your needs. Sure, there are a lot of recommendations online, but don’t be afraid to adjust them to suit you better. No one else can write your self-care instruction manual but you.
Seek additional help
If you're struggling to care for yourself, don't be afraid to seek help from a trusted source. There are so many blogs, vlogs, and books out there that can be a great starting point for you. If you love to read, I strongly recommend A Radical Awakening by Dr. Shefali. While it can be a challenging read simply because she touches on many sensitive and personal topics, many of my clients have found that it opened their eyes to their traumas, triggers, and needs. I find it a great starting point for those wanting a change.
Additionally, there are transformational and/or life coaches, like myself, who will offer you a fresh
perspective, a trusted shoulder to cry and lean on, and accountability when you need it the most.
Self-care is a journey, not a destination. Be patient with yourself and understand that there will be good days and bad days. The most important thing is to keep moving forward and never give up on yourself.