It seems like every conversation with a female friend I have inevitably leads to “you gotta take care of yourself, more!“ coming out of my mouth.
We’re all way too busy, wearing too many hats, trying to not only get it all done, but get it all done perfectly. And we give ourselves little credit for all that we are, and all that we’re accomplishing, and instead walk around feeling guilty about all the stuff we aren’t doing. (or is that just me?)
So it’s no wonder that we barely take care of ourselves with limited time and so much to do, why spend it on us? That’s selfish!
But it’s not selfish- it’s self-care. And it’s an essential part of getting done all that you want to do, of honing in on your true path and creating the energy within yourself to have the kind of life you really want.
So if you think you don’t have time for self-care, that’s exactly when you probably need it the most!
I realized this for myself over the past year or so, that finding time to take care of myself, especially in the midst of overwhelm and stress, helps everything. My work, my relationships, my sense of self and direction- it all gets better the better I feel.
So I started scrounging up those fleeting extra minutes here and there and using them to take care of myself! Here are some super quick ways I fit self-care into even my busiest days:
Water- I start the day with a big glass and keep on going. I’ve found starting first thing in the morn is not only good for your digestion and dehydrated body after sleep, it also helps make me want to drink more throughout the day.
Vitamins- I take a really awesome multi-vitamin every day, blue-green algae, extra vitamin C and sometimes B-complex when I’m stressin. I notice a definite difference in my energy and overall health taking those everyday- plus, doing so is one whole glass of water right there!
Stretching- I take as many opportunities to stretch throughout the day as I can, especially with a job that has me sitting all day- I stretch my arms and twist and turn in my desk chair a lot, and stretch on the floor for a few minutes mid-day if I’m feeling sore or stiff.
Breaks- I take LOTS of them. More than I ever used to let myself because I was a mean boss-lady who kept cracking the whip- now, I pretty much take a break after everything I get done. So, after this post goes up- break time! After each mojo session- break time! After answering emails for 30 min straight- break time! It’s like a little reward for accomplishing things, and also just helps me get back to myself and re-focus between each activity.
Singing/Dancing- Singing in the shower feels darn good. If I’m not in the middle of a major brainstorm in the shower, then I’m usually singing Fiona Apple or Beatles songs as loudly as I can (only when I’m here alone- I’m a shy shower singer!) and it always lifts me up. The mister and I are also big car singers. I also like to dance around, especially if I feel stress or nerves bubbling up- I’ll put on some music and spin around and dance silly, trying to move all my limbs and it totally shifts my energy.
Hugs & Love- on the busiest days, it’s hard to spend quality time with friends or family, but lately I’ve been more cognizant of giving/getting hugs where I can, even if it’s just to the cats and dog during the day cause they’re the only ones I see! Taking moments to squeeze and be squeezed, show and receive love- even a 10 second encounter can give me the warm fuzzies for hours!
Appreciation- I try to thank everyone for the things they do throughout the day, in person and virtually! I want those closest to me to know how appreciated they are and I want people who reach out to me to know how thankful I am. Each time I sell an e-book, I get a notification on my phone and I smile and think “thank you!”
I also (and this is the toughest one) try to show appreciation to myself- I keep track of things in my planner that are awesome! That I accomplished! That went well! I save every kind email or comment I receive to re-look at when I need it. I try to appreciate my gifts and talents by using them to their fullest. It’s all still a work in progress, but the more I appreciate my life and where I’m at, the better it feels to be right here, which is what self-care is all about.
Breathing- when I pause to take a big, deep breath down into my belly, it makes me realize in that instant- “wow, I haven’t really been breathing today” (we breathe so shallow in our day-to-day lives) and “wow, I haven’t really paused yet today.” Seriously, one close-your-eyes, come back to center, big deep breath is sometimes all it takes to feel more grounded, more present, and more appreciative with the world around me.
Silliness! One of the best ways that I both relieve and stave off stress is to allow for the silliness to come in. My mister is a bonafide source for laughs. Jen is easy to get silly with :) I can get kind of serious thinking about all this serious life stuff sometimes! So I try to let go often and relax and let silliness in. I’ll crack jokes, try to startle people, wrestle with the dog, do a funny dance or make up songs, and it’s just because it feels fun! It’s just not possible to feel stressed out when you’re laughing, so I remain open to the possibility that everything- even the sucky stuff- can be kind of funny.
As I’ve become more conscious about self-care, I really make sure I incorporate things that make me feel good into every single day.
And how I feel about myself and my life now (although there are miles to go :) as compared to how I felt about it last year when I was a total stress-case and just wanted to hide under my bedcovers all day- it’s a total 180. I almost can’t even remember what it felt like to be so stressed out and overwhelmed, and the difference is not in the amount of stuff I have to do (as that will never change!)- the difference is self-care. You do have time for it!
Share your thoughts/tips/struggles around self-care on your blog too, and we’ll post a link right here for our readers to check out!
Kelly from Living Apockylypse shares her thoughts on self-care during hectic times
Ashley from She Makes a Home shares some great tips on self-care for mamas!
What are some quick ways throughout the day you take care of yourself? Or are you finding it hard to find time to fit in self-care? How are you going to change that?