New year, new you. This year, make your mental health and wellness one of your top priorities while balancing work. One of the most challenging things about taking care of yourself is finding the time to fit it into your calendar. When you live a busy lifestyle, as most people do, it can seem almost impossible to find extra time to look after yourself while juggling work and a busy, active schedule. Self-care is multi-faceted, and includes physical, emotional, spiritual and several other categories.
So, how can you balance practicing self-care with a busy lifestyle? Here, you’ll discover some great tips you can follow this year for a healthy work-life balance:
You don’t have to completely revamp your life right off the bat. Instead, focus on starting small- 10 minutes out of each day to focus on a self-care activity. Focus on one positive self-care habit at a time, and once that it turns into a habit, move on to the next. By making the decision to focus on self-care, you are taking the first step to achieving better overall well-being. By starting small, it makes it easier to fit self-care into your busy life. People think you must take at least 30 minutes to an hour a day, but the truth is whatever time you can make will be enough. Once you start taking care of yourself and see the results, you will find it easier to focus more on self-care due to the benefits you experience.
Identify what self-care means to you
There are no set rules for how much or little self-care you do, or what that looks like to you. Have a morning routine that includes mediation, visualization, affirmations, and journaling? Do you love massages to destress? Stocking your cabinets full and eating only healthy, organic foods? Find out what you need to feel good.
Schedule it in
If it’s not in your schedule, it doesn’t exist. A good tip you can follow to ensure you can fit self-care into your busy routine, is to schedule it in. Think about it- you schedule in work meetings, doctor appointments, childcare, grocery shopping trips, so why not self-care? When you set a time to focus on yourself, you will more than likely to stick to it. No matter how busy you think you are, there will always be time to add self-care somewhere in your schedule. Overall, scheduling some down time will make you more productive.
Establish a morning routine
If you are struggling to find the best time of day to practice self-care, making time in the morning may be your best bet. If you’re a stressed, busy parent, you might not think it’s possible. In the morning, you could get up just 30 minutes earlier, or 15 minutes if you want. Even 15 minutes is enough to start of your day more centered and calmer. Also, if you are a parent you can focus on self-care in the evenings when the kids have gone to bed. Depending on your routine, It doesn’t have to take long to practice self-care so you should always be able to squeeze it in somewhere.
Stop practices that you don’t love
Did you sign up for unlimited yoga sessions because your bestie loves it? Do you have a gym membership but not thrilled with running on the treadmill or lifting weights every day? Stop doing things you don’t love. It’s ok to change your mind and to move on to something you find more enjoyable.
Automate daily tasks
Automating your daily tasks can free up valuable time. Do you spend a lot of time driving to the grocery store, wandering the aisles, and waiting at the checkout lines? Think about a recurring grocery delivery you place online every week. Add frequently purchased items to a favorites list for quick, easy access.
Give yourself a gift card
If you have a hard time scheduling in self-care, give yourself a gift card, reassuring that you will have to make time to use it. You can earn gift cards from apps like Fetch Rewards, where you easily scan receipts and cash in points that you can use to receive free gift cards at Spafinder, Spa & Wellness by Spa Week, Bath & Body Works, or even Amazon to stock up on self-care items. You can relax in luxury athletic wear from lululemon or Athleta.
Move your body
Moving your body every day is not only good for overall physical health as it effects every system in your body but is a proven stress reliever as it releases endorphins, strengthens muscles, improves cardiovascular health and even can be an outlet for self-expression. Studies have shown that daily movement leads to better sleep, aids in weight management, and reduces anxiety.
Do something you enjoy everyday
Self-care can come to you in the form of a meaningful hobby. Love reading? Hiking? Knitting? If it gives you a mental reset, it is considered self-care. Hobbies provide a creative release from everyday life and connects you to yourself while increasing happiness and reducing stress levels.
Having a positive mindset is easier said than done for some people, but you can train your mind to see a different perception. Optimists tend to live longer, have stronger immune systems, are more successful and lower levels of depression.
It’s ok to say no
If you start to feel overwhelmed and overextended, know that it is ok to say no. Your time is precious, and you have every right to how you spend it.
Put your phone down
Being over-connected to technology has many perks and it’s part of life, but sometimes you need to just disconnect. Did you know that constant exposure to phones can impact your eyesight, mental health, and sleep cycle? Excessive smartphone use has been associated with depression, social anxiety, low self-esteem, and low mental well-being. If you must be connected all day, try having a set time to turn off in the evening.
Overall, balancing practicing self-care with a busy lifestyle isn’t easy. However, the tips above can really help. You’ll find a lot of tips online too from busy people just like you. Remember, self-care is essential to your health and wellbeing. So, no matter how busy you are, you should always try and make time for self-care daily.