If self-care is the one, elusive thing on your list that you just can’t seem to get done, you’re not alone.
Although we’ve all heard about the benefits of self-care, many of the busy, high-achieving, successful clients that I work with get caught between knowing they need it and actually making the time for it.
If you’re not making time for your self-care, the first thing you want to check is your mindset.
Many times we might have a limiting belief like “self-care is selfish.” If that’s your mindset, you’re highly unlikely to make time for it (even though you might consider it important.)
The second saboteur of self-care is putting other’s needs before your own. This is a common one, especially with women. This may be so common and natural for you that you don’t realize you’re doing it.
In either case, you would benefit from reminding yourself that self-care is necessary for you to show up as the best version of yourself.
When you’re at your best, you’re more likely to succeed in your work and have healthier relationships with others. When you take care of yourself, everyone wins.
But believing in the results is enough. You must also know how to create time for it and take the actions to help yourself feel better.
Here are 10 ways you can create more time for self-care:
- Make “no” your favorite word. In order to say “yes” to something new, you must say “no” to something els is key to creating the time and space you need to care for yourself. If you’ve been leaving yourself last on the list, now is the time to start reprioritizing.
- Decide why self-care is important. It’s not enough to believe that self-care is important; you need to know what’s in it for you, personally. What will taking care of yourself allow you to do? How will you feel as a result of nurturing yourself? Why are you deserving of your own time and effort?
- Reset your expectations. You don’t need to have an extra 4 hours a day or a week to practice self-care. It can be as simple as taking 5-10 minutes for yourself every day to check in and do what it takes to feel supported. After all, the most effective self-care practice is one that supports you in the present moment.
- Practice mindfulness. When you’re aware of what’s going on with you (both mentally and physically), you can identify the feelings of stress before they take over. One way to be more mindful is to press “pause” on what you’re doing, take a deep breath, and observe the thoughts or feelings you notice.
- Listen to your body. True self-care encompasses all aspects of yourself: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. In order to know how to support yourself physically, learn to tune into your body. Doing a body scan helps you reconnect to your physical self, find where you’re holding tension, and practice releasing it.
- Give yourself permission to not get things done. Instead of waiting for someone to give you permission to take time for yourself, give yourself permission. Let it be OK that all of your chores or projects aren’t complete. Decide that prioritizing yourself is just as — if not more — important than the other work on your list.
- Let go of the guilt. Self-care is not selfish. In fact, it’s necessary to nurture yourself so you can feel and do your best. When you care for yourself, you show up with more energy, vitality, and strength. You can be of more service to others when you’ve taken care of yourself.
- Set boundaries. Consistency is key when it comes to self-care, because without a regular practice, you’re at risk of burnout. Practice setting firm boundaries with yourself and others. Make a commitment to leave your office no later than 6pm. Tell your friends and family that Wednesday night is your time, and honor your commitments to yourself.
- Count the small steps. You don’t need a spa weekend or vacation to practice self-care. The small habits, like drinking one more glass of water, going to bed 30 minutes earlier, or taking 10 minutes out of your day to meditate can vitally improve your well-being. Identify one small step you can take this week, and incorporate it into your day.
- Focus on what feels good. This might sound obvious, but your self-care practice should make you feel good. When the action you take makes you feel rested and revitalized, your practice is working. If you haven’t yet found that sense of peace and calm, continue to experiment with activities until you do.
Remember that the simplest forms of self-care are often the best. The most supportive self-care practice is one that meets your own needs at any given time.
When you can cultivate a supportive mindset and create the time for your own self-care, you’ll reap the rewards. You can feel more calm, revitalized, and focused, so that you can show up more powerfully, both in your personal and professional life.
Want to learn more about creating your own intuitive self-care practice? Download your free self-care planner and tracker here.