You may have heard the term “self-care” before, but if you’re already busy and have a high stress, fast paced lifestyle, it may not seem like something you have time for. Whether your day is consumed in work, sitting in meetings, a long commute, chasing after a toddler, and/or balancing it all, time is short. However, we believe self-care is essential for all humans, busy or not, and can be adapted to fit whatever lifestyle you lead.
Research shows that not making time to take care of your stress level, tend to health needs, get adequate rest, and engage in hobbies/leisure activities can lead to more health problems, higher stress levels, and decreased life satisfaction. Research also shows that women, specifically mothers, tend to report less time engaging in self-care and meeting their own needs on a regular basis. In simple terms, life is too busy to NOT focus on self-care.
If you’re already busy and feel that time is short or that you don’t have time to take care of yourself, you may be wondering how to add one more thing to your routine. The good news is, self-care does not have to look like what you see online, in movies, or on social media. Actually, self-care should be designed and incorporated into your life in a way that does NOT require money, extended time off, or an elaborate vacation. It COULD look like all of those things, however it’s not likely something to fit into your busy routine without lots of planning and preparation.
When thinking about self-care, we want you to think about it in terms of taking care of yourself, identifying and prioritizing your needs, and being intentional with what you say “yes” and “no” to. When identifying self-care activities for yourself, consider the following:
- What do I need right now?
- What would help me feel less stressed today?
- What could I do for myself that is FREE?
- Is there a decision I can say “yes” or “no” to today that would honor my wants and needs?
Self Care Ideas
When we think about caring for ourselves in these terms, we are often able to identify more activities we can do and with less time. Doing one thing each day for yourself will add up to more than taking one vacation a year away from work. If you’re wondering what self-care could look like, here are some ideas:
- Going to bed early
- Taking a lunch break versus working through lunch
- Saying “no” to things you do not want to do/don’t have time for today
- Taking a relaxing bath instead of a shower
- Going on a walk
- Calling a friend to catch up
- Listening to good music
- Challenging negative/intrusive self-talk
- Watching a feel-good movie
- Reading a book
No matter what activities you choose for your self-care, it’s important to first identify what you NEED today. Start by asking yourself what you need and identifying how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, perhaps you’re needing a relaxing activity with little to no stress. If you’re feeling sad, perhaps you’re needing something to lift your spirits. Once you’ve identified your needs and wants, think of activities you can do to meet that need and then do it with intentionality. Not only can it help reduce stress, better meet those needs, and improve overall life enjoyment, you also deserve it.
Feeling stuck and unsure how to identify your needs or begin taking better care of yourself? Reach out to our therapy practice today to discuss how we can support you on your journey to take better care of you.