How to Make Self-Care Simple
AND Easier to Fit into Busy Schedules!
At one point or another, we experience this...
We're stressed.. and so stressed that we know we need to make self-care a priority, but we're unable to figure out what it is that we should do.
We're so comfortable (maybe even too comfortable) with our routine that it feels like self-care either disrupts it and/or what we try doesn't actually work to relax us.
We're so busy that self-care methods feel like a chore, and one which feels like a time-waster that we'd rather skip most days.
And perhaps maybe you experience a combination of these thoughts and feelings when it comes to how to make self-care part of your regular routine?
If this resonates with you, then I have some tips and suggestions for you!
Truth be told, I used to be this target audience as well. When life wasn't treating me so well, I was constantly being told that I need to introduce methods of self-care into my daily routine.. and along with having a list of suggestions thrown at me.. it, on it's own, became a new source of stress. I remember wanting to do a lot of it, knowing that I needed it, but it quickly started to feel like a big "failure".
Because I was unable to find anything that worked for ME.
I tried exercising, meditation, taking relaxing baths, you name it... but these methods either resulted in frustration or started to feel like a mundane time-waster. The problem was that I wasn't enjoying any of these activities, so they weren't working the way that they were supposed to! SELF-CARE is something that should not only relax & calm you, but be an activity that benefits you physically, emotionally/mentally, and/or spiritually.
So how do you figure out what will achieve that?
You have to take a bit of time to figure that out! But the good news is that it's actually easy to do as long as you do it during a time that works for you. For starters, don't force yourself - when you have some free time and aren't feeling too stressed and pressured to do something, sit down with a pen and paper/notebook and jot down:
What activities you enjoy doing that aren't an essential part of your life. By that, I mean things that we - as adults - don't do simply because it doesn't serve a material need, deadline, or are deemed "not important" because we're so career & family focused these days.
(To develop even further, and if you need more help to figure this out:) What activities did you enjoy doing as a child/teenager that you don't do as an adult because you outgrew them? This can be anything creative / hands-on, or, more constructive, such as writing/journaling.
Once you have your list... Review it and add anything to it that you know you'd like to try/do. Remember that the whole point here is to add activities that BRING YOU JOY but of which you may not do regularly. Be sure to add those super relaxing activities such as taking a quiet, hot bath, taking a nature walk every once in a while, or anything that resonates more personally.
And voila! You have your new SELF-CARE activity list!
But what's most important to keep in mind is that this isn't a "Honey Do List" or anything that has any deadline feeling to it. You want to be able to look at this list with excitement... making these activities a priority simply because you're looking forward to doing them, and because you know it would be a well-deserved break in your schedule.
Examples of ways in which to adopt this are: If you want to be artistic/creative, allow yourself to come up with ideas for projects you can do.. and once you have one, get started in your free time. If you enjoy writing, set aside at least a few minutes every day (or week) to write a project or journal. If you need more social interaction, see which family members and/or friends would want to partake in an activity and schedule the time with them (example: an art night, puzzle night, or game night).
The options are endless... and the point is to be able to ENJOY a much-needed break from obligations and everyday responsibilities. We often believe that self-care has to be productive, but in truth, it's actually the opposite! The only productivity involved is that of feeding your soul.
Yes, exercise if you want/need to... but unless you enjoy doing it, we all know that it's not going to be a priority for you to do it. Instead, find a form of exercise that you WANT to do, and approach it that way. Meditate if you want to as well... but if you have trouble sitting still and clearing your mind (this was my problem when I first tried it!), shift it to just allowing yourself to take a few minutes each day to sit in silence and lounge. You will get there if you start with baby steps instead of holding yourself to a standard that's so far out of the norm for you!
In the end, everyone has to do what works for them. Fast forward years later - from when I struggled with this issue, to now, when self-care is a part of my everyday routine - and I can tell you that making "me time" a priority has created a hugely positive impact on my life. More often than not, we feel that being selfish is wrong when the truth is that we need to be selfish for the purposes of taking care of ourselves and ensuring we're as close to our best selves physically and mentally. Just keep this in mind if you're ever questioning why you might be in a position to schedule your time, or why you're doing these tasks that we, frankly, weren't taught as being a part of "adulting".
Happy Self-Care endeavours my friends! :)
Ashley Tilson is a multi-modality intuitive healer that specializes in childhood trauma release & recovery. As a Trauma Recovery Specialist, she helps her clients to break free from the past by healing their Inner Child, transforming false beliefs, rewriting their mindset, and embarking on the life they feel they can only dream about. Learn more about her and her services on her website!