We all lead busy lives.
We work one full-time job or even several jobs. We run households. We manage expenses and bills. We prioritize our loved ones and their needs. Without even realizing it, we’re so often letting our own selves fall to the wayside.
This might mean skipping lunch to pick up your kids. Maybe you spend every free minute cleaning your home or running errands — things that you worry will get lost in the everyday shuffle.
So, how do we do better? The answer we always hear usually sounds a little something like this: “Well, you make time.” But that’s hardly possible, right? Finding time to care for yourself doesn’t have to mean sacrificing all the other very important parts of your life. Accordingly, those important things are based on routines. These are our habits. Of course you can’t change your habits overnight, but that isn’t the point. We have to begin with small changes. By beginning with these suggestions — even if it’s just one — you can get the ball rolling on re-learning to care for yourself.
Before you fall asleep at night, let go of your worries and plans for the next day.
No serious planning can be done while your head’s on that pillow. You’re not about to get out of bed to make a note now, are you? Likewise, reaching for your cell phone to set another reminder or one last email isn’t going to do you any favors. It has been proven that more screen time before bed over-stimulates your brain, causing a flurry of activity up there that will make it even harder to fall asleep. Self care requires a certain amount of will power.
For example, our resort provides several “distraction-free” room options that by default do not come with a TV. Now, a guest could always request a different room, but watching TV at night can make you even more stressed.
Thirty minutes of free time? Nothing happening (for once!) this Saturday? Think about exactly what you’ve wanted to be able to do.
While we’re not asking you to craft a whole itinerary — whether it’s for a few minutes or a weekend — we’re suggesting you really consider what your own needs are. So often, free time just falls into our laps. We use it to bake for the school bake sale, or buy a gift for a friend’s birthday, or deep-clean the shower.
Take yourself to a movie. Deep-condition your own hair — lock yourself in the bathroom and leave your phone elsewhere. Start reading that novel you bought a few months ago, insisting to yourself that you’d get to it if you ever had the time. You do have the time — right now.
It’s about learning to take advantage of those opportunities that just come up, and using them — if only in part — to return a favor to yourself.
Don’t let others’ high-powered days convince you that you’re not doing enough.
Everyone has different needs, assignments, and concerns. You don’t have to measure up to anyone else. Furthermore, for all you know: they’re struggling to care for themselves, too. Declare yourself a comparison-free zone. At some point, everyone has tried on a piece of clothing that they just couldn’t get to fit. This is just like that. You don’t know their life as they don’t know yours.
This is your own life, and no one else’s standards will ever fit you.
Remember that you are as important as anyone else, and we’ll be here if you ever need that little break.