With all the plates you have spinning, it can be next to impossible to step away from your day-to-day responsibilities in order to take care of yourself. Not anymore. Here are 5 easy things you can to make more time for yourself and practice self-care starting now!
Answer this question honestly: You’re chatting with your friend and they ask “How are you doing?” Is your immediate reaction to respond with some version of “BUSY”? Maybe you tell her “I’m good! Busy, but good.” or “keeping busy”, but no matter how you look at it, “busy” is the new black, and it isn’t very sexy anymore.
With all the plates you have spinning, it can be next to impossible to step away from your day-to-day responsibilities in order to practice some much-needed self-care. As a matter of fact, taking some time away from others to check in with yourself can actually boost your creative thinking and productivity, lower stress, and make you better able to show up for others once you’re ready to reconnect.*
You may be wondering “Ok, but HOW am I supposed to take time for myself exactly? I’M BUSY, remember?!” Don’t worry, I’ve got your back! Here are 5 easy things you can to make more time for yourself and practice self-care:
1) GET OFF YOUR PHONE:
This one may be easier said than done, I know, but the benefits of turning off your phone and tuning into yourself are life-changing. Our #1 excuse for ignoring our hobbies is usually “there’s just not enough time!” but is that true? When my phone notified me one day that my screen time had climbed to over 3 hours per day…I could clearly see that scrolling was my new hobby. Track your screen time to gain a clearer perspective of where your spare time is going so you can devote it to creative pursuits mindfully, instead of wasting it mindlessly.
Your screen is a distraction that takes you away from yourself. Limit this distraction as much as possible. You may find that setting screen limits for your social media or deleting the apps off your phone entirely is all the motivation you need to put that damn thing down. However, if you find yourself constantly tapping the screen just to see if anything interesting has come up, you’ll want to leave your phone in another room or with a family member with strict instructions not to give it back to you until after you’ve taken the time you’ve set aside specifically for yourself. You might miss it at first, but you’ll be so thankful to be without it once you start checking in with Y-O-U.
2) BREAK UP TASKS:
If you’re using your alone time to work on a hobby or achieve a specific goal, A) That’s amazing but B) you may find it challenging to do everything you were hoping to accomplish in one sitting. Often times, if we can’t do all of it, we end up doing none of it. Turn your mountain back into a molehill by breaking it up into smaller, more manageable tasks you can accomplish one at a time, step-by-step.
Let me give you an example of how to do this: I love to sew in my spare time. There’s no way I could sew an entire dress from start to finish in one hour, but I can trace off my pattern pieces in one hour. The next time I’m in my craft room, I’ll cut out my fabric. During my next sewing session, I’ll work on steps 1-3 in my pattern instructions to start assembling it. So on and so forth until yay! A brand new dress! Breaking a task up into smaller, more manageable steps is a great way to keep you motivated during your alone time.
3) PUT “ME TIME” ON THE SCHEDULE:
Many of us need to balance not only our own personal calendars but the schedules of our partners, kids, hell, even our pets on top of it! Juggling everyone else’s needs can make it all too easy to drop the ball when it comes to tending to your own. Protect yourself from burnout by putting Y-O-U at the top of your schedule.
Scheduling out your alone time where everyone else can see it (whether it’s on a shared Google doc or the family calendar on your fridge) is the best way to let yourself, and others, know that your space is important and worth the time devoted to it. It’s also the simplest way to see when you have a clear spot in your busy life and mindfully seize it. Seeing your self-care routine or hobby night scheduled on a calendar allows you to keep it top of mind and allocate time for it accordingly.
4) SET A TIMER:
Unable to squeeze that extra hour for yourself out of the day? That’s ok! Sitting down for a 5-minute meditation or a 15-minute deep breathing exercise alone can go a long way and give you a quick energy boost in between your busy schedule.
When you find a spare moment, don’t waste it by scrolling through your IG feed (remember tip #1). Instead, set a timer on your phone while you enjoy a page of your book or a few sips of your coffee while it’s still hot.
5) DROP EVERYTHING AND TAKE IT!
Just showing up is often the greatest barrier to starting. Life can be exhausting, and you may not always feel like getting into your hobby or doing that workout at the end of a long day – but you will be so glad you did after you start! When you feel burnout coming on, it can be absolutely essential to your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being to let the dishes stay in the sink so you can take time for yourself. You deserve to do things that help you refresh and find joy. Period. YOU ARE WORTHY OF YOUR TIME AND ATTENTION.
The best way for you to show up for others is to first show up for yourself. As the ever-wise RuPaul would say:
“If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an AMEN?!”
Taking time for yourself instead of playing with your kids doesn’t make you a bad mom. Telling your loved one you need some alone time tonight doesn’t make you an absent partner. It does, however, make you a more well-rounded, rested, and happier person. When you’re done, you’ll be able to return to your family, friends, and/or coworkers with a refreshed attitude and clear headspace, ready to give them your full attention.
Now that you know how to take time for yourself, I know you can break away from “busy” in order to better align yourself with your best, most beautiful self. You’re on your way to making a life that makes you happy, and I’m so excited to be on this radical journey with you!
Still feeling down on yourself? Check out my post on How To Overcome Imposter Syndrome to help yourself find alignment again.
*View source material here.