Just the other day, a friend of mine asked me about my self-care routine. She wanted to know what it meant to me, and what I do to tend to my mind and body. And I’ll be completely honest here, my answer was very short and to the point, and doesn’t quite line up with how it’s been popularly portrayed lately, because self-care activities aren’t always picture-perfect bubble baths with a book and a glass of wine.
I very simply said, “I send my kids to grandma’s house for a little while and listen to a quiet house.”
And I’m serious when I say that that’s it. I don’t have anyone asking me for anything, I’m not being overwhelmed with noise from every corner of the house, and no one is looking at me. That is when I get to refuel.
Self-Care for Busy People
I promise that self-care is easier than you think. You don’t have to carve out three hours every evening to soak in the tub, give yourself a manicure, and do a face mask. (but if that’s your self-care routine, that’s okay, too!)
Even if you think you don’t have time for self-care, make time. Here are a few tips from one busy person to another.
Give Yourself Permission
We are inundated with the idea that self-care is just selfishly pampering ourselves, but self-care is actually vital to our well-being. It’s about meeting your human needs. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself and recharge your batteries. It’s like the saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”
Before choosing any old self-care activity, sit down and listen to your body. Get in touch with your needs. This will help you much more than just engaging in random self-care activities in an attempt to feel better. Do you need time alone? Would you benefit from clearing your mind through meditation? Is self-care going to be drinking a green smoothie every morning? Or is going out with friends more your speed?
Regardless of how busy you are, taking care of yourself should be on your priority list. Life is hectic and there is always something that needs to get done, but ditching your self-care isn’t going to help anyone, least of all, you. Even the busiest of people can (and should!) take a few minutes to themselves.
If it helps, block off non-negotiable “appointments.” Writing it into your calendar makes it easier to see, and schedule the rest of your life around it. Putting it into your calendar can also make you more likely to stick to it. Just make sure that you’re realistic about it. Not everyone has an hour to devote, but even 20 minutes to yourself can make a world of difference.
Put Away the Tech
I know this one is really hard for a lot of people, but seriously, put it all away. Stop wasting time on your phone and computer. Technology is a huge time suck, and zoning out in front of a screen is more exhausting than it is restful or restorative.
While taking the time to take care of yourself, the last thing you need is finding yourself enraged, saddened, or concerned by whatever you found on Facebook. Your self-care time is about you, not the rest of social media, not whatever celebrities you keep up with, and not even the news.