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Self-Care for Busy Lifestyles: Making Time For Yourself

Self-Care for Busy Lifestyles: Making Time For Yourself

Welcome to adulthood, a place where making time for yourself feels impossible. The responsibilities pile up at work, the chore list grows longer, and the loved ones in your life are pulling in in a million directions. You don’t remember the last time you sat alone with your thoughts and just were. Living in a fast-paced society often causes us to juggle work, family, and a million “to-dos,” leaving us with little room for personal well-being.

However, prioritizing self-care is crucial for maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Today, Racing for Mental Health will explore the challenge of finding time for self-care in a busy lifestyle. Let’s talk about some practical strategies and tips for incorporating self-care into your hectic schedule by embracing the small, manageable moments throughout the day.


Recognize the Importance of Self-Care

Recognize the Importance of Self-Care

Before diving into strategies, it’s important to understand why we should care about self-care. Self-care is not a luxury but a necessity for overall well-being. It replenishes your energy, reduces stress, and enhances productivity. Self-care improves your quality of life and your mental wellness. By acknowledging the importance of self-care, you can shift your mindset and make it a non-negotiable part of your daily life.

In addition, self-care isn’t just about self. When you take time to replenish yourself, you show up better for work, events, and the people you love. Instead of walking through tasks with bitterness, exhaustion, or resentment, you feel energized and ready to give because you’ve already taken time to give to yourself.


1. Take A Look At What’s Important: Priorities and Schedule

Take a step back and ask yourself the three most important things to me. Am I spending time with my loved ones? Growing my career? Exercise? Determine what truly matters to you and what activities you’re doing that don’t align with your priorities. Where can you delegate or get rid of specific tasks entirely? By decluttering your schedule and creating space for self-care, you can better manage your time and reduce feeling overwhelmed.


2. Tomorrow Starts Today

2. Tomorrow Starts Today

It’s easy to push ourselves aside, promising we’ll care for ourselves once life slows down, once you meet the big deadline at work or university, once your children are grown, once you retire. The problem with living in a world of tomorrow is that tomorrow will never come. Regardless of what’s on your “to-do” list, regardless of how long it is, choose self-care today.


3. Embrace Small Moments of Self-Care

Carving out large chunks of free time takes a lot of work. Instead, embrace small moments of self-care routinely throughout your day. For example:

  • Take a few minutes for deep breathing exercises.
  • Set a timer, reminding yourself to sip water and stretch for a few minutes before returning to your task.
  • Enjoy a cup of tea before bed.
  • Listen to an audiobook while you’re driving in the car.
  • Add the occasional face mask to your bedtime routine.

As you make your small, daily self-care tasks part of your routine, try to schedule a weekly or biweekly opportunity for a more significant self-care gift to yourself. 


4. Make a Self-Care Toolkit

4. Make a Self-Care Toolkit

Have your self-care toolkit ready so you don’t have to spend valuable time searching for that nail polish, pen, or book. Fill it with things that are self-care to you. This could be a gratitude journal, a favorite book, essential oils for aromatherapy, a playlist of soothing music, or a list of guided meditations or mindfulness exercises. 


5. Set Boundaries and Learn to Say No

Boundaries get a hard rep. People often mistakenly see them as mean, cruel, selfish, and destructive. When you view boundaries that way, setting healthy ones is hard. We understand. However, we want to challenge you to set healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries prioritize your needs and help you have healthier relationships with others and yourself. Saying no to additional commitments or giving up tasks that you can share with others frees up time for self-care. Remember that it is not selfish to prioritize your well-being—it is an act of self-preservation and enables you to show up fully for others.


6. Be Tech Savvy

6. Be Tech Savvy

Yes, technology is an essential part of our society. And while it can offer distractions, we encourage you to use it as a valuable resource for self-care. For example, explore meditation apps, relaxation podcasts, or online fitness classes you can attend around your schedule. However, suppose you need help staying off social media and are easily distracted by your drive toward productivity. In that case, we recommend setting limits when it comes to technology and your self-care time. Social media often directs our attention to others, and your self-care time should be about you.


7. Say Good-Bye To The Guilt

There are so many things to do and people who need me, and… the list goes on and on. There are a million reasons why we don’t have the time for ourselves. Often, it boils down to the fact that we don’t think we’re worthy of our own time. If you feel guilty about taking time for yourself, we want to encourage you to explore that guilt. Why do you feel guilty about taking a little time for yourself, and how should you start addressing those reasons? 

You can journal these feelings and thoughts to explore the reasons behind them. For example, you feel guilty because your children need you. While it may be true that your children need you, will time for yourself genuinely prevent you from meeting their needs? What do they need from you? Couldn’t you be more helpful and supportive of your children if you were well-rested and recharged? In addition, what about helping our children see that parents have needs too, and modeling self-care for them for when they might be parents one day? 


8. Make Self-Care a Social Activity

8. Make Self-Care a Social Activity

If you’re an extrovert, you may love to invest in self-care time with the people you love. Plan a walk together, organize a book club, or host a self-care night where you can enjoy activities such as face masks, gentle yoga, or spend quality time together. Combining self-care with social connections can amplify the benefits and foster community.


Let’s Talk About It

Amid a busy lifestyle, making time for yourself may seem impossible. However, by recognizing the importance of self-care, embracing small moments throughout the day, and setting boundaries, you can successfully make self-care a part of your daily routine. Remember, self-care is not a one-size-fits-all approach—find what fits you and your unique lifestyle. By prioritizing your well-being, you cultivate a stronger sense of balance, resilience, and fulfillment in all aspects of your life. When you show up for you, you show up better for life!

As always, we’d love to walk alongside you on your journey. Feel free to comment below and share your self-care routine.

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