“I don’t have enough time.”
Does that sound like something you say? It’s the age-old statement that we all hear whenever we tell a friend to take a beat and do something for herself, or when we, ourselves, are overwhelmed and want to dive into the bedsheets immediately after clocking out.
Life is tough but you’re making it tougher for yourself by not making time for your self care. We know you’re busy. We all are to some degree, but honestly, where are your priorities if not in your own wellness? When your wellness is at risk, everything else goes on pause anyway.
Make the time.
Not sure where to start? This blog post is our micro guide to How To Make Time For Self Care When You’re Busy. Let’s go!
1. Figure out what kind of self care you need the most.
Before you dive into planning self care or making time for self care, it’s important to understand what kind of self care serves you and your lifestyle best. Why? So that you can have a self care method that’s a constant.
By “constant”, we mean a type of self care that is easily accessible to you, that you can default to when you feel the tension in your day.
First, ask yourself what amount of time you’re comfortable dedicating to self care each day. This can always change, but you’re just getting started so even if it’s 5 minutes, 10 minutes, it’s better than nothing at all. Start there.
After you’ve got that figured out, think about what kind of self care you need the most of.
We firmly believe you can determine the self care you need with this fill in the blank question: I could use more _________.
I could use more ______.
The Self Care Solution
You’re either getting not enough sleep or too much sleep.
Cat naps; setting a goal for how much sleep you get in one night
You feel like you’re juggling everything.
Revamp your schedule; something isn’t working
Your serotonin and/or magnesium levels are low.
Plan for something that brings you joy; examine your diet
You’re not getting enough “me time”.
Block out time for yourself and lock the door if you have to.
You feel like you’re stuck in life and not motivated.
Shift the vibe with a podcast or motivational talk on YouTube.
(Your Need Here)
(The Issue Causing That Need)
(How You’re Going to Handle It)
You can take it from here! Try filling in the blank yourself and coming up with your self care solution. (Pro-tip: Don’t get too in your head about what “self care” is or looks like. It changes depending on what you need.)
2. Use affirmations more to give yourself permission to take care of yourself.
One of the main pain points when it comes to self care is the guilt that comes with it. It doesn’t feel natural to put yourself first because we were all raised to be selfless. We just weren’t taught the boundaries that are needed, and if that’s not the case for you, consider yourself lucky!
Women worldwide generally feel guilty about setting time aside for themselves. The thing is though, self care isn’t selfish. It’s actually an act of maintenance through self love.
So when you’re getting your balance and grip of your own self care in your life, it’s important to give yourself permission...out loud. Don’t cringe! We promise, a little self talk goes a long way.
Repeat these affirmations to yourself:
- I give myself permission to get the rest I need to make it through another day.
- I give myself permission to thrive from what makes me happy, because everything in my life is connected in some shape or form.
- I am ready to see my life transform through self love and self care.
- If I am met with pushback from others, I will stand my ground. My self care is essential.
3. Create a shared calendar for friends and family.
Friends and family aren’t your clients or co-workers, but when boundaries aren’t being respected, sometimes you have to put your foot down harder than you’d like to get the self care you deserve.
This suggestion comes from personal experience and without harsh criticism towards our friends and family. Some minds operate in a way that only processes what is in front of them. For example, you see your family once a week but they assume that when you’re not together, you’re still available. They can’t see the work that you’re overloaded with, your plans with your girlfriends, etc.
By creating a shared calendar for your friends and family, you don’t have to hold their hand through every single appointment of the day, but you can certainly block off your time. Use this shared calendar to show your friends and family when you are absolutely unavailable.
4. Use a physical planner to map out your day.
“Weren’t you just talking about a digital calendar?” Yeah, but that’s for them. Not you.
Having a physical planner is underrated and with long-term use, you realize how much of a godsend they are. Why? Because we’re so inundated with technology (apps, emails, social media, news) that there’s no room online for the true pause that you need.
Use a physical planner like the Lovet Weekly Planner to log off, really connect with yourself, and map your day so that it’s easier to work on your self care plans.
5. Set self care goals for yourself.
What does it mean to set self care goals for yourself? Well, ask yourself this: what do you want to accomplish in a year when it comes to your self care? The goals can vary. You can have self care goals for your body, self care goals for your heart, and self care goals for your mind.
Which do you want to improve on?
Some goals might look like “read 100 books this year” while other goals look like “get to bed before 11 PM every night”. No matter what your goal may be, log it in your Self Care Planner. This planner has dedicated pages for setting your self care goals.
6. When plans don’t work, change the plan; not the goal.
It’s easy to give up on a goal altogether because the plans didn’t work out, but remember...when you fall of a horse 7 times, you get back up 8. You know the saying
Imagine you're planning your self care with the Self Care Planner. You had an evening planned full of self care just for you, but once the day finished, you felt exhausted and drained. You decide not to follow through with your self care plans.
As a result, you start asking yourself, "What's the point?" Then you want to close your Self Care Planner This is a normal experience in not just self care plans, but for any plans, really! One bump and you think you're not going to reach your goal.
But in that scenario, one of many answers is to lighten the self care load. Your plate was already overloaded. You didn't have the battery for your plans. So what's something low-effort in self care that you can do for yourself?
Change the plan, even if that means starting self care in smaller doses, because eventually, that overloaded plate won't feel so overloaded anymore. You'll have the bandwidth for the grander self care actions you had in mind.
Your GOALS don't have to change.
It's how you get there that can, and your goals may depend on those changes.
7. Understand how you spend your energy and set boundaries when necessary, even with yourself.
After you’re done reading this blog post, Google “spoon theory”. It’s mostly used by those with chronic illnesses but is also used in mental health discussions. The point of it though is to bring attention to how you spend your energy. What will your mind and body allow for today?
Hustle culture and grind culture have pushed us to believe that we’re built to keep going at all times. Everyone needs a break at some point. Even the train from The Little Engine That Could ended up at the railroad station for a refuel. When your fuel is low, you refuel. Self care is just that!
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