Self-care is crucial to maintaining our mental, emotional and physical health. But with busy schedules and constant demands on our time, making time to practice self-care can be challenging. For most people, it’s not as simple as just adding self-care to their schedule. You need to strategize and find ways to maximize your time so that you have the optimal amount of time for self-care activities.
Self-care is essential for allowing us to flourish as human beings and enabling us to cope with the pressures of life more effectively. It gives us tools to manage stress, enhance our well-being and help us get through challenging times. Self-caring techniques have been shown to reduce anxiety, improve sleep quality, and increase positivity and general contentment with life. Here are some tips on how you can make more time for self-care in your life.
Make a Self-Care Schedule
One of the best ways to make more time for self-care is to schedule it into your daily or weekly routine. Treating it as an appointment you can’t miss will help you prioritize it more effectively and ensure you get enough self-care time. When scheduling self-care activities, make sure you choose activities that are meaningful to you. You’re much more likely to follow through with self-care if it’s something that resonates with you and feels valuable.
To help you decide what activities to include, consider the following: What mood do you want to be in? What is the environment that will best support that mood? What do you want to be doing with your body? What activities are physically beneficial? What do you want to be doing with your mind? What activities help you think more positively and productively?
Limit the Time You Spend on Electronics and Social Media
While these activities can be great for some moments, they can also suck up a ton of our time. Unlike activities such as reading, meditating or journaling, which are all great activities for self-care, social media, and digital devices are more likely to activate our threat response system. This means that the more time we spend on these devices and platforms, the more stress and anxiety we experience.
To make more time for self-care, set limits on how much time you spend engaging with social media or digital devices. Be mindful of where you’re getting the most value from these activities, and then prioritize accordingly.
Set Healthy Boundaries with Other People
Healthy boundaries are essential to enable us to practice self-care. They allow us to maintain a firm and healthy sense of self while ensuring that we’re not over-extending ourselves and neglecting our own needs in the process. Setting healthy boundaries with people in your life who might be taking up too much of your time and energy is a great way to make more time for self-care. You can set boundaries with family members, friends, colleagues, or people you’re in intimate relationships with.
Healthy boundaries might look different for everybody, but you can follow a few guidelines. Be clear about what you want and don’t want, be honest about what you can and can’t do at the moment, and be willing to negotiate and modify your boundaries as necessary.
Spend Less Time Planning and Making Meals
Taking the time to plan and prepare meals can be an excellent form of self-care. However, if it takes up too much of your time, you may want to consider changing how you approach meal prep. If you’re spending too much time meal-making, you could consider meal planning at the beginning of the week, so you have to spend less time planning meals throughout the week. There are also apps that can help you come up with recipe ideas, grocery lists, and meal plans. You can also spend less time planning and prepping meals by ensuring that you have a well-stocked kitchen.
You could also look into meal replacement bars for days when you are so busy that you may not have the time to meal plan or make meals on top of your self-care schedule. These meal replacement bars would give you the nutrition you would need as if you ate a whole meal without having to plan and prep a meal, saving a lot of time in your day.
Identify Your Stressors and Write Down Your Feelings
If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, it can be challenging to find the energy and enthusiasm to engage in self-care activities. It’s a good idea to journal about your stressors and emotional state as a form of self-care. Writing down the problems and feelings you’re experiencing can help you to manage the stress and move through it more quickly. When you journal, you’re engaging in a self-care activity that has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mental health and increase happiness.
Journaling can be a great way to get in touch with your emotions, find clarity, and spark self-reflection. If you’re having a hard time coming up with what you want to write about, consider journaling about the following: Your daily activities and experiences. Your goals and what you hope to achieve in the future. Your thoughts and feelings about life.
Commit To a Self-Care Activity You Love
While you may want to engage in various self-care activities, it’s important to commit to one activity you love and do it consistently. Research has shown that consistency is one of the most important factors when it comes to building new habits. If you’re constantly switching between different activities, you’re likely to lose motivation and not derive as much benefit from them.
There is no set rule as to what activity you should commit to. You just have to find something that resonates with you and feels right. There are tons of self-care activities out there, so you are bound to find something you enjoy.
Self-care is crucial for maintaining good mental, emotional and physical health. Sometimes it can be challenging to find the time to pursue self-care activities. However, self-care comes in many forms and can be done easily, even with just 10 minutes daily. By following these tips, you can make more time for self-care and reap the benefits that come from the practice.