Whether you are a parent or otherwise busy on a daily basis, let's explore some ideas and tips on how to still stay consistent on your self-care, because filling your cup is productive, essential and benefits everybody in your life.
It can be tricky to look after yourself when you are juggling daily tasks and perhaps dealing with some unforeseen challenges. Many people are constantly busy and have a full schedule of to do's. Often self-care doesn't find a permenant spot on that list or doesn't rank high in the priorities. Does that sound familiar?
You can ask yourself, what belief is supporting that pattern?
Once you commit to taking more time to practice self-care on a daily basis, remember that self-care can be many things and can look different ever day. It can be 5 minutes or a full day. It is more about the intention and focus of the action than the actual action itself.
Here are some tips:
Tip #1 - Be prepared
First it helps to know exactly what you are looking to accomplish before an opportunity presents itself. You can figure that out in the morning, by asking yourself:' What will I benefit from the most today?' If a day is going to be super busy and demanding, maybe resting or relaxing can be prioritized, a nap or quiet coffee break, a meditation or walk (Whatever your jam). Or, if you have capacity you might opt for a workout. By being mentally prepared, you won't find yourself trying to decide what to do with the little time you might have, which can be challenging. (Haven't we all been there? Trying to do too much and ending up doing nothing, or just shuffling around between the 'shoulds' and 'coulds' and again - doing nothing really.)
Tip #2 - Don't wait for perfect
Don't wait for perfect - just do it. You might not always get the perfect set up for what you are looking to do, but you can focus on actually doing it. Workout in your PJ's, meditate between the folded and unfolded laundry, you get the idea. Focus on simply getting started with the actual task.
Tip #3 - Don't give up, give in
Giving in, doesn't mean giving up! Keep coming back to your self-care. Just because you got interrupted or cut short, it doesn't mean it is not worth trying again. Practice getting back to it and build a habit for the long run. You can focus on the time you got to spend on yourself over a week (or month even), instead of focusing too much on each day.
Tip #4 - 80/20 rule
Focus on the big ticket items. Don't waste your time with the things that only make a small change in your well-being and mood. Use the time you have to do the things that will actually make you feel better, help you release stress and refuel your tank. Don't know what those things are? How about some conscious trial and error? Start a journal and pin down how certain activities (when done intentionally and consciously) make you feel and how that feeling lasts during the day.
(The 80-20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, is a familiar saying that asserts that 80% of outcomes (or outputs) result from 20% of all causes (or inputs) for any given event. In business, a goal of the 80-20 rule is to identify inputs that are potentially the most productive and make them the priority. Source: investipedia.com)
Tip #5 - Help!
Ask for help, set healthy boundaries and outsource what you can to free up time. If you have convinced yourself that asking for help is not appropriate if it is not for the purpose of working, cleaning, etc. let's unpack that together. Asking for help is totally fine and you can ask for help to take care of yourself. It is not selfish and are not a burden. Self-care is productive! Communicating your needs is a strength. Setting boundaries is important.
Change is the only constant
Lastly, being okay with skipping a day or just living life without having some valued, elaborate self-care routine is totally fine too. Maybe not stressing about creating and establishing some routine is just your way of looking after yourself. Perhaps sleeping in 20 extra minutes is your way of looking after yourself. Remember that life happens in waves. Going with the flow means adapting to the demands and changing tides and having an irregular routine might just be a reflection of you shifting priorities with the tides.
So whatever feel s good to you, do that. Allow yourself to define your self-care practices however you like.
What are your go to practices to keep things in balance? Share in the comments.