Photo by Jessie Beck
Does self-care sound like a really amazing idea but you never seem to be able to get to it? You’re way too busy doing what you need to do for work, getting those annoying but necessary things done like laundry and making dinner, and then trying to squeeze some time in for the important people in your life.
You’re constantly doing things All. Day. Long. Where is self-care possibly supposed to fit in anyway?
This is the thing - you have to schedule it in. I know, it sounds crazy. Your schedule is beyond filled, it’s overflowing. I hear you.
But if you don't schedule it in, when will it ever become a priority? If you never hold space for self-care, it is not going to magically appear one day.
I’m a big believer in taking baby steps when doing something new or stepping outside your comfort zone. So take a little step towards self-care by finding a small amount of time in your schedule. It can be as short as 5 minutes or 15 minutes, whatever works for you.
Next decide how you’d like to spend that time doing something that’s just for you - something relaxing or something you enjoy. Maybe it’s as simple as enjoying a cup of tea or coffee, reading, or just being alone.
Once you’ve thought of what you’re going to do, put it in your schedule. Go ahead and schedule it for a few times a week. Chances are you’re going to need a reminder, so put it in your phone and set an alert or write it on a post it.
If you’ve done this much, congrats! You are on your way to making yourself a priority.
You may be wondering what’s the point of only a few minutes? I’ve had the same thought. What I found was that it actually was worthwhile in a couple of ways. First, doing something for a short time was better than no time at all. Stating the obvious here, but it’s true! And second, once you start to make a little room for something, not only does it start to stick, but it also gets easier to create even more room for that activity.
In time, try adding on another few minutes to your activity. Maybe you’ll even double your time at this point. Either way, you’re doing more for yourself than you were yesterday.
Know someone who is always doing a million things for everyone else? Share this post with her!
Laura Winters, LCSW is a therapist specializing in infertility and prenatal/postpartum stress. Laura's practice is located in Chatham and Mountain Lakes, NJ.