By far one of the questions I get most as a therapist is: how do I find time for self-care? Trust me, I’ve been there – way back before I started this here blog, I was in the same boat…scrambling to find time for me in a day, just so I wouldn’t be constantly trying to pour from an empty cup. And with two young kiddos (back then), it was definitely a question I felt a frenzied need to answer – and then apply!
Fast forward to today, and I’ve got 2 more kids in the mix, bringing the grand total to 4, and I’d be the first person to admit that squeezing time for daily self-care can feel darn near impossible some days.
That is, it would be the case if I wasn’t your Self Care Bestie. But since I am? I’ll happily share what I do to find time for self-care, even on the busiest of days. And let’s be honest, despite (or perhaps because of) the pandemic, these days of hybrid school/virtual school/work/life/family challenges have felt like some of the busiest ever!
Let’s start at the very beginning…
You have time for self care, you just don’t know it
Ok…hear me out. I know we are all busy ladies. I totally do. But the fact of the matter is that you, me, all of us do have bits of time in just about every day that we waste. Yep. Even if it doesn’t feel like that’s the case, I’d encourage you to think about it for a moment. That time when you’re waiting for your kids in the parent pick up line, that time when a friend re-schedules a hang out last minute, or that time when you simply got through your to-do list in record time (yasss girl!)? Those are all opportunities for self-care. Those are all times when we could do something good for ourselves, but so often we don’t. So often, we end up wasting those tiny, unforeseen opportunities to refill our cups by doing something that further depletes us…mindlessly scrolling on social media, answering emails that aren’t urgent, or just being bored, not really knowing what to do with our unstructured down time.
Believe it or not, these moments that pop up unexpectedly are actually the perfect opportunity to add some self-care into your day. And the good news? With just a little bit of forethought you can do just that!
You have time for self care, you just don’t know what to do with it
When you take just a little bit of time to make a plan for those small bits of unexpected down time, you won’t waste time wondering what on earth you should do with it when it comes up. I shared about one of my favorite ways to use your unstructured down time here, but I’m going to share another one today – and this one is perfect for even the busiest of days.
Set a timer for 5 minutes (surely, you have five minutes, right??) and complete the following exercise:
Write down any and all things you like to do for self-care.
When the timer goes off, take a look at your list. On a new page (or a new note in your phone), break your list into categories: 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes. Put each item on your list into one of those categories.
Now take a look at your lists. You are officially holding your new and improved plan for what you will do when you find yourself with an extra 5, 10, or 30 minutes. So instead of mindlessly scrolling Facebook (unless, of course, that feels like self care to you, and then by all means, go ahead with your bad self!), you might do a 5 minute deep breathing exercise. With 10 minutes, you might pray or do a bit of a daily devotional. With 30 minutes, you might read a book or go for a walk. Whatever you choose, you can feel good about it, knowing that you are using your time wisely, and fitting in some self-care. #winning
I hope this helps you find more time for you – that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it? Realizing that we do have time, we just have to make the most of it.
I’m here for you, my friend, and I’m wishing you a great weekend ahead, full of moments (big or small) just for you.