Three Tips for Finding Time For Self Care When You're Way Too Busy

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Sometimes it can seem like you’re always running behind - like there’s never enough time in the day. You know you need to take care of yourself and find ways to relax and stay sane, but between all the other things on your to-do list, there’s never time. We may even look enviously at others thinking, “they have it so much easier than I do. Look at how much time they have to spare in the day!”

The reality is that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. It’s up to us how we spend that time, for the most part. Lack of time is one of the biggest challenges clients have when it comes to considering making a change toward a healthier lifestyle or finding better balance. There’s no time to cook a meal, work out, read that book, get sleep, etc. Even the busiest of person has time in their day that can be better managed. Below are some tips for finding more time in your day so you can find a healthier balance and less stress!

  1. Find and acknowledge your time black holes! For 5-7 days, preferably during a timeframe that also includes at least one weekend day, write down how you’re spending your time. Break it down into hourly chunks if you can. Do you best to just write it down each thing without judgement. Maybe that 4 hours of Netflix was really helpful to your stress relief. Now is not the time to judge. But, it can be really enlightening to see exactly how your time is spent.

  2. Add some screen time restrictions to your devices. Do you REALLY need to be on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat for hours a day? Must you scroll through the news or stock app 3-4 times per day? It can be really helpful to set time limits for yourself with certain categories that suck away precious time. You can find apps that will help you track this, and can alert you to when you’ve hit your limit for the day. If your “time suck” activities you discovered in tip #1 aren’t related to your phone or computer, well done! You can apply this tip to cutting back on the time you’re spending on other things, like binging episodes on Netflix. 

  3. Schedule in relaxing breaks and “fun” time. Your fun may be different than mine. My idea of a relaxing break may sound boring to you. But the bottom line is, if you’re not making time for whatever works for you - it’s not going to happen! Say you love painting and find it fun and relaxing. Set time up on your calendar to paint! You’ll have the best success if the fun/relaxing activity is waiting for you - ie: the paints are already set up in an area ideal for painting. Or, your gym clothes are set out and ready to go. Or your bath salts are set out on the bathroom counter. That way when it’s time, there aren’t many excuses standing in the way of you and that activity. Even if you just schedule 15 minutes for an activity, it’s a start! Often times 15 minutes turns into a longer time because we find that we’re enjoying ourselves, but if we don’t give ourselves the luxury of doing those activities that we enjoy, they often can slip by the wayside.

Once you’re managing your time better, you can start making time for things that matter more to you AND reduce your stress level. My new e-course, 21 Days to Less Stress, can help you learn to identify your biggest stressors, discover how to turn the volume down on stress through self care and reframing, and become more resilient against future stress. Learn more and enroll at gosimplewellness.com/stress

Take the Self Care Holiday Challenge

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The holidays are in full swing! You might be traveling, going to more social events, and faced with many chances for overindulgence. All of these interruptions can make it easy to lose sight of your goals. Personally, I’m going to be doing a little challenge over the next two weeks to help stay on track, and I hope you’ll join me!

The Self Care Holiday Challenge: Take at least an hour, a few days per week for the rest of the year, to do some act of self care. 

Sounds easy enough, right? Taking a few moments for yourself out of the next couple of weeks can help you stay on track, reduce stress, and set you up for a healthy start to 2018. Some things to consider for those “self care” hours include getting a massage, taking a walk with your favorite people, meditating, reading a book, taking a tea break with family, or getting some sleep. 

I plan to try a few of those self care options, but the one I’m most looking forward to is sleep! I have a hard time sleeping too late into the morning, so my goal will be to start my bedtime ritual earlier in the evening a few days over the next couple of weeks so that I can get a bit more sleep. High quality sleep (7-8 hours for most adults), can make all the difference in your mood, your ability to solve problems, and your ability to make healthy eating choices. 

In my opinion, you never need an excuse to take time for yourself. But, if you need some encouragement, I’m here! What self care activities will you add in over the next two weeks? Send me an email at sara@gosimplewellness.com.