Self care is essential for women these days but finding the time for daily self care can be quite difficult.
The US economy is growing and with the increased prices of almost everything, most households now NEED more than one income to get by. Because of that and the increasing number of female entrepreneurs popping up every day, there are now more working women than ever before.
Most of these women are also moms, myself included. Most of these women have significant others and households to attend to, also myself included. And let’s not forget about having a social life which may or may not be nonexistent for some of us.
Let’s face it, we are busy as hell these days and personally some days I’m just to damn tired and there is no way a self care routine is happening for me. If you’re reading this I know you can relate.
But one thing I’ve learned the hard way is that if I don’t take the time to find ways to self care, I end up running myself into the ground, overcome with exhaustion, anxiety, and I am just not pleasant to be around.
For me the other side of self care is not pretty so I’ve taken a deep dive into all the ways, us women, can not only find the time for self care but to also make daily self care a habit. Scratch that… let’s just go ahead and make daily self care a NON-NEGOTIABLE!
Are you with me? OK, let’s get started!
What is Self Care?
Self care is a real popular topic of conversation and a lot of people tend to over complicate it. Or they have big misconceptions of what self care is and how it’s supposed to go down. But lets clear that up right now because if misconception or confusion is what stops you from daily self care then that is just unacceptable! I got you sis!
The dictionary describes self care as:
The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
I can agree with that but let me elaborate on that a little bit for you. Self care is really anything that supports your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well being. The key here is that self care should support all the parts that make you…YOU.
That means finding ways to self care that supplement each other. Like a nighttime face mask, a morning meditation practice, and nice refreshing walk somewhere in between.
Obviously, practicing self care will be different for everyone but when you’re deciding on a self care action plan be sure to choose activities that support all parts of you for a more well-balanced life.
Is Self Care Selfish?
Can we please stop with this?!? I really debated whether to include this in here or not but I find too many of the women I know are not practicing self care for this reason and I’m just like STOP THAT!
SELF CARE IS NOT SELFISH, IT’S SURVIVAL.
Self care is putting yourself first for the greater good of those around you. It’s not selfish because when you are well cared for you are even better at caring for others. When you’re not, to be completely honest, you are most likely half-assing it.
It’s impossible to fully care for others if you don’t care for yourself first. You gotta fill up your cup so then that cup can overflow into others.
It’s like being in an airplane, they always tell you to put your mask on first before helping others. There’s a reason for that! I know that’s hard to imagine especially if you are a mother, I myself freak out just thinking about it and we won’t go deeper into that example. But let me tell you this, you will be much better at life if you make self care a priority. POINT. BLANK. PERIOD.
Why is Self Care So Important?
Besides what I just mentioned above, daily self care renews and restores the mind, body, and soul. It refreshes you and renews you. Then you can take that new found energy and use it towards all the other things on your busy schedule.
Self care clears your mind and gives rest to your body and soul, all things that we, as humans, need from time to time. Self care also strengthens your connection with your higher self and God, which is a win-win in my book.
A few more self care benefits according to Botanicahealth.com:
- Self care boosts your immune system.
- Self care improves your self-compassion.
- Self care helps you get to know yourself better.
- Self care will provide more time for you to give others.
7 Signs You Need Self Care
You’ve become negative nancy.
You are deep in the negativity zone and everything is bothering you. And because of the Law of Attraction, you will stay in that headspace until you swap out those negative thoughts with more positive ones. The quickest way to do that is by practicing self care! Try some positive affirmations or get some alone time to refuel.
You can’t relax or slow down.
You’re living life in the fast lane and life is quickly passing you by. Why would you want to miss out on everything life has to offer? Take a breather thru self care! Try practicing mindfulness throughout your day and see what you’ve been missing.
You lack compassion for yourself.
When you practice self care you get much better at loving yourself. When you love yourself, you become much more forgiving of your mistakes and humanness. If you find yourself lacking self-compassion you need more time practicing self care. Try starting a daily journal practice.
You are easily annoyed or irritable.
These are signs that you are lacking something. Whether its food and you’re hangry or whether its sleep and you’re grumpy, there is no doubt about it, you are highly irritable when you are lacking the things you need. If you’re not hungry or tired and you can’t put your finger on what you’re lacking, it is most likely self care! Take a bubble bath and unwind.
Stress, Anxiety, and Depression.
These symptoms are your body and mind telling you that it needs a release and that something needs to be changed in your life. The change is the self care you need. In my experience, I was able to overcome my anxiety and depression thru the self care practices I partake in. Meditation has been the biggest help for me, TRY IT!
RELATED: A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation
You feel overwhelmed.
Your to-do list has taken over and it’s getting the best of you. Now is the perfect time to evaluate your list and reset those priorities. More on this later!
You’re always tired.
A little bit of tiredness is good for you, it helps you sleep better and reduces stress. But feeling fatigue ALL OF THE TIME is just not normal. You can be sure that you need self care if this is you. Take a nap, exercise more, and eat better!
Finding Time for Self Care
Below you’ll find a step by step process on how you can find the time for self care even when you are super busy. You might be surprised at how much time you actually do have for a self care routine once you get thru this list. You’ll be on your way to your very own self care journey before you even know it. Let’s get to it!
Step 1: Eliminate excuses and know your worth.
You are worth more than you know and you totally deserve some self love and care. You do amazing things every day, even if you don’t realize it. You juggle it all, you make things happen, and in the end, things always seem to work out for you, don’t they?
You are basically the SUPERHERO in the story of your life. Know it, trust it, and believe it girl, because it’s true. And once you can believe how worthy you are of self love and care you will make it your top priority.
So stop with the excuses already. We all have the same 24 hours in the day so the excuse that there is no time for daily self care is just not gonna work for you anymore.
Self care is too selfish? We’ve already worked through that excuse so send it packing. You can’t afford self care? Self care is not a luxury thing. You can practice self care for free! Take a walk, take a bubble bath, or meditate. It’s that easy!
Step 2: Set goals around self care.
What is it that you want to accomplish with self care? Do you just want to feel better? Do you want to get to know yourself more? Do you just want more me time? These are all things that can be accomplished with self care.
So set goals around what you want to get out of self care. This is the change you want to see in your life. Once you can see what it is that you are working towards and you know that it can actually happen, then you’ll be more likely to make self care a daily ritual.
Step 3: Remove what no longer serves you.
In this step, you will need to remove things from your life that don’t bring you peace, joy, or love. This mostly means stop doing things you don’t want to do. This also means setting boundaries and saying no more often.
Only do what feels good to you or what brings value to your life. Yes, that even means the job you hate. You may hate it but it provides income and that’s value. A small mindset change around your job could help or maybe you can work towards finding a new job, that’s what I’d do and have done in the past.
Follow your bliss and focus on finding what feels good to you, that will always lead you in the right direction.
Step 4: Check your priorities and put self care at the top.
Take some time to look at your priorities. What is important to you? Make a list. Is caring for yourself somewhere near the top or did you fail to be on your list at all? It’s so easy to get our priorities all out of whack sometimes. But with a quick check-in, we can get our priorities straight again, except this time make sure that you’re at the top of this list.
Step 5: Conduct a time audit.
A time audit is simply keeping track of what you do all day over the course of a few days or a week. This will give you a clear picture of how you are spending your days and with this audit, you will identify all the things that are time wasters and/or distractions.
To do a time audit, you will have to record everything you do in a day down to the smallest task. You can use google calendar or just journal throughout your day. The hard part is reminding yourself to track your activities. Try setting an hourly alarm to remind you.
If this sounds tedious to you just try to be more mindful of when you’re wasting time or getting distracted throughout your day. All that mindless social media scrolling you’re doing, yup that’s a big one! Pay attention to time wasters like these and move on to the next step.
Step 6: Remove distractions and/or time wasters and replace them with self care rituals.
Now take your time audit and remove and replace. Anytime you find yourself mindlessly scrolling your social media feed, STOP and instead add in a mindfulness check-in or a breathing exercise.
Eliminate this common time waster along with any others and use that extra time for self care. Another thing you can do is replace your dead time with a self care activity. For example, you can listen to some positive affirmations on your drive to work or listen to some uplifting music while showering.
Step 7: Plan and schedule your self care routine.
Now that you’ve removed all or most of your distractions and time wasters you will surely have a lot more time to spare. At this point, the best way to make self care consistent is to schedule it into your daily routine and stick to it.
This means picking a specific time to be all yours and no one else’s. It’s doesn’t need to take long or it can take as long as you’d like it to. It’s your time, you get to choose how you spend it. Just make sure it’s a non-negotiable and it’s at the top of your priority list.
Step 8: Start small and do it often.
Don’t get ahead of yourself here. You don’t want to shoot for the stars in your self care journey just yet. If you do, you will set yourself up to fail. Make your self care activities realistic and attainable.
You will be in a trial and error phase when you first began. It’ll be up to you to find what works and what doesn’t. So start small, do it often, and choose self care activities that work for you in terms of your schedule, your budget, and your goals.
Creating a Self Care Action Plan.
Once you get through these steps the next thing you’ll want to do is create a self care action plan. This is where self care becomes more of a ritual rather than a few activities here and there.
You have a lot of options here as far as when to do it, where to do it, and how to do it. But basically, you should choose a morning, afternoon, or evening self care ritual.
This ritual can be done every day or on the day/s of your choosing. Self care Sunday is a popular option you may want to choose. Once you decide on the day and time for your ritual, choose 3-5 ways to self care during that time.
My self care ritual is a morning self care routine. I start my day with a cup of coffee and some self development reading (my current read: Mindhacking: How to Change Your Mind for Good in 21 Days).
Next, I journal for 15 minutes then I sit in a 20 minute meditation. After that, I usually head to the gym or yoga class for one hour before starting my workday.
This is what I do most days. Some days I skip but I try to at least make it happen 3-4 times a week and that is my non-negotiable self care ritual.
My self care routine has literally changed my whole life and I know it can do the same for you. Self care is not selfish, it is a necessity, and it will make you a much better person.
Finding the time for self care starts with a little time management skills and committing to make self care a staple in your life. You are worthy and totally deserving!