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How do you make time for self care?

Updated: May 22

Continuing with the theme of stress reduction (because it is THAT important when it comes to overall health), self care plays an integral role. But what is self care, and how is it possible to find the time to participate in it?

Self care, to me, is anything that helps you to feel better and enjoy this thing we call life. Subsequently, it also helps alleviate stress. (Please click here for additional information on stress) Some ideas for self care: taking a walk, spending time in nature, seeing a counselor/coach, journaling about things you are feeling/experiencing/believing, spending time with a friend or loved one, getting a massage or doing self massage, taking a hot bath or shower, having grace for yourself/forgiving yourself, practicing mindfulness, saying no to things that are not in alignment with you, saying yes to things that light you up and fill your soul, making a list of things you have done well, playing with animals, hydrating well, eating quality food. There are soooo many more, but I think this gives you an idea of some possibilities. 

You may be thinking, “Yeah, that sounds nice, but I just don’t have the time or energy for any of that…” or “Others need my time and energy more right now…” 

If that is you, consider this quote from Joyce Sunada:

“If you don’t make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.”

Read that again. Please. Let her words sink in. Do you have time to be ill?

Here’s why you need to give that serious consideration. Stress causes inflammation. When left unchecked, inflammation runs rampant, oftentimes multiplying throughout the body due to a series of biochemical changes. It can lead to injuries, lower immune function, poor digestion, and alterations in pain, sleep, mood, and more. In fact, inflammation is often at the root of many illnesses: heart disease, hypertension, cancer, diabetes, fibromyalgia, IBS, etc. So if you CHOOSE to not make time today to reduce your stress, eventually it will likely catch up to you in the form of illness. That is not to say that if you do everything “right” you will never succumb to any of these processes, but you significantly increase your risk of them if you do not take the time to take care of Y-O-U.

Ok, so now that you are presumably on board with self care being a non-negotiable, how do you make the time to do it?

  • Find your “why”

  • This will help to keep you motivated when things become more busy or times get challenging

  • Write it down somewhere

  • Let others know your “why”

  • Make a commitment to yourself

  • Make a mental note of various things that help you feel better, less stressed, more balanced, happier; write them down if it helps

  • Think about all of the possible positive outcomes of you taking care of yourself (including showing up better in important relationships when you have taken better care of yourself!)

  • Start small

  • Try not to make your self care unattainable; commit to something small yet meaningful to set yourself up for success—even 5 minutes daily is far more impactful than once every month or two

  • Over time, or in circumstances when you have more time, you can always choose to do additional/longer self care sessions

  • Eventually you will notice that self care is a necessity, and you will feel it deeply when you need more self care

  • Choose a method of accountability

  • Write it down on a calendar and treat it as a non-negotiable scheduled appointment

  • Find an accountability partner and ask them to hold you accountable; explain to them why this is important you you

  • Realize that by saying “yes” to yourself, sometimes that means saying “no” to something or someone else

  • Get comfortable with this

  • Know that it is for the best of all involved

  • You do not have to justify why you need time for yourself 

  • If you do feel the need, explain to those in your life the importance of prioritizing yourself and ask them to support you; you can help them to prioritize themselves in return 

  • Get back in the saddle as soon as possible after falling off track

  • Sometimes life will derail you and your plans; this is ok, but should not become a pattern; have grace for yourself in the moment, but do your best to get back on track ASAP

  • Even during tough/busy/crazy stressful situations, challenge yourself to do something small—even taking 5 deep breaths every time you go to the bathroom can help

  • It is easy to have life “happen” and then neglect ourselves, justifying it by our “busy-ness”, but if we continue to allow life to dictate where we spend our time and energy, we will become energetically depleted and miserable

  • Re-commit to yourself and remind yourself of your “why”

  • Choose yourself time and time again; I promise that you & those you love will all benefit from this

Now that you have some ways to incorporate self care into your routine, have you come up with your “why”? Have you considered what will be the best method of accountability for you starting out? Thinking about the most recent stressful event you had to navigate: how might you have shown up differently in life had you implemented more self care, or can you praise yourself for doing the best you could given the situation? And if you already incorporate self care in your life, is there room for improvement?

Are you looking to enhance your overall well-being and embrace a holistic approach to health and wellness? Prioritizing self care is a great first step and I am here to support you on your journey towards optimal health. Take the first step towards a healthier and happier you by scheduling a session with me today. Your well-being is my top priority, and I can't wait to help you feel your best. Schedule with me now and start your holistic wellness journey!

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