How To Practice Self-Care With a Busy Schedule


Self-care isn’t some extravagant luxury; it’s like that essential fuel that keeps us going.

Feeling overwhelmed with your busy schedule? We’ve all felt the weight of juggling work, family, social commitments and the myriad challenges life presents. Despite the growing importance of self-care, guilt often prevents many from prioritizing their own well-being. But guess what? Taking care of yourself isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity! And it’s not just us saying this; experts in the field of psychology echo the sentiment.

Dr. Kaylee Crockett, a clinical psychologist associated with the UAB Department of Family and Community Medicine, asserts that prioritizing self-care is crucial. It not only improves our overall well-being and prevent burnout but also strengthens our bond with ourselves and what truly holds significance in our lives. It’s a compass that helps us navigate stress and bounce back from setbacks, promoting personal growth. 

Now, you might still wonder, “Yeah, that all sounds great, but where on Earth can I find time for self-care in my already packed schedule?” In this article, we’ll be demystifying the concept of self-care and offering practical, tangible ways to weave it into your daily routine. 

What exactly is self-care?

Let’s debunk some myths about self-care. While many associate it with lavish spa days or exotic vacations (which, admittedly, sound delightful), self-care isn’t exclusive to the affluent or the Instagram influencers showcasing their latest sponsored retreat. 

In essence, self-care is about rejuvenation. It’s the act of pressing the reset button, giving yourself a warm inner hug and nurturing your physical, mental and emotional health. It’s a personalized journey—there’s no universal blueprint. Whether it’s immersing yourself in a hobby, delving into a captivating book, spending quality time with loved ones or simply practicing mindful breathing, it’s about finding what resonates with you. 

Seven self-care strategies for busy schedules

Mindful meals: Make your mealtime a self-care ritual. Ditch the habit of eating on the run or at your work desk. Instead, find a cozy spot to enjoy your meal mindfully and savor each bite without distractions.

Incorporate physical activity: Finding time for a full workout may be challenging, but you can still sneak in short physical activities throughout the day. For instance, opt for stairs instead of the elevator or indulge in brief stretching sessions during breaks. These small bursts of movement take your mind off work and direct your attention to how your body feels.

Digital detox: Designate specific times to unplug from electronic devices. Be it during meals or family time, keep your phone aside and immerse yourself in the present moment. Disconnecting from the virtual world, even briefly, can help you reconnect with the real world and appreciate life.

Pursue a hobby: Carve out time for an activity you genuinely enjoy, even if it’s just for a short while. Engaging in hobbies can be a great stress reliever and a way to let your creativity flow. For instance, if you love playing a musical instrument, spend fifteen minutes playing a tune during your lunch break or before you start your evening chores.

Eat consciously: Choose healthier options, even on busy days. Opt for nutritious snacks and meals that provide sustained energy rather than reaching for sugary or processed foods that can lead to energy crashes later on.

Prioritize sleep: Establish a consistent sleep routine and engage in calming activities before bed, like meditation or gentle stretches, to ensure a restful slumber. 

Journaling: Take a few minutes each day to pen down your thoughts and feelings in a journal. It’s a therapeutic way to process emotions and cultivate self-awareness.

Set boundaries: Avoid over-committing yourself. Learn to assertively decline requests that don’t resonate with your priorities. For instance, politely turn down invitations to social events when you’re juggling work and family responsibilities. By doing so, you preserve your time and energy for endeavors that genuinely enrich your life.

Tips to mastering self-care amidst chaos

Remember, self-care is deeply personal. The strategies listed above are starting points. As you explore, attune to your body and mind’s responses. Here are some guidelines to help tailor your self-care regimen:

Make it a priority: Self-care is just as important as any other facet of your life. If you don’t make it a priority, you’re less likely to do it. Treat it as non-negotiable and use this time to engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. 

Be consistent: Try your best to ensure a consistent self-care routine. Even brief daily self-care moments can culminate in significant benefits over time. 

Start small: Don’t be too ambitious at once. Start by adding one or two small self-care activities to your day. For example, instead of challenging yourself to work out for at least 30 minutes a day, you could start by taking a 10-minute walk during your lunch break. Being too ambitious can be counter-productive by inducing more stress.

Customize your routine: Establish a self-care routine tailored to your daily rhythm. Make a list of activities that recharge you and slot them into your daily or weekly planner.

Utilize technology: Use technology like meditation apps, reminders or calendar alerts to prompt self-care activities and keep yourself on track. Also, monitor your progress, as it helps you evaluate and adjust as needed. 

Be flexible: Life is unpredictable, and it’s okay when things don’t go according to plan. If you have to cancel your self-care time, don’t beat yourself up. Just reschedule it for another day.

To wrap up

Mastering the art of self-care amidst a busy schedule is not only possible but absolutely essential for maintaining a healthy and balanced life. Moreover, it enhances our ability to care for others and tackle responsibilities with renewed energy and focus. So, embrace self-care guilt-free and know that you’re investing in your well-being and becoming the superhero of your own life! 

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Header image courtesy of Freepik


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