There’s one thing most people forget to put on their to-do list when they get busy: carve out time for themselves. You need a little daily time to recharge and refresh your body and mind. It might sound like a lot at first, but establishing a practice to prioritize yourself can have a positive effect on your mood, productivity, and even your attitude toward others.
But how can you find the time and energy to prioritize yourself with such a busy schedule? Although you cannot abandon your usual responsibilities entirely, you can still find ways to look after yourself while you’re hard at work.
Please note: This is a contributed post, but all opinions are my own. View full disclosure policy.
Incorporate Self-Care Into Your Schedule
Taking better care of yourself is about making time for the things that matter. Right now, you might roll out of bed just in time to start work straight away. But that means you could take a little longer to get going. While waking up earlier may seem unappealing, it can make a massive difference. Incorporating a short self-care routine first thing in the morning, such as yoga, meditation, or a neighborhood walk, can clear your head and help you start your day right.
Prioritize Yourself With a Needs List
Sometimes, you don’t know where to start because you’re not sure what your needs are. It’s easy enough to figure out by making a list of what you need to feel satisfied, peaceful, and happy. Narrow it down to the 5 or so most important things to figure out which self-care practices will do you the most good. Since everyone has unique self-care needs, what works best for you may differ from others. It’s important to focus on your needs rather than doing exactly what others do, although inspiration can be useful.
Try Remedies At Home
Everyone needs downtime at home, especially after a long and stressful week. Home remedies can mean a variety of things. It could be a long bath soak with aromatherapy oils, or it might be hot cup of tea or herbal tisane. Maybe it looks like taking vitamins or herbal supplements to unwind in the evening, like ashwagandha, or edibles like Delta 8 Gummies or other brands. Using whatever helps you relax and feel healthy and taken care of is how you prioritize yourself during downtime.
Learn to Delegate Tasks
If your schedule is busy already, adding more responsibilities is unlikely to help. Whether at home or work, learning to delegate can be a crucial element of self-care and makes it easier for you to take better care of yourself. You should have employees that you trust, so giving them some smaller tasks could give you the chance to focus on yourself. Likewise, sharing responsibilities around the house will also give you time to unwind or take a break.
Work Out What Can Wait
Although it can seem like everything is due at this moment, this is rarely the case. Many clients may tell you that projects must be submitted as soon as possible, yet this is often a way to cover their backs. If you have a lot of clients, it can be challenging to stay on top of everything, so it’s worth looking at what can wait. Write a list of all your responsibilities and number each in order of urgency to give you a better idea of what to focus on right now. Use a planner, calendar, or task manager to help you visualize how much time you actually have to work with.
Slow Down For A Second
Working hard all day every day is bound to wear you down eventually. If you feel like you never get a moment’s peace or the chance to stop thinking, try slowing down for a second. Take a moment to breathe in some fresh air or admire the scenery. This may seem small, but it can be incredibly effective and helps center yourself during a hectic day.
Setting boundaries for work and home allows you to dictate when and where people can come to you with questions. Considering how many people work from home, many find that families, friends, and managers take advantage of the evolved workplace. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can abandon your tasks. Just because you can access your work doesn’t mean you should be so late at night. Setting boundaries empowers you to say no and take better care of your mental well-being.
Start Each Day With Positivity
Starting positive, whether it’s your whole week or just one day, starts with your sleep the night before. A consistent sleep schedule helps ensure you wake up rejuvenated. And if you’re not a morning person, creating a positive wake-up routine is essential for feeling energized before you dive into work. A positive routine can be as simple as any activity that puts you in a good mood, like scrolling through art instead of headlines. Maybe it’s your morning coffee ritual. Keeping consistent with it will help condition your mind to start each day with a productive attitude rather than dread or resentment.
Get Ahead of the Schedule
It can feel like you don’t have the time to focus on yourself, but this could be down to how you approach life and work. Whether it’s meal planning or your working schedule, finding ways to get ahead can free up your mind and give you plenty of opportunities to relax. Don’t just practice self-care when you start to feel worn down. Block out downtime and hold firm to not working during that time.
Prioritizing yourself may go against what you’re used to hearing about how hard you need to work. However, the more you ignore the signs of possible burnout and other issues, the more damage your lifestyle will do long term. If you want to avoid all of this, don’t hesitate to prioritize yourself no matter how busy your schedule is.