You’re busy. I get it! I’m busy, too! Especially now that I’m offering full time care to my mom while she recovers from her surgery. (She’s doing great, BTW.)
I’m happy to have the luxury of being here and being able to give her my full attention. But, with the joy of being here comes, too, the exhaustion of being a full-time caretaker. (For those of you who do this work as your primary gig, I offer great gratitude and respect. It’s not for the feint of heart!)
The reason I even bring all this up here, is to say that now, more than ever, I am feeling the importance and the power of self-care. Annnnndddddd … now, more than ever, I’m finding it incredibly challenging to fit it into an already cram-jam full schedule. So, I was naturally inspired to come up with some ways that I can maintain some self-care [and sanity] even when it seems there’s absolutely no time for it. And, being the kind and generous blissmaker I am, I thought I’d share these little gems with you! Hope they prove as useful for you as they’ve been for me!
5 Ways To Practice Self-Care When There’s No Time To Practice Self-Care:
BREATHE! Yes, yes, we are all always breathing if we are alive. But I’m talking about conscious breathing here. Taking a few seconds here and there to just mindfully take 3-5 full breaths - taking a full inhale of fresh air and completely releasing the old via exhale - can work wonders when navigating a chaotic schedule.
WIGGLE! I know as children we are often scolded for wiggling, but, IMHO, that’s one of the worst pieces of false propaganda we can throw at our kids. Wiggling is good for us. Wiggling is basically just a series of stretches … a continuous mini-workout, if you will. The more we move our bodies in different ways throughout the day, the more blood, lymph, cerebrospinal fluid and prana gets circulated, thus insuring that every single cell, organ, nook, and cranny is getting optimum fuel and detoxification. This keeps our energy higher and our aches and pains lessened. All good things when you have a million tasks to perform in a day
SET BOUNDARIES! It’s important to know your limits when working with a schedule that will inevitably test them on the reg. Once you are clear on what you need for yourself - or what you are unwilling to tolerate - in order to be able to successfully tackle all the demands of your day, clearly express those to anyone who could be potentially affected by them. This doesn’t have to be a harsh experience. In fact, in my experience, most people are grateful to know what the boundaries are since having this information usually leads to more efficient and mutually beneficial interactions. You can totally speak your boundaries kindly (and I would encourage you to do so), but also speak them clearly and firmly.
FUEL YOURSELF WELL! When you’re scheduled to the max, there’s no time for feeling hangry, hormonally imbalanced, or excessively weak or fatigued. Be impeccable with your nutrition choices. I’m not going to tell you what to choose, as that is highly personal, but I will suggest seeking foods with high nutrient values, high water content, and some natural sugars (ie: fruit sugars) for long-lasting vital energy. Oh, and make sure you’re getting enough calories for the amount of energetic expenditure in your day - no overeating, and no undereating!
GET ENOUGH SLEEP! This one can be tricky, I know. In fact, it’s the one I struggle with most. Sometimes at the end of a long day, all I want to do is just fall down a Pinterest hole and ‘relax’ for a while. But! There’s so much more bang for the buck when I defer that simple pleasure in exchange for going to bed at a decent hour. As Americans, many of us have been trained to operate on much less sleep than we actually need. If we look to the Natural World, we can get clues as to the amount of sleep we are designed [naturally] to be getting by the amount of dark/night hours there are. Obviously, Summer is a more active time of the year, so we can get by with less sleep during these months, but it’s still a lot more than most of us would think. For instance, today, which is just a few short days following the Solstice [the longest day of the year], there are around nine hours between sunset and sunrise. Granted, it’s different depending on where in the world you’re living, but the point is … we need sleep to recover, restore, and revitalize our bodies, minds, and spirits. This is ESPECIALLY true when working a schedule that demands 110% from us. So, make sleep a priority. And do whatever you need to do to get the best quality of sleep you can, be that installing blackout curtains in your bedroom, or sipping Sleepytime tea an hour before bedtime, or donning an eye mask and ear plugs a’la Holly Golightly. Your waking self will thank you for it.