Making time for yourself is not always the easiest thing to do. At times it can seem as though days go by with not a spare moment for you to simply breathe. I think we’ve all been there at one point or another. And oftentimes what we need is simple: self-care.
Self-care is one of the first things we put off in our busy days. It’s easy to take care of others first, whether at work or home and continue to put yourself last.
The problem with this routine is that it can lead to burnout. Burnout happens when you are stressed, overwhelmed, and experience exhaustion – either physically or mentally. Unfortunately, burnout is quite common.
The remedy for burnout is typically a form of self-care. Taking time for yourself, away from the stressors in your life, and allowing yourself to enjoy that time.
Why It’s Important to Focus on Self-Care
Over time as you lose a sense of yourself to others’ needs or responsibilities your stress levels rise, you may experience anxiety, and that could ultimately lead to hypertension.
When you take time for yourself you allow yourself to relax and decompress. Giving yourself much-needed time to enjoy what you love leads to happiness and positivity.
Even just a few minutes a day can make a huge difference. Sit outside in nature, do a crossword puzzle, or find an online yoga program and dust off your old mat.
Once you build time for self-care into your daily routine you will notice its benefits. Therefore, prioritize giving yourself a few minutes here and there during your day for it.
The Benefits of Self-Care
There are many benefits to making time for yourself and once you start to incorporate more self-care outlets into your life you will begin to notice the subtle changes in your daily life. Here are just a few you can look forward to:
- Leads to stronger relationships: When you are happier and less stressed it is apparent in your relationships with other people. You’re able to be more authentic and enjoy yourself in the company of others. You can focus on your relationships and give them the time and attention they deserve. Your friends and family will see that you value yourself and your time – and will respect you for it.
- Find and appreciate your authentic self: You can devote attention to who you are and what you want. Look internally into your priorities, needs, and desires. You will find it easier to be honest with yourself as you are more relaxed and able to be more open with yourself. You will create a stronger understanding of yourself and have time to consider your needs through self-care and ways to adjust what you give yourself.
- Protects your mental health: When you take a breather, a moment to yourself, during your hectic day and schedule, you give your mind time to relax and decompress. You allow yourself to process your stressors and balance them with what makes you happy. That leads to a clearer and healthier mind, a more relaxed state, and an internal understanding of self.
- Reduces stress: Allowing your mind and body to relax from the constant to-do list of your life helps alleviate stress. Give your mind time to calm by spending a few minutes in nature, getting a massage, or even taking a few deep breaths. It may not seem natural at first if it’s new for you. However, once you learn how to ‘shut it off’ for a few minutes you will find that quieting your mind can increase your positivity.
- Increases productivity: Not only can self-care increase your positivity by reducing stress, it can also increase your productivity. Have you ever stepped away from a stressful project, maybe gotten a cup of coffee, and then reapproached what you’re stuck on with fresh eyes? That’s what self-care can do for you. It allows you to step away for a moment and then come back with more clarity.
How to Prioritize Yourself Without the Guilt
It’s interesting how the people who need to prioritize themselves are the ones that oftentimes are everyone else’s rock. You’re the person that your family, friends, and colleagues rely on in one way or another. And while that isn’t a bad thing, you can find yourself too wrapped up to find time for yourself.
And sometimes you just need someone to tell you it’s okay to take a minute, or five, for yourself. Take the time for yourself. Don’t feel guilty about it. Because in the long run you will be better for it. For yourself and for those who depend on you.
When you’re connected with yourself and not running on empty you’re that much stronger for those you support. Your mind will be clearer, your patience more abundant, and your attention more focused.
And the people you may have guilt over for taking some time for yourself will appreciate the improved you. They will notice the changes in you and be happy for you.
Ideas for Personal Time
Once you have committed to finding time for yourself, the next step is figuring out how to spend that time. Think of things you feel lack in your life or you wish you had more time for. Maybe it’s working out, testing new recipes, or learning a new hobby.
Here are a few ideas:
|Meditating||Starting a Side Hustle||Crafting|
|Learning Something New||Baking||Spending Time with Friends|
Categorizing areas of your life can help when considering where to start with incorporating self-care into it. Maybe start with one area and one activity to focus on. Certainly don’t overwhelm yourself trying to include all categories at once. Start small and continue to build over time as you realize just how beneficial it is.
Here are a few areas that may be a good place to start: physical, environmental, intellectual, occupational, financial, spiritual, and emotional.
Consider creating a morning routine to automatically build in self-care time into your day. Learn more about morning routines in this article.
Have fun with your personal time. Enjoy yourself, find what brings you happiness, and love every moment of it.