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We all know that self-care should be a priority. But most of us don't have the time to make it a priority.
Here's something you probably didn't know: the busier you are, the more self-care you need. Doctors like Dr. Christiane Northrup found that "too much work can lead to serious health problems". If you do not engage in self-care according to your busyness, you create an internal imbalance that leads to higher levels of stress and a decline in health and happiness.
Self-care is necessary for your optimal health and survival on this planet. If you really want to be successful in your business and personal life, it is time to add nourishment to your routine. Feeling refreshed from the inside out gives you more energy, creativity, and more space for problem solving and time for the things you love.
Here are five ways to incorporate self-care into your busy schedule:
Decide that self-care is a priority
Making self-care a priority is harder if you haven't made up your mind to do it. A wishy-washy commitment to self-care won't make it. If you really want to take care of yourself, you should decide to make this one of the top three priorities in your life. The International Center of Self-Care Research identified one of the difficulties in implementing self-care in changing old behaviors. Making self-care a priority will help your desire to build a new habit. Your inner commitment leads to outer action to aid your decision.
Related: How important it is to respect your priorities
Add self care to your calendar
If it's not on your calendar, it might as well not happen! As you start something new or move on to the next level, a plan will help you lay the groundwork for it. Once you've made a decision, it's time to create a plan and take the time to do it. On what days or at what time do you commit to self-care? First, decide when you will be engaging in self-care, add it to your calendar, and then decide what you are going to do. If you're just starting out, choose 1-3 days to schedule self-care. There are numerous self-care activities that you can undertake, ranging from taking care of your body, mind, and spirit. You may plan to exercise for 30 minutes, take a long bath after work, or prepare a nutritious meal for yourself. Think about what rejuvenates and energizes you. Set aside a certain amount of time for self-care to reap the benefits.
Related: The Benefits of Blocked Times on Your Priority Task Calendar
Start with 10 minutes
Not sure where or how to start? Start with 10 minutes. Self-care doesn't have to take long, it just has to happen. A 10-minute break can do wonders for your body and soul. According to this Cornell University study, just 10 minutes in a natural setting can improve mood and lower blood pressure.
You can spread 10 minute breaks over your working day. For example, you can plan a 10-minute self-sufficiency break after every two hours of work. During those 10 minutes, you can go outside and bask in the sun, take a walk around the block, turn on your favorite music, or read 10 pages of a book that will keep you energized. Most importantly, you turn off all distractions during those 10 minutes. Taking a real break gives your brain and eyes a break, so make sure to keep your surroundings as digital as possible during this time.
Related: 10 Easy Ways to Take Care of Yourself
Show yourself to your appointment
This is the most important step, and if it doesn't happen, it will ruin everything else. How can you stay true to your word and implement your decision? Punctuality at doctor's appointments, hairdresser appointments and job interviews is particularly important to us. Why aren't we so special to show up for appointments with ourselves? This is prime time meaning. You can do all of the planning and scheduling in the world, but if you don't show up for your self-catering appointment, you might as well have wasted your time planning. This is where the magic happens when you show up. Make a commitment to show up for your self-care appointment as you would if you were meeting someone else.
Stop worrying about getting it right and do something
Since self-care is a buzzword, people get caught up in what the "right way" is to do it. Don't let this question and worry stop you from taking care of yourself. The truth is that self-care is a personal act. What is self-care for you can be annoying to others. Some people love music and dance, others love rest and reading. This is your opportunity to discover your self-care preferences. On a very basic level, self-care brings focus back on you and your needs. What do you need right now? What will help you to be successful? Test, test and evaluate. Don't think too much about it and do this self care thing.
When you sprinkle self-care into your busy schedule, it becomes a habit. It will feel less like a planning exercise as your body has a natural tendency to do it the more you do it. It's okay if you encounter resistance at the beginning, it's completely natural. Our brain always finds a way to stay in our comfort zone because it feels safe and familiar. Don't let this discourage you and instead focus on breaking that launch barrier with a 30-90 day launch commitment. For this reason, scheduling is convenient at first.
Don't consider self-care a chore. Instead, think of it as adding joys to your day that will nourish and energize you. You will soon find out what advantages you are getting from these little promotions and look forward to your self-catering breaks.
Related: How To Adjust Self-Care During Your Crazy, Busy Days