How to Find Time for Self-Care
Yoga, meditation, self-love, forgiveness, mirror-work, exercise, nature, service, chanting, breath work, journaling, massage, naps, making nurturing foods, etc., there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to carry out all of the self-care practices we hear about.
With all the pressures put on us daily such as work, family, household chores and caregiving responsibilities “Is Self-Care Selfish?”
Many people equate self-care with taking a day off work, going to the spa, or nipping a few minutes between chores to read a book. For others however, self-care isn’t even a part of their routine, let alone a word in their vocabulary.
“How can you take care of others if you don’t take care of YOURSELF first?”
This was never more evident than the day I found myself driving to my morning surf/swim when I started getting a little annoyed with someone driving very close to behind me. It was 8am and they were most likely rushing to work to make a morning meeting or meet a deadline.
Even though I knew better than to let it get to me, I still felt hijacked from the state of gratitude I was in for the freedom to go enjoy the ocean.
In an attempt to self-care, I decided to delve deeper and discover what this experience had to teach me about greater peace and happiness.
However, instead of happiness I felt angry. I felt angry because “there wasn’t enough.”
“There wasn’t enough what?”
“Time for what?”
“For me.” A little voice said.
Anger led to fear and hurt, as I realized that I wasn’t giving myself enough attention or LOVE.
The moment my conscious self heard and saw what was going on a liberation unfolded and the annoyance evaporated.
Later a friend advised me that she builds self-love and self-care into her gratitude practice. She makes it part of her daily routine just like brushing her hair and teeth. Every night she tells herself: “I’m so grateful and thankful for all YOUR accomplishments Linda and I really appreciate you and all your hard work.”
You see, I had been working hard on multiple projects. I had my head down and was creating what felt like great work yet I was starting to feel out of balance. Psychological self-care involves building in appreciation and self-love into your life. Affirmation and gratitude give much needed energy and helps you connect to the part of YOURSELF that yearns to be told more.
Whether it is being courageous, playful, joyful, anxious, afraid, lonely, sad, or loving, emotional self-care involves taking the time to identify and accept your feelings. When you take care of yourself emotionally, you learn to appreciate yourself and love yourself just as you are…including all your humanness and imperfections. Praise and love yourself for the SMALL steps. Instead of focusing on negativity, as 9 Strategies to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Avoid a Breakdown suggests: “embrace the positive traits of yourself and your life.”
Love yourself just for being YOU.
What does self-care mean to you? How do you take care of yourself? What areas do you need to work on?