It’s not that we don’t want to take care of ourselves; it’s just that life is busy. Work, family, friends, and other commitments all compete for our time so much so that sometimes it feels like there isn’t any left for us. But what if you could make some changes in your routine to carve out more time for yourself? Whether it’s spending time in nature, getting lost in a book, or taking up a new hobby, find out how to take some time for yourself with these 10 ways!
Reframe your view of self-care
Self-care means different things to different people. For some, it might be meditating every day or sneaking off to the gym. For others, it’s getting enough sleep or staying off social media. It can be anything from taking a bubble bath to practicing yoga. In other words, self-care is whatever renews and restores you. You don’t have to go all out or spend a lot of money to practice self-care.
It’s simply about doing something that makes you feel good. So write down a list of things that make you feel refreshed and renewed. If you’re stumped, consider what you’d do if someone paid you a compliment. Whatever it is, though, remember that self-care is not selfish or indulgent; it’s essential for keeping up with your daily tasks. Don’t wait until something bad happens to start making time for yourself.
Make sleep a priority
When’s the last time you had eight hours of uninterrupted shut-eye? Chances are it’s been a while – or, more likely, never! This is because we humans are “short sleepers,” meaning most adults need about seven to nine hours of sleep each night to function properly during the day.
Sleep deprivation negatively affects your mood, cognitive ability, and even your immune system. So if you’re feeling irritable or sluggish all the time, it might be because you’re not getting enough sleep. Make sleep a priority by going to bed at the same time each night and giving yourself plenty of time to unwind before turning in for the night.
Get some fresh air
Next time your schedule is packed and you don’t know how to add any more activities, consider swapping one of them for a visit outside. Spending time in nature can make you feel refreshed and renewed in no time, especially when the weather’s nice! It only takes about 20 minutes or so before your body starts to respond to the physical changes that happen when you step outside. For example, exposure to sunlight triggers your body to make vitamin D, which is important for immunity and brain function. Plus, getting at least 20 minutes of exposure helps keep blood sugar levels steady throughout the day.
There are many ways to enjoy the outdoors – go on a hike, stroll around a park, or read a book in your backyard. You can even try simple things like taking your lunch to the park instead of inside at your desk. Or simply spend some time watching the leaves change color as you sit on your porch with a glass of lemonade in hand! You can even bring nature inside by decorating with plants and flowers. So breathe deep, get outside, and enjoy the benefits of fresh air.
Try something new
If you feel like you’ve already tried everything there is to try, it might be time to step out of your comfort zone and try something completely different! There are endless possibilities to choose from, whether that’s cooking Indian food or learning how to knit. The point isn’t that you’ll become great at the activity you choose; it’s simply about having fun while learning something new.
So pick something that seems interesting, whether it’s based on a recommendation from someone else or just your imagination. Now go ahead and try it! Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from doing what makes you happy. The only way to experience success is by trying, even if you don’t end up loving it. And once you’ve tried it, remember that nothing is stopping you from trying something else in the future.
Practice saying “no” when necessary
It’s perfectly acceptable to say “yes” to one commitment, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only option you have. The word “no” is a complete sentence, and people should respect your boundaries when you use it. If you notice that you’re overextending yourself, then it might be time to start saying “no” more often.
This doesn’t mean you have to become rude, but it’s important to practice setting boundaries so that people will respect your decision when you do say “no.” For instance, if a friend asks you to go out for the third night in a row, it’s perfectly fine to tell them that you’d love to but are looking forward to staying in for the night.
Meditation helps quiet the mind so that you can focus on what matters – whether that’s your breathing or a mantra. Research shows that just a few minutes of meditation each day can lead to better sleep, more happiness, and decreased stress.
The best part about meditating is there are countless ways to do it – you just have to find what works for you! You can use guided meditations from an app on your phone, practice mindful meditation by focusing on your breath or observing things around you or listen to binaural beats that help induce states of consciousness associated with creativity and focus. You can even do all three!
Spend time with friends and family
When you’re in a relationship, it’s easy to talk about spending more time together and making plans for the future. But when you’re single, it can be easy to slip into a pattern of isolating yourself from others. This is understandable – after all, there are only so many hours in a day, and you have to do things you enjoy. But, after a while, days or even weeks can go by without spending any time with friends and family members who care about you.
It’s important not to let yourself get so caught up in going out and having fun that you forget how much your loved ones mean to you. It’s easy to get swept up in a fun night out and overlook everything going on back home. Make it a priority to schedule time with friends and family, even if it’s only a short dinner or movie date.
Take a break from your phone and computer
It may seem like technology helps us stay organized and accomplish more tasks in less time, but it can also hinder our self-care routines. Constantly checking social media sites or getting sucked in by a video on YouTube can make you feel rushed and stressed, which only makes it harder to focus on doing things that make you feel good. So why not disconnect from your devices for an hour or two?
You could turn off your phone, close out of all your tabs, and read a book. Or simply take a break and go on a walk outside. There are countless ways to take some time for yourself and unplug from the electronics that monopolize our lives. So, unplug and recharge!
This may seem counterproductive, but scheduling time for yourself can actually make it more likely that you’ll follow through. If you sit down and write out a to-do list every night, then you’re going to prioritize your self-care activities at the top of that list because you’ve already made up your mind to do something good for yourself.
If you make plans with friends, tackle chores around the house, catch up on your favorite show, or do anything else you enjoy doing, then it’s less likely that other tasks are going to get pushed back. You’ll be more motivated to exercise if you’ve made work out an appointment for yourself. And, after all, there’s nothing wrong with scheduling a little time for yourself so you can sit back and relax.
Remember, you’re human
It’s easy to forget that you’re just a person, especially if you’re constantly taking care of everyone else instead of yourself. But it’s important to remember to take some time for yourself every day because there will be plenty of other people in your life who need something from you. You don’t want to neglect the most important person in your life – you!
However, self-care should never come at the expense of neglecting those who care about you. And if taking some time out is something you can do with a loved one, such as reading together or working on a shared hobby, then it might be even more fulfilling.
If you follow these 10 steps, you may find yourself more relaxed and rejuvenated after taking some time out for yourself every day. It might be as simple as taking a walk in the park or spending an hour by yourself, but there are countless ways to take care of your mental health. So what are you waiting for? There’s no better time than now to make time for yourself!
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