Do you have time for self-care? This is something parents and other busy people can struggle with - for an example of one of my typical days see The reality of self-care and parenting.
STEP 1. Make a list of all the things you WANT to do for yourself. These are your desires for self-care. See if you have something from each of the below categories.
❤️PHYSICAL SELF CARE: Exercise/movement, Nutrition/diet, Sleep, regular medical check ups.
❤️PSYCHOLOGICAL SELF CARE: boundaries, healthy thinking, managing stress, challenging yourself, learning new things.
❤️EMOTIONAL SELF CARE: awareness and acceptance of emotions, resilience, finding joy, respecting and accepting self.
❤️CONNECTIONS: developing relationships with family, friends, others and community that minimise loneliness. Connecting with nature.
❤️MEANING: finding the meaning in your life.
STEP 2. Look at the list. If you did these things would it help you be more rested, calmer, fit, happier? If not, what else is needed. Add that to your list.
STEP 3. Sort the items in order of importance
Now it’s time for a reality check.
STEP 4. Have a look at your schedule. What have you allocated time for at the moment? Are any of these things on your list? For most people the answer is – not many.
Pedram Shojai OMD, echoes most of our knowledge around time management – if you don’t schedule it, it doesn’t happen. If it is important, block it out on your calendar/diary.
STEP 5. Reshuffle your schedule for tomorrow so that you can fit at least one of your most important self-care things in. Then do this with every other day for the next week. (I wonder what you have dropped and what you have added in).
STEP 6. How can you honour these new commitments? Is the activity you want to schedule something you can do with a friend? Is it something you need to book? Pay for? When is the best time of the day for it? Think of what you can pair it with to help you remember to do it. Remind yourself of why this is important http://bit.ly/prioritisingselfcare.
STEP 7. Practice saying ‘No’ to things and other people’s requests that will mean you sacrifice your self-care.
ps. One of the things self-help books are good at is giving you lots of information, a lot of general information that may or may not be right for you. That’s why we offer a couple of online course options which dive down deeper into helping you create a schedule that works for you, whilst giving you support about how to actually make these changes. Check these out at the Inner Calm, Connection and Confidence Hub.
* My aim is for these posts is meant to useful, interesting and/or inspiring. They are not designed to be used for therapy.. If you are experiencing stress please contact your GP or mental health professional.
Kim Ross is a Psychologist and Founder of Positive Young Minds and Essential Self-Care for Psychologists.