Self-care is an important part of good physical and mental health. That includes making time for yourself. When you let yourself relax and de-stress, you experience a better overall quality of life. These practices lead to improved brain function and will boost your mood.
When you feel relaxed with a clear mind, you will make better decisions. Your body will also have more time to rejuvenate and repair itself.
Unfortunately, today’s hectic modern lifestyle doesn’t always leave time to step away. Jobs, families, and social commitments can take up a lot of hours during the average week. And there must be enough time left to get adequate rest as well.
There are ways to fit in some quiet time, even if you are busy. It may require planning but will be well worth it. What can you do to work more self-care time into your schedule?
Plan for Shorter Sessions Throughout the Day
Hours of alone time would be nice, but it isn’t always feasible. If you are struggling to make time for longer sessions, try shorter ones instead. Even a few minutes here and there can make a big difference in your wellbeing.
Look for times when you can escape for a little while, like on your lunch hour at work. Maybe you can go outside for a little while around dinner time or in the morning before everyone else is awake.
Prioritize Yourself Because You Deserve It
You deserve to have the time and space to care for your mental health. Remember to prioritize alone time just as you would eating or sleeping. It isn’t an indulgence, it’s something you deserve.
There are people who count on you. It may be your children, spouse, friends, family, or coworkers. In many cases, it is a combination of two or more of those. These people need you to be at your best. You can’t do that if you aren’t taking care of yourself.
By giving yourself the time you need, you will be prepared to give the people who need you the care and attention that they need. It helps everyone stay healthy and happy!
Me Time Doesn’t Have to be Complicated
Me time doesn’t have to be complicated or elaborate. While scheduling a massage is nice, it isn’t a reasonable expectation on a daily or weekly basis for most people. Your downtime can involve simple pleasures, like sitting in the sun for 5 or 10 minutes or taking a walk at lunchtime.
Doing these things alone is recommended. This gives you an opportunity to process and unwind without distractions or outside influences.
Increase Your Waking Hours by Getting Up Earlier
If you struggle to fit alone time into an average day, consider an earlier start. Waking up an hour or so early will give you an opportunity for peace and quiet. Use this time to do whatever helps you unwind, whether it’s reading a book, exercising, or just silently sipping on tea or coffee.
Women’s Health reported that people who rise earlier tend to be more cheerful and proactive. They are also less prone to depression. Shifting your schedule to start earlier might give you more benefits along with the opportunity for alone time.
Just make sure that you are going to bed earlier as well. Your mind and body still need a full night’s rest to give optimum performance.
Reframe How You View Your Self-Care Time
Some women feel guilty for taking time out for themselves. It is time to reframe that way of thinking. You are not selfish for doing something that is a necessity.
Make your alone time a commitment. It should be included in your schedule as something that isn’t infringed upon by other requests or responsibilities. Instead of thinking that you are selfish, tell yourself you deserve it. It’s a part of your personal wellness plan, which should be a top priority.
Know That It’s Ok to Let Go and Ask for Help
Many of us want to stay in complete control, which can make us feel as though we have to do all or most things ourselves. It is ok to relinquish control and ask for help. If you have too much going on, see if someone can shoulder some of the burden for you.
You may need to evaluate what causes you to not want to let go. Look for areas that are particularly difficult and find ways to overcome those feelings.
There may be things you don’t have time to do – and that’s ok!
Learn How to Say No to Commitments
Saying no sounds so easy, but it isn’t for everyone. Declining a request from another person can feel like a negative. Most people want to be able to help when someone requests it or participate in an event when invited. A fear of conflict often keeps us from saying no when we probably should.
This is another habit that is hard to break, but not impossible. If it helps, practice polite ways to decline invitations or requests. The more you do it, the easier it will get.
Write Out a Schedule That Includes Your Alone Time
Self-care takes some planning. Write out a schedule that includes all your necessary commitments – including your alone time. When it’s right there next to work and other responsibilities, it will be easier to remember to stick to it.
You can also plan out what you will do during your alone time. That way you can get right to doing what you enjoy for the full duration of your self-care session. It’s your schedule, so you can always change your mind when the time comes. Having a plan will give you a start or help guide you as you get used to practicing this form of self-care.
Physical and mental health are both important for all women. Visit Complete Women’s Healthcare to learn more or to schedule a check-up.