Self-care is a process. Don’t get discouraged if it takes time to make this new concept a part of your life. It requires practice and dedication in order for the habit to stick. Trust me, it’ll get easier - after all practice makes perfect! You’ll probably find yourself craving your self-care activities so much you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. However, there will inevitably be times that are busier or more stressful when self-care may go by the wayside. If you find that happening, be sure to follow these tips to continue to take care of yourself going forward.
Follow Your Gut
Sometimes we get so busy that we find ourselves on auto-pilot. That’s expected during hectic times, but it’s critical that you make an attempt to listen to your instincts during these times to know whether you’re in need of a boost, a pause. When you start to feel especially frazzled or fatigued, that’s not a cue to double down and work harder. It’s your body and mind telling you that you need a break. Listen to them. Along these lines, look for other unusual signs that things are off balance with you such as irritability, eating poorly, losing sleep or indulging in bad habits. These signs are telling you to take a pause and look out for number one.
Schedule It In
A trick that helps some people to fit self-care into their schedules when life gets busy is to actually schedule it in their calendar. Treat your self-care commitments like any other appointment or event. Write down the time you’ll start and finish. Try to be specific about the activity you’ll engage in. Doing these things will encourage you to follow through. It’s easy to put yourself on the backburner when life gets hectic, but don’t forget that these are the times you need self-care the most.
Create a Plan
Developing a self-care plan is crucial to maintaining your well-being. I shared some ideas in a previous blog post about how to do this. Let’s review a bit, as it’s so important to have a self-care toolkit at your disposal during life’s busiest and most stressful periods. Keep your emergency self-care list and your care package together so they’re easily accessed when you need them. Make sure there’s a list of trusted friends and family to call when you might need some self-care encouragement and accountability. Your tribe can provide the motivation and support you need to take care of yourself.
One final word. Take time to assess your self-care needs regularly. This will also help to keep you on track. Ask yourself at least once a week to reflect and see if you’re giving yourself enough time and attention. Listen to your instincts. Make adjustments as necessary. Self-care is an ongoing and evolving process. It requires your constant attention.