We all know that Self-Care is good for the body, mind, and spirit, but how much of a priority are you making it in your life?
When I ask my clients to write out a list of their top five priorities (Work, kids, their marriage, their pets, volunteering, etc.), many times they look down at their paper and see that they forgot to add themselves to their own list.
When they do manage to squeeze self-care on to their list, the next hurdle they tell me is “time.”
I don’t have time to exercise.
I don’t have time to prepare healthy meals.
I don’t have time to meditate/write in my journal/quiet my mind.
We all have the same 24 hours.
We all get to choose how we want to spend it.
For many us, we choose work as our number one priority because the income we make ensures a roof over our heads and food on the table. This is totally understandable.
But what about the rest of your day?
When clients tell me they don’t have time for themselves, I invite them to keep a Time Journal. Much like how a Food Journal increases awareness in what you’re really putting in your mouth every day, a Time Journal is also an awareness tool to see where you are really spending your time.
Many Time Journals tend to include a lot of “screen time” in the form of social media and TV (your phone and tablet count, too!).
One client of mine kept a Time Journal for a week and saw that she was spending three hours a day on the computer between Facebook and browsing online shopping sites. This was a big eye-opener for her. She remedied this by removing Facebook as the home screen on her computer. By not going on Facebook first thing in the morning, she was astounded to see that she got everything done by 8:00 am, which in the past would have taken her until 11:00 am. By making this one change, she now had three hours to use on herself.
Here are six other Time-creating Tricks you can experiment with:
1. Instead of getting sucked in when scrolling through social media, save the videos you want to watch or the blog posts you want to read in a folder to view/read after you’ve taken care of yourself first.
2. Record your favorite TV shows and watch them later when you can fast-forward through the commercials.
3. When waiting for your kids while they are at sports practice, walk the track yourself or march up and down the bleachers rather than just sitting.
4. Listen to your favorite podcasts while exercising, commuting, or cooking.
5. Practice saying NO to volunteer requests unless they don’t impact your self-care routine.
6. Wake up even just fifteen minutes earlier so that you can quiet your mind with meditation, a deep breathing practice, or simply setting your intentions for the day.
When it comes to Self-Care, you don’t find the time—you make the time.
Because you are worth your own time.
Because you are worth caring for.
If you think about it, if you don’t take care of yourself and your body, who will?