Self-care is a process. It requires practice and dedication if you are to follow through. Don’t be discouraged if it takes time to integrate this new concept into your life. It will get easier, and you will probably crave your self-care activities so much that you will wonder how you ever lived without them. However, there will inevitably be times when you are busier or stressed and self-care falls by the wayside. When that happens to you, take these tips to heart so you can continue to take care of yourself in the future.
Follow your gut
Sometimes we get so busy that we live on autopilot. This is only natural during hectic times, but it’s important to try to listen to your instincts during these times to know if you need a boost. If you’re feeling particularly exhausted or tired, it’s not a sign that you need to push yourself harder. Your body and mind are telling you that you need a break. Listen to them. Also watch for other unusual signs that you are out of balance, such as irritability, poor eating, lack of sleep, or bad habits. These things tell you to take care of yourself.
Schedule it in
One trick that helps some people build self-care into their schedule when life is very hectic is to write it into their schedule. Treat your self-care commitments like any other appointment or event. Write down the time you will start and end. Try to be specific about the activity you will be doing. If you do this, chances increase that you will follow through on your commitments. It’s easy to put yourself on hold when life gets crazy, but remember that these are the times when you need self-care the most.
Create a plan
Developing a plan for self-care is critical to your well-being. In a previous blog post, I shared some ideas on how to do this. Let’s review because it’s so important to have a self-care toolbox available during life’s most hectic and stressful times. Keep your emergency self-care list and care package together so you have them readily available when needed. Also, make sure you have a list of trusted contacts to call when you need encouragement and accountability for your self-care. Your tribe can give you the motivation and support you need to take care of yourself.
A final word. Take the time to regularly review your self-care needs. This will also help you stay on track. About once a week, ask yourself if you are giving yourself enough time and attention. Listen to your instincts. Adjust it as needed. Self-care is an ongoing and evolving process. It requires your constant attention.
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