It’s far too easy to lose sight of what you need. Rather unhelpfully, the busier we get, the less time we take to look after ourselves… and this is when we most need it. It’s very easy to say that you need to take time to incorporate self-care into your routine, but what happens when you just get too busy?
One of the answers is to just stop. Stop and plan. Yes… I know I’m obsessed with planning and organisation. I’m a professional organiser; so shoot me. Anyway. When you realise that you need to take some time out, and you just don’t know where to start, it’s helpful to take stock of what’s missing in your daily life, and how you can start to realistically address it.
The next step is to start your day with taking a moment to be intentional and to limit your tasks to those that really work with your priorities, and to just dump the rest on paper. Take a moment to think about how you’ll get the basics done, like attending appointments and making time to make some nourishing food.
After you’ve got the building blocks in place, it’s time to think about what you’ll do that’s just for you. Is it a relaxing bath? A cup of tea in peace? A walk in the woods on your own? Devouring a chapter in your favourite book?
To help you do this without your thoughts intruding on your relaxing time, take a minute to write down what’s hanging over you. Is it your job, an argument you had last night, something someone said? Then most importantly, consider whether this is something you can actually fix. Right now. If it is, just do it. If it’s a big thing, just make a start on it. If it’s not, then let it go. This is rumination, and it won’t help anything. Accept that it’s there in the background and just carry on.
At the end of the day, take some time to think about gratitude. The psychological benefits of a gratitude habit have been well established, but it’s easy to neglect this when you’re feeling busy, overwhelmed and in a state of rumination. Aim to identify three things from your day; whether it’s a sunny spell, a head-boop from your cat or just the snuggly feeling of your feet in fluffy slippers.
More importantly, repeat. Again and again, until you’re starting to see clearly and feel a little more human. Download and print out a batch of these daily self-care planners and take some time out. You’re probably too busy not to. (Download links under the image)