Self-care is a process. It requires practice and dedication if you want to make it stick. Don’t get discouraged if it takes time to make this new concept a part of your life. It’ll get easier, and 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 strategies to continue to take care of yourself going forward.
Follow Your Gut
Sometimes we get so busy that we find ourselves living on auto-pilot. That’s only natural 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. 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 things are telling you to take care of yourself.
Schedule It In
A trick that helps some people to fit self-care into their schedules when life gets busy is to actually write it in their date book or 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 increase the odds that you’ll actually follow through. It’s easy to put yourself on the backburner when life gets crazy, 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. You also make sure there’s a list of trusted contacts 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 once a week or so 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.