When life gets busy, self-care tends to fall to the bottom of the to-do list. The irony being that when life gets hectic, we need to look after ourselves more than ever.
I fall into bad habits quickly. Lack of time means I reach for junk food instead of eating a more balanced diet and forget how much I need sleep.
There are only so many hours in the day, and of course, there are times when self-care can’t be prioritised. So here are some simple self-care ideas to consider for when time is short.
10 quick and easy self-care ideas
1. Prioritise small life admin tasks. I’m the queen of procrastination and push any small admin tasks as far down the list as I can. It’s easy to delay something that isn’t urgent but the reality is, it still hangs over you as something to do. Give yourself sense of achievement and stop the list from building up.
2. Declutter. There is a lot of evidence which shows a clearer space is good for the mind. It gives you room to think and breathe. Prioritise one room at a time and objectively clear things you don’t use or need anymore.
3. Take time out from social media. Sure, social media can be fun. However, it can also be a time hoover and leave you with feelings of inadequacy. Switch your phone off for a set period of time and always unfollow or mute anyone who doesn’t make you feel good about yourself.
4. Check in with your body. How are you really feeling? Do a full body scan and notice signs of aches and pains. Do you need to rest? How is your mood? Understand what your emotions are telling you.
5. Breathe. There may not always be time for mindfulness practice but there is always time to breathe… Take 3 deep breaths and use the moment to pause and reflect in a busy day.
6. Pay it forward. This may not sound like a self-care strategy, however, doing random acts of kindness helps uplift us and feel more positive. Try leaving a bottle of water for a homeless person in summer or buy a coffee for the person in front of you. Small acts can make a big difference.
7. Gratitude. My gratitude practice often falls to the bottom of the list when I get busy. During those times, take a few minutes out of the day to notice what you feel grateful for.
8. Walk outside. We should all try to have 15 minutes outside to make sure we’re getting enough Vitamin D. I try to take some time away from listening to music and really notice the world around me. It’s important to see the beauty in everyday life.
9. Give yourself permission to take time off. I will sit down to read a book and within minutes get up to start putting the washing away or some equally innocuous domestic task. I struggle to make time just for me. It’s important to remember, we all need breaks and no one’s energy is limitless.
10. Do something just for you. I know baths and candles are a bit of a joke when it comes to self-care. However, there is something in the idea of taking time out just for yourself. We all deserve a break.