Just this week, I witnessed 3 working women break down with the realization that they haven’t felt they had time for self-care. One devoted woman has been caring for her chronically ill neighbor since his recent surgery, spending every dime on meals for him and his sister, missing her beloved dog, running from home to hospital to work back to hospital. Another, a working Mom looking very tired, hair undone, told me she has not had any time for grooming due to sick kids and a travelling husband. Another, a doctor/mom seeking care for her (made worse by stress) neck pain described her life as if her hands are always holding a plate of marbles only able to focus on the marble that is rolling off.
With our modern day hectic schedules, we often put ourselves last. Things like exercise, healthy eating, and sleep need to be added to the calendar in order to be accomplished. And usually there is a trade-off such as less income, less time for relaxation or less time for family. We can’t create more minutes in a day, so what can we do?
Consider a different approach. Rather than changing your life, work on changing your state of mind. Psychologists advise modifying your mental perspective as a way to cope with any difficult situation. Pondering this and my stressful day ahead one morning, I realized that pausing to take my fiber and B complex supplements represents a tiny moment of self-care. Just realizing this gave me comfort.
When I had time to think about it more later, I realized that there ARE times we build in our day for ourselves: preparing a delicious beverage, grooming, meals, a phone call to a friend or loved one. Rushing through these rituals saves only seconds to a few minutes; time we can often actually spare.
Make this advice your own to re-visit how you see your daily routines and habits and identify those that are purely for you. Smell your coffee, give your hair an extra brush, scrub your back during your shower, call someone who makes you laugh. These seconds of self-love and self-care will pay off with moments of less stress, more happiness, and ultimately, better overall health. Enjoy the moments!