Is Self-Care on Your Calendar?
Life is hectic.
With rigorous schedules, career obligations, and familial responsibilities, it can often feel like there is not enough time in the day to get everything done. Self-care is badly needed in the hustle and bustle of life but always seems to be at the bottom of your never-ending to-do list.
If you consistently feel stretched thin and like you have no time for yourself, you may want to consider scheduling your self-care routine.
When you don’t feel your best, you can’t show up as the best version of yourself at work or for the ones you love. And while self-care is not the cure for all your problems, it plays a crucial role in building and maintaining your resilience to cumulative stress.
It would help if you considered penciling self-care sessions into your daily or weekly schedule to create a consistent and conscious effort to prioritize yourself.
Why should I schedule self-care?
The brutal truth of the matter is that life is not going to slow down anytime soon. There will always be a never-ending to-do list, things that pop up unexpectedly, and a list of chores and obligations to be fulfilled.
In the rush of the daily cycle, you find yourself running against a clock to achieve all of your tasks and goals. Once you finally have that fleeting moment to slow down and breathe – you reflect and realize that the last intentional and meaningful thing you did in terms of self-care was over a month ago!
Self-care is often lower on the priority list and is frequently brushed aside in the wake of other tasks requiring immediate attention. However, if you strategically schedule self-care into your weekly routine, you will find yourself practicing self-care more frequently, consistently, and effectively.
In this sweet spot, you’ll also find that self-care evolves into a preventative and rejuvenating experience instead of a desperate cure for elevated levels of stress and burnout.
What are the best ways to schedule self-care effectively and stick with it?
The keys to effectively scheduling self-care are to be organized, plan, and stick with your schedule once you’ve established it. Here are three of the best tips to plan a self-care schedule.
Organization is the key to effective planning.
Using a physical or digital planner, write down your schedule. If you have children that go to school or participate in after-school activities, be sure to jot those down too.
Writing your weekly schedule down allows you to have a better overall view of everything that is going on. In addition, it will make it easier to identify gaps in time or consistent patterns in the overall schedule where you may have a block of free time.
Claim these blocks of free time for yourself! Whether it’s every other day for 45 minutes or a two-hour window every Wednesday afternoon, it’s yours to claim and do as you please.
Use your PTO!
We must repeat it. Use your paid time off.
If you’re not using your paid time off, you are missing out on one of the most fundamental tools employers use to promote the well-being of their employees.
PTO gives you time to step back, refresh, and enjoy life – without worrying about whether or not your next paycheck will be short. You should always take advantage of it!
While most people use PTO to take week-long vacations, it’s incredibly flexible and can be an excellent tool in your arsenal to help you schedule some self-care. Instead of taking an entire week off from work, consider taking off a Monday or Friday to enjoy an extended weekend. If you don’t have a lot of PTO, you can also consider doing a half-day on Fridays.
The possibilities are virtually endless, and using it with your weekly planner can effectively carve out some quality self-care time for yourself.
Communication is key!
Everyone needs support, and communication with your loved ones is the key.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and to say “no” when you need to!
While it may be challenging initially, remember that your family and friends care for you. They have your best interest at heart and are willing to help you and respect your boundaries. The key is to have open lines of communication to facilitate mutual understanding.
If you have children and need some alone time, lean on your support system for assistance. Ask someone you trust, such as your significant other, close family members, or even a dependable friend, to take the children out for the day! Then, enjoy the peace, knowing your children are in safe hands, and relax.
Don’t be afraid to say no! If you’re feeling stressed out and need time to decompress, don’t feel guilty for taking time for yourself and enforcing your boundaries. It may mean skipping a girl’s night out on the town or letting the phone go to voicemail when your overly dramatic cousin calls. Your friends and family will understand if you’re open with them.
How can I practice self-care with minimal free time?
What do you do if you genuinely have little to no free time?
You may not have enough time to indulge, but you can still squeeze a little self-care into your day by “romanticizing” your current routine.
This technique will take little to no extra time out of your day and make your daily routine much more enjoyable. You will follow your regimen as usual but add additional elements that transform, or “romanticize,” the norm into a more elevated experience.
These elements can be as simple as putting on relaxing music as you get ready, lighting your favorite candle, or as intricate as a five-minute massage for your aching feet before bedtime.
You only have 15 minutes to shower before you bolt out the door? Elevate your shower and turn it into an oasis getaway by spraying a mist with essential oils in the shower stall before turning on the hot water.
Are you exhausted and ready for bed? After you’ve finished your regular skincare routine, take three more minutes to indulge in a relaxing facial massage. Use your favorite facial oil and a gua sha tool to massage the face and release tension.
There are plenty of ways to romanticize your daily routine; you must get creative!
Make time for yourself!
If you’ve been stretched thin, it’s time to make time for yourself and put self-care on your calendar.
When you frequently, consistently, and effectively practice self-care, it evolves into a rejuvenating experience that will help you regulate your stress levels and increase your resilience.
Prioritize your well-being so you can show up as your best version of yourself daily!
About The Author
Jasmine is a writer who is passionate about self-care and skincare. She has over eight years of experience in specialty retail in the bath, body, and personal care industries.