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5 Simple Ways for Busy People
to Prioritize Self-Care

How to prioritize self care in your daily routine

Time is very precious in a fast-paced world. Many people cannot spare an hour or two for pampering, manicures, pedicures, massages, etc. This does not mean we shouldn’t be putting ourselves first. Whether it’s taking the stairs at work every day, treating yourself to a mani-pedi, or clearing your mind, everyone deserves some stress relief and self-care no matter how busy each day may be.

People are finding bizarre ways to relieve stress and prioritize self-care these days; goat yoga, beer baths, faking smiles, or simply drinking orange juice. The great news is you don’t need to travel to Prague to visit a beer spa or participate in goat yoga to find some self-care. Enough wasting time, you should be using this time to love yourself. Here are five simple ways in which busy people can prioritize self-care.

Electronic 'breathe' sign in a tree
There is nothing selfish about putting yourself first. Because, if you care for others and the
others care for themselves, who's going to care for you?! (Image: Tim Goedhart by Unsplash)

1. “Self-Care” is not “Self-ish”

Unfortunately, many people view the act of putting yourself first a “selfish act.” This is simply not the case. Rethinking the stigmas surrounding self-care is the first thing busy people can do to prioritize taking care of themselves. Dr. Jessica Michaelson, a clinical psychologist who specializes in helping adults find joy in their busy lives, has crafted a three-step process to enacting self-care in our daily routines. Learning to pay attention to your smallest needs and taking small actions to satisfy them are just the beginning.

2. Create a “Won’t” List

An easy and important way to prioritize self-care is recognizing the things that cause you stress. Something simple that we can all do is put those things on paper and review them. Think of situations that cause you stress. These are usually things that you don’t intend to do, but do anyways.

Is it a complicated project that simply cannot be done? A deadline that’s not realistic? Create a list of the things you won’t do. It’s okay to say “no” to things, projects, or tasks that are going to burden you with a load of unnecessary stress. This “won’t” list will help you stop feeling guilty about saying “no” and free up both time and headspace.

3. Designate a Sacred Space

Our lives can be very noisy. Amongst work, family, friends, social media, and a host of other noise, life can be loud! It’s important to find a spot in your home and designate it as your own personal retreat. According to House Method, you can easily create a sacred space to rest and relax. Find a quiet place in your home (like a small kitchen nook or the corner of your bedroom) and designate this space as an area where you can go to when you need to escape the noise.

4. Show Gratitude

Have you ever taken a moment to recognize the things that you’re grateful for? Write a list or silently manifest some of the things that you can give thanks to. You can manifest your gratitude for your family and friends, or things like the warmth of the sun on your face or running water. Psychology Today identified scientifically proven benefits to showing gratitude, such as improved mood and healthier relationships. Whether you choose to make a list or quietly show gratitude, it’s sure to make you feel better about yourself and about life.

5. Create a Self-Care Routine

It may be difficult to shake the “people-pleasing” side of yourself, but it’s important to do the things that make you feel good. Give yourself the time to create a self-care routine to treat yourself to some personal pampering. Hold yourself accountable to your personal routine. If facemasks are for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, do it! If you want to treat yourself to ice cream on Fridays, ask Siri or Alexa for some ice cream places nearby. There are many benefits that come along with a healthy self-care routine, including better productivity and higher self-esteem.

Be yourself, care for yourself, and love yourself. People that put themselves first aren’t selfish. Rather, they’re taking steps toward a self-actualized, fun, and fulfilling life. If you’ve ever paid attention to the flight attendants before take off, they tell you to (in case of an emergency) secure your own breathing mask before helping others. There is a simple congruency that exists between these instructions and real life; before helping others, help yourself. This will allow you to offer the best version of you to others. We all deserve self-care, no matter how busy we are.

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