Gorgeous Guest Post by Erin Williams
How many times do you find yourself so busy that self-care is the last thing on your mind?
Do you often find yourself going weeks or months without taking some time for yourself, simply because there’s too many things you need to do? Do you blame your commute and full time work schedule for the lack of self-care in your life?
If you’re anything like me, you’ve found yourself in that exact situation far too many times to count.
Even though we need self-care the most when we’re busy, it’s the first thing most of us stop doing when our schedule and to-do lists are overflowing. We push and push. We work long hours. We sleep less, move less and end up feeling completely stressed. The only thing this constant go-go-go approach leads to is a burn out.
Something which most of us don’t have time for.
But if we keep our self-care as a priority, no matter how busy we get or how many hours we work, we are much better equipped to deal with the stresses of an extremely full and busy life.
Taking time to pause and nurture ourselves, even for just a few minutes each day, does our body and mind so much good. Even though most of us use it as an excuse far too often, being busy with our job is no reason not to practice self-care. In fact, it’s one of the most important reasons why we need to truly look after ourselves.
In amongst the daily commute and hours spent at the office, I still find time to regularly practice self-care.
Here are my favourite tips to help you prioritise your self-care, no matter how busy your life may be.
1: Set yourself up for success
Do you find yourself putting off practicing self-care because you don’t know where to start? Or you get home from work, feeling exhausted and have no idea what you can do to look after yourself, so you instead reach for the block of chocolate or glass of wine?
You can set yourself up for success by writing a loves list (a list full of things you love to do and that make you feel good) and focus on adding quick things to your list. Each day you can pick 1-3 things off your list and fit them into your day.
For me, self-care feels its best when I sprinkle little moments of it throughout my whole day.
Self-care can mean wearing your favourite perfume. It might mean wearing the red dress that makes you feel like a million dollars. Choosing to eat nourishing food. Buying the expensive coffee because it tastes so darn good. Taking a few deep breaths in stressful moments. Having a 3pm tea break and taking 5 minutes away from my computer.
If there’s something that takes only a few minutes but makes you feel good anyway, then it should definitely be part of your self-care routine. If you spend 10 less minutes on your phone in the morning, you can easily fit in a least one activity that makes you feel good.
2: Give a boost to things you already do
Take a moment to think of the things you already do, and then work out how you can infuse these moments with self-care.
I’m sure you take a shower daily so rather than rushing through it, add to it. Light a candle and dim the lights. If you’re showering at the gym add a few drops of essential oils to your moisturiser or splurge and buy a new, indulgent one.
Don’t eat your lunch at your desk. Pack it in a Tupperware container and take it outdoors. Rather than answering emails on your commute, read a new book or listen to a playlist that gets you pumped for the day ahead. You could even try listening to a guided meditation on the train.
If you drink coffee, sip it slowly and savour it, rather than gulping it in between calls or emails.
Take a few breaks throughout the workday, whether that’s to make a cup of tea, to walk around the office and stretch your legs, or to catch up with your work friends.
3: Take the time you do have and use it
Again, don’t worry about only having 5 minutes to spend on self-care. If that’s all the time you have, use it. Those 5 minutes are yours to fill with anything that makes you feel good.
Whether it’s meditating, a few sun salutations, journaling, reading your favourite book, walking around the block or dancing to your favourite song. If you love doing it, 5 minutes is all you need for a little feel-good boost.
Truly examine how you spend your time in the morning before work and in the evening when you get home. Are there any pockets of time that you could put to better use? Could you watch one less tv show or youtube video? Could you replace scrolling through your phone in bed with journaling or reading?
4: Value your time
Spare time can feel hard to come by when you’re really busy and when your to-do list seems never ending. But honestly you do have time you can dedicate to yourself, you might just need to readjust the things you fill your day with.
You can set yourself up so that you have time to use for your self-care. You just need to place a higher value on yourself.
Because no matter how busy you think you are, you always find time for the things that are most important to you.
When you value your own time you’ll start to leave work on time and to use your full lunch break. You’ll say no to things you don’t want to do. And yes to the things you do want.
If you need to, schedule in your self-care. Give yourself 10 or 20 minutes in the morning or evening and stick to it. Show yourself that you value your wellness by honouring the time you give to your self-care. If you need a break after a busy work week, clear your calendar and spend a few hours doing absolutely nothing.
5: Don’t stress when your self-care doesn’t happen
Some days our good intentions just don’t come to fruition. And that’s ok. What’s not ok, is stressing about missing your self-care practice, whether it’s been a couple of days, a week or a whole month. Feeling guilty and shaming yourself does you no good at all.
Brush off the guilt and simply jump back into your self-care practice.
I can’t get enough of self-care but there are still days when my self-care just doesn’t happen. Sometimes I’m sick, sometimes I don’t get a seat on the bus so can’t read the book I really wanted to read, and sometimes clients pop in unexpectedly right before I start my lunch break. But no matter how much time passes, I know that my self-care practice is always waiting to welcome me back with open arms.
When you shift your approach to self-care, and when you start to prioritise the things that make you feel good, you’ll quickly discover that self-care easily fits in with your full time job.
You don’t need hours and hours to practice self-care, and you can truly nurture yourself in just a few moments. There are moments throughout the whole day that you can fill with quick self-care practices – whether that be in the morning, during your commute, at lunch time, or at the end of the day.
No matter what, you’re not too busy to prioritise your health and your self-care.
I have to admit that Erin’s beautiful words served as a timely reminder that no matter how hectic things can be at work and in life, I simply must make my self-care an absolute top priority! I certainly have a habit of filling my days with activities because I feel like I “should”. Erin’s post has inspired me to say “no” a little more so that I can create more space in my week that is dedicated to me!
Are you ready to devote to a self-care practice that enriches your life and leaves you overflowing with joy, bliss and gratitude?
If so, you simply must check out Erin’s gorgeous eBook, Devoted to Self-Care! With 62 beautifully crafted pages of inspiration to help you on your own unique self-care journey, Erin’s eBook is the perfect gift to yourself and those you love! You can find out more by clicking here!
About our Gorgeous Guest
Erin Williams is a self-love advocate, writer, life & wellness coach and the author of ‘Falling in Self-Love’ and ‘Devoted to Self-Care’. Erin writes at In Our Stillness where she inspires busy women to infuse their lives with self-care and to find their own brand of wellness. She encourages her clients to ditch the diets and to start eating in way that truly supports their individual needs. She helps women fall in love with their body and soul, and to reignite their missing sense of vitality.
Erin wants to kick start a self-care revolution. A revolution that inspires stressed and overwhelmed women to put their own needs first, honour their bodies and truly devote to their self-care.