When you’re busy and overwhelmed, it’s easy to berate yourself when things go awry. However, there’s no rule that says you must carry the weight of the world on your shoulders—in fact, in these moments, it’s important to take a step back, be kind to and take care of yourself.
12 busy people give their tips on daily self-care...
1. Establish a morning self-care routine.
"Rather than allowing myself to get overwhelmed and try to catch up on self-care in one day, I’ve started a regimen of meditation, exercise and reflection every morning. By making and taking time for myself each and every morning, I get ahead of the stress and keep myself grounded and ready to get to work each day."
2. Reward yourself.
"Afford yourself a personal reward from time to time, especially after you’ve done a great job on a tough project."
3. Forgive yourself.
"In the fast-paced and often stressful nature of my work, I’ve learned to forgive myself for days where I don’t have as much energy. Productivity comes and goes, and it’s all right."
4. Give yourself space to relax
"Adding a day off all commitments—where I don’t let myself schedule any work—has made a major difference for me. Hard as it is to disconnect and take time away from my work, regularly giving myself space to relax is worth it."
5. Automate what you can.
"There are so many new tools popping up every day to help make our lives easier. Look for ways you can automate more tasks to make more time for the things that matter, like taking care of yourself."
6. Use a sleep app.
"I use a sleep app called Sleep Cycle. It wakes me up at an optimal time, rather than when I am in a deep sleep. On a regular basis, I take time to exercise, try to get sunlight daily, eat healthily and also work out a few times a week!"
7. Reflect on the three best things that happened today.
"I love my waking up routine, but it’s my before-bed routine where I can reflect. Typically right before I sleep, I write down the three best things that happened that day. This puts me in a state of appreciation and gratitude. Then I ask myself how I could have improved the day. I use these 15 minutes to map out my goals for the next day. My sleep quality has never been higher."
8. Use positive language and self-talk.
"One of the most important lessons I have learned is how to speak to myself and others in the positive. The key words to pay attention to are “I am.” Pay close attention to what follows. Is it “stupid” or “an idiot”? Catch yourself and change it to “I am going to learn how to do this” or “I am going to ask for help on this.” Avoid any negative language."
9. Make time for family and friends.
"If you’re overloaded with work, many times we’ll just head home and crash after the day is done. But it’s important to make time for family and friends. Go out to dinner and a movie or invite some guests over for game night. You’ll get that unconditional support from family and friends that you need for a good boost in your mood."
10. Do something creative.
"When you’re starting to feel burned out at work, take the time to do something creative. Whether it’s painting, creative writing or designing something for fun, doing something creative will allow you to relax a little and it has the ability to inspire fresh ideas so that you can go back to work with a new attitude and energy."
11. Crush simple tasks first.
"One of the biggest problems for busy, high-stress individuals is simply getting started. The task list that many of us carry is so long and complicated that maintaining it, let alone executing it, becomes a challenge. Make sure to complete a few simple tasks at the beginning of each day to jumpstart productivity and confidence."
12. Pace yourself and set realistic goals.
"Taking a moment to see the big picture instead of the granular details can give you the refresh that you need to push through."
Share your favourite self-care tips with us in a comment below!