“You can’t pour from an empty cup”
“You must take care of yourself before you can take care of others”
You hear it said all the time, don’t you? But it is easier said than done – who has the time to sit around relaxing when there is a mountain of washing to do and children making mess quicker than you can tidy up?
The thing is, self-care is about more than painting your nails or having a long soak in the bath. It is about taking care of yourself mentally – making sure that you are looking after your whole wellbeing.
7 self-care hacks when you are short on time
We are short on time and in need of more care, right? Here are 7 tips to get yourself feeling calmer, healthier and mentally more supported – none of which require much effort at all.
– Walk more. Exercise is good for your health, we all know that, but who has the time to go to a dedicated class? Try ditching the car, getting off the bus a stop sooner and get some extra steps in! Not only will you increase your exercise levels but walking means precious time to yourself and gives you time to think. Win!
– Organise your space. Now, this may sound daunting if you look at your house as a whole. But all you need is 5 minutes. Set yourself a timer and spend 5 minutes clearing out a drawer, sorting a shelf or clearing those annoying red dots from your phone apps. Clearing your surroundings helps to clear your mind and does wonders for your mental health.
– Listen to music. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, putting on some music can instantly lift your mood, can’t it? It has also been shown that dancing can help decrease anxiety too, so put on some tunes and have a living room boogie!
– Practice gratitude. Negative thinking can drag you into a vicious cycle – one that can leave you feeling defeated. Purposely making a note of anything positive (however small) from your day, can turn those negative thoughts around and leave you feeling lifted and motivated. So grab a journal and pop it by the side of your bed – take 2 minutes at the end of each day to find those happy moments. The more you look for them, the more you’ll see them everywhere.
– Make a to-do list. Overwhelmed by the overwhelm? I hear you! School activities, birthday parties, homework, housework, weekly shop … our lists are never ending and it causes brain overload and mental fatigue. By making a to-do list before bed, you can empty everything onto paper and leave your brain free to unwind and switch off for a good night’s sleep.
– Drink more water. Dehydration can leave us tired and grumpy – adding to the usual stresses of the day. A top tip is to drink a glass of water after each visit to the loo – an easy habit to get into and means you should easily get your 8 glasses a day – leaving you hydrated and happier.
– Get up earlier. This may sound bonkers when we are all exhausted, but getting up earlier can make you happier- truly! Getting up even half an hour earlier than everyone else can mean you get precious time to yourself to do anything you want! Spend that time getting yourself dressed, reading, exercising, sitting quietly … anything you want or need to do. Getting a head start can make you feel on top of everything and set you up for a great day!
We are all different, we all have different wants and needs, but we all need to take care of ourselves more. Being short on time does not mean we can put ourselves at the bottom of the pile – a few simple tweaks to your day can leave you feeling motivated, calm and able to tackle anything that life throws at you.
How do you fit self-care into your day? Any tips to share?