Self-care is an important part of maintaining good physical and mental health—but squeezing self-care into a busy schedule is easier said than done. With so much going on in our daily lives, it is easy to put the needs of others in front of your own or focus only on tasks that need to get done. The consequence of this, however, is if you don’t take care of yourself, you will eventually lose the energy and mental capacity to accomplish your tasks or care for others. Self-care isn’t only something to be penciled into our days off, but rather something that should be prioritized as part of our daily routine. In recognition of International Self-Care Day on July 24th, here are five ways you can sneak in self-care when you’re busy.
Nature has a powerful impact on your mental health. Many people find that using grounding techniques helps them manage anxiety symptoms. So it’s easy to understand how connecting with nature regularly can have a positive impact on your overall mental health. In fact, several studies have found that plants, trees, and water are all linked to positive emotions. You can incorporate connecting with nature by spending a few minutes each day in a calming area outdoors. This is a great, easy (and free) way to clear your mind and give yourself a mental boost. Adding house plants to your home or office decor is another way to help reduce your stress and boost mental productivity.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to take better care of yourself is by sticking to a routine. Feelings of being out of control or overwhelmed arise when your days are packed full of responsibilities, with no time left for you to relax and destress. You can ease some of this tension by taking a moment to make a realistic plan for your day. Don't be afraid to use this time to delegate tasks to other people who are willing to help you. When you're able to, start adding simple self-care activities that appeal to you—things that don't take much time out of your day but will nourish your spirit and ease your mind. One thing that you should always prioritize in your daily routine is getting adequate sleep each night.
Positive self-talk is a vital part of setting yourself up for success. We all know how amazing it feels when you get a kind or supportive compliment from someone else. Your brain gets the same positive boost when you fill it with positive thoughts and affirmations. Think positive thoughts, speak them out loud when alone, write them down, and repeat them until they become second nature. Don’t forget to check in with yourself throughout the day, and drown out any negative thoughts by generously giving yourself encouragement as you go.
Take speaking kindly to the next level by dedicating some time every day for gratitude and letting go of any negativity that wears on your mind. Gratitude is a powerful way to improve your mental health. Research has even shown that practicing gratitude can help us stay optimistic and live happier lives—and if you need proof of that, just think back on how much better you feel after sharing something awesome in your life with someone else. List five things you are grateful for every night before bed—it doesn't have to be anything fancy, simple things like accomplishing a task you’ve been meaning to get done or the ability to get enjoyable movement during your day count!
It feels defeating when you face a daunting to-do list every day. Oftentimes, getting started is the hardest part. Starting with simple tasks can give you a quick sense of accomplishment and motivate you to continue down the list. Remember that sneaking self-care into your routine relies on setting realistic goals and being honest about what you can accomplish. You may not have the ability to meditate every morning in the park or take a spa-worthy bubble bath every evening—but you can turn mundane tasks into a quiet moment of self-reflection or a motivational pep talk along the way.
The biggest rule of self-care is that it’s okay to ask for help. Giving yourself a priority spot on your own to-do list sometimes calls for reinforcements. Never be ashamed or embarrassed to invite a colleague to join you on a work project, or ask a loved one for help with chores or errands. More often than not, your friends and family will be happy to support you in any way that they can. Seeking help includes getting professional guidance with your mental health. Therapy is a great way to get unbiased wisdom and gain a new perspective. If you or someone you know is in the California or Nevada areas and are ready to make self-care a priority, Medens Health is here to help you! Reach out to us by phone or text at (833) 624-5400, or by filling out our online contact form.
The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Reliance on any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical or mental health. If you don’t currently have a therapist, we can connect you with one who is qualified to give you safe, professional, and ethical advice regarding your mental health.
If you or someone you are responsible for is experiencing a medical emergency, is considering harming themselves or others, or is otherwise in imminent danger, you should call 9-1-1 and/or take them to the nearest emergency room.