Self-care is essential for our long-term health and well-being, and for our performance at work and in life. You can’t pour from an empty cup they say, and that is, in its simplicity, absolutely true.
So how do you build self-care habits in your busy life?
When I work with clients, I try to make it as easy as possible for them to create a new habit or tweak an existing one. The easier it is to get into the new habit, and the fewer obstacles you find, the more you are likely to stick with it. Habits are like your automatic pilot: they should fit seamlessly into your life, without fuss, so no matter how busy you are, they will come up to support you.
For example, if you have built a habit to go running early in the morning to release stress and get energized, you will probably manage to go running even if you are really busy or particularly stressed out.
Schedule some self-care time in your diary
“If is not in your diary, then you are not going to do it”. The busier and more overwhelmed you are and the more you going to prioritize other things in your life: work, kids, family, running errands, running around like the proverbial headless chicken, rather than attending to your own needs, no matter how tired you are or how tense your body feels.
But if you schedule a short break, even only 10 min, and it is on your diary, you are going to honor it. Then, once it is in your diary, you can work the rest around it. Five minutes are enough to do some breathing exercises to calm down the nervous system, while even only 10 min are enough to get in a daily walk to get some movement or sunlight.
Aim at scheduling 1-2 short daily self-care breaks and at least a longer one on a weekly basis. An hour weekly exercise class, done consistently every week, can create real positive change and easily became a habit!
Keep your life easy: schedule only the “essential” self-care breaks in your diary, so that you don’t get overwhelmed with trying to keep up with your wellness regime when you are really busy. You can always add on if you have time!
Reconnect with your true needs
Self-care means different things to different people, according to what is relevant to you. Understanding your real needs is therefore essential. For example, for an individual, the most helpful choice to fight a feeling of burnout could be staying at home, having a home-cooked nourishing meal, and getting some rest, while for another the best choice could be having a night out with friends.
As a health coach, I do this all the time: I help people reconnect with themselves and understand their true needs, so they can make lifestyle and life choices that align with those needs and values.
Crowd out unhelpful habits
Sometimes when life is busy and unpredictable, it is difficult to stick to a planned routine. When this happens I advise my clients to try this simple mindset shift.
Instead of planning and trying to keep everything under control, simply try to add more positive or healthier things to your life, whatever is easier for you.
It could be just adding some avocado to your daily salad or sprinkling some blueberries to your breakfast bowl. Or adding a lunchtime walk to your day. It does not matter where you start. As long as you take positive action,
By simply adding more positive and healthier things and actions to your life, you are shifting that balance, “crowding out”, the unhealthy or not supportive habits, you will be increasing your health and wellness without much effort.
“You recharge your phone, your tablet and laptop. Do not forget to recharge yourself”.Claudia armani
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Claudia is a health coach and wellness expert. She helps her clients reconnect with their bodies and create more balance in their lives.