15 Little Ways To Practice Self-Care Even When You Feel Too Busy For It
- Shower. Yes, shower. Everything feels better when you’re fresh and clean, and your hair is shampooed and conditioned.
- Too busy to go to the gym? Take the stairs whenever and wherever you can. Try parking your car in the furthest part of the parking lot, too. Lots of little steps will add up.
- When the world feels like it’s closing in and you cannot fathom answering another question for someone, close your eyes. Take a deep breath in, feel your whole chest expand, and then let that air out slowly. Focus on your breath, and let it ground you.
- If make-up is your passion, put it on. It doesn’t have to be a full beat — you can do it in your car. But if a little bit of mascara makes you feel like you can take on whatever comes your way — start swiping.
- If you work from home, I hope you get dressed in the morning. Maybe that means a dress, perhaps that means a shirt and a tie, maybe that means jeans and a tee, or perhaps you’re sporting some fierce leggings and an oversized sweatshirt, or perhaps it’s something else entirely. Whatever it is — put it on. Resist the urge to stay in your pajamas all day long.
- Say “no,” to the party that you don’t want to attend. You don’t have time to go to it, anyway. You cannot be in two places at once, so give yourself the gift of not trying to be superhuman, and say “no.” Let your friends know that you love them, but tell them that your plate is full. Your friends will understand — or at least, they should.
- Drink water. Carry a water bottle around with you, and watch how much your H20 consumption will increase.
- Put the “do not disturb” function on your phone when you’re finished with work. Pick a time and set it. Maybe you don’t get calls after 9 pm. Perhaps you don’t get calls after ten. Whatever it is — unless you’re a surgeon, or an E.R. doctor, or a parent, anyone who’s calling you or emailing you at that time can wait.
- Honor the promises you made to yourself — and do not hit snooze in the morning. Goodness, doing this is hard, and sometimes an extra twenty minutes of sleep seems like the greatest gift. And if you genuinely need it for health reasons, take it. But if you’re snoozing because you feel warm and fuzzy and don’t want to leave your bed — stop that right now. You planned, and budgeted your time, and scheduled your day — give yourself the consideration of waking up at the time you intended.
- Give yourself a bedtime, too.
- Wash your face at night; take off the makeup. Let the soap sink in. Let yourself feel the touch of your own fingers on your cheek, on your brow, and your chin. We self soothe as babies, and yet, somehow, we forget that as we age.
- Listen to something you love on your way to work. Maybe that’s a podcast. Perhaps that’s a new playlist on Spotify or a new audiobook. Pick something that lifts your spirit, and let that be the start of your day and time well spent on your commute.
- Keep breathing.
- Let yourself cry when you need to.
- Let yourself laugh when the world seems impossible.
Previously published on Thought Catalog, here.