Tips and Tricks for Better Self-Care

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK/RIDOFRANZ

Often, it can feel like there is so much to get done each day that we don’t have time to take care of ourselves. This leads to prioritizing our schedules so that we put ourselves last. While we often feel selfish for carving out time for ourselves, the benefits of self-care are many. They include:

  • More energy to devote to work, family and life
  • A positive outlook and happiness that spreads to other areas in your life
  • Better health and less stress

Instead of feeling guilty about self-care, write down a list of reasons why it’s important. Sit down and really examine your schedule each week. Find time for yourself by trying one or more of these tips and tricks I use to make self-care a habit: 

Get up 30 Minutes Earlier for “Me Time”

  • Move the alarm across the room if needed so that you'll have to get out of bed.
  • Decide the night before what you want to do with your 30 minutes. You could exercise, drink a cup of tea, journal, go for a walk, etc.

Pencil Yourself into Your Schedule

  • Literally add yourself into your calendar.
  • Find at least 15 minutes each day during which you can take a short break to do something for yourself.

Multi-task

  • Take a walk while on a conference for some exercise and fresh air.
  • Skip a shower and decide on a quick, relaxing bath instead.
  • Listen to a podcast or audio book while cooking dinner.
  • Do something that combines family time with exercise or stress relief.

Ask for Help

  • Don’t be afraid to ask family and friends for their assistance. They are often happy to help, especially if you reciprocate.
  • Ask a spouse, partner or kids to clean up after dinner so you can slip away to read for 20 minutes.
  • Ask co-workers to help at work with a specific task.

Eliminate Unimportant Tasks

  • Sit down and look at your daily tasks — there is probably at least one thing each week you can eliminate.
  • Prioritize your to-do list, putting the most important tasks at the top. Once finished, look at the items at the very bottom and seriously analyze if you can eliminate those from your week.
  • Don’t be afraid to politely decline invites that are causing you stress. Remember, people don’t want to force attendees to attend their functions — more than likely they will understand.

People make time for the things that are important to them in life. When you get into the mindset that personal wellness is a priority, you'll find the time to take care of yourself.

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Brynn McDowell, RD
Brynn McDowell, RD, is a registered dietitian with more than a decade spent sharing her passion for balanced health, nutrition and wellness. Read her blog, the Domestic Dietitian, and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.