Quickly recharge with simple self-care practices for incredibly busy people. Discover easy & effective ways to take care of yourself now!
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Practicing Self-Care Even When You’re Ultra Busy
We all want to feel our best, but life can be so busy that it’s hard to make time for ourselves. Self-care is an important part of looking after your physical and mental health, yet too often, it’s the first to get pushed aside by other responsibilities.
However, self-care doesn’t have to take a lot of time or energy. You can use plenty of quick and easy practices throughout the day without disrupting your routine too much.
In this article, we’re going to discuss some tips on how to practice self-care despite a hectic lifestyle.
Regularly Tap Into “Mother Nature’s Best Effort Yet For Immortality”
“Sleep is the elixir of life,” says Professor Matthew Walker, director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab (watch his video below). “[It] is Mother Nature’s best effort yet for immortality…and is the foundation on which [diet and exercise] will sit.”
Proper sleep is incredibly important, but it’s not always easy to prioritize when so many things are on our plate. It’s often the first thing to go.
Just yesterday, for example, I didn’t get to sleep until 3.30 AM because I got caught up writing.
I’m paying the price today. My mind is sluggish. My temper is short. It’s hard to function properly on only four hours of restless sleep.
To maximize rest and ensure that you’re getting the best possible night of sleep, establishing a routine before bedtime can be really helpful. This doesn’t have to be too complicated; just creating a sense of winding down in the evening can make a huge difference.
For example, try reading something calming for 10-15 minutes every night (avoid screens!) or listening to some soothing music as your body prepares for rest.
These simple habits may seem small, but they go a long way towards helping us reset and recharge for the next day ahead.
For more tips on creating a restful night’s sleep, make sure to read our post, The Ultimate Bedtime Self-Care Routine For A Restful Night’s Sleep.
I also highly recommend you either read/listen to Why We Sleep by Professor Matthew Walker or take his Masterclass on the Science of Sleep if you want to “harness sleep to improve learning, mood, and energy levels; regulate hormones; prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes; slow the effects of aging; increase longevity; enhance the education and lifespan of our children, and boost the efficiency, success, and productivity of our businesses.”
Create More Opportunities For Movement
This is my favorite self-care hack for ultra-busy people who barely have time to shower, let alone hit the gym.
You know you need to exercise. I don’t need to tell you that.
Unfortunately, you have back-to-back meetings, projects to complete, and deadlines to meet. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Your ears are starting to hurt from the headphones you need to wear. Your back is sore, your neck is stiff, and your eyes are as dry as the continent of Australia.
How can you move more each day?
If you’re glued to your desk, the solution is super simple. THIS IS THE HACK: Invest in a walking desk, desk bike, desk ball chair, or other desk exercise equipment so that you’re not just sitting while working.
This is a game-changer!
I recommend this to EVERYONE I talk to. EVERYONE. (No, I’m not yelling; I’m just really excited. 😁)
Before I started walking while working, I was in serious pain. I experienced severe migraines – sometimes as often as once a week. I gained a lot of weight (11 kg more than when I was pregnant).
I had brain fog, and my writing was…s-l-o-w.
After I set up my walking desk, I became more flexible. I felt lighter. My head was clearer. I wrote so much faster – and my writing was better. Migraine attacks were a thing of the past. I slept faster, earlier, deeper, and longer. And surprisingly (because this was not the main goal), I lost a lot of weight.
I cannot recommend this enough.
So…if you can only follow one piece of advice from this post, choose this! And read our post, The Role Of Exercise In Self-Care & How to Make It A Priority for more information.
Self-Care For Busy People HACK
Nourish Your Body With Good Food
Terrified that you have to become a Master Chef on top of everything else you need to do in your already busy life?
Don’t worry, preparing nourishing food doesn’t have to take a long time. It can be quick and easy if the ingredients you choose are fresh and in season – as close to you as you could possibly get them.
Why is this important? Because a healthy diet is one of the three pillars of good health, along with diet and proper sleep.
Good food provides the body with the necessary nutrients to maintain physical and mental health. For example, eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods can help prevent chronic diseases, improve mood, and increase energy levels – helping you feel better both physically and mentally.
Cooking and eating – the actions themselves – can also be relaxing and enjoyable, promoting mindfulness and creativity.
In other words, eating well is a powerful – and essential – act of self-care.
How can you make this quick? Alice Waters, Pioneer of the Farm-to-Table Movement, gives the following tips:
- Know what food is really alive and seasonal; this is the kind of cooking that nourishes the body and the soul.
- Buy food in the farmer’s market before you decide what to cook, freeing you from an over-dependence on recipes.
- Start with good ingredients, so you don’t have to do much to prepare them.
To learn how to cook food simply so that it nourishes both body and soul, join Alice Waters’ Masterclass on the Art of Home Cooking.
Insert Micro-Breaks Into Your Calendar
When you’re busy, you’re counting your breaks in minutes.
There was a time when I had meetings for four hours straight. In hindsight, I realized I could have booked a five-minute break between meetings. If only to gather my thoughts and do some deep breathing exercises. And maybe go to the toilet.
Taking short breaks is an important self-care practice for busy bees – and becomes even more crucial the busier you get. Scheduling downtime will help you recharge and restore your energy levels, enabling you to stay productive throughout the day.
Here are some ideas on how you can take a micro-break:
- Take a few deep breaths, making sure to focus on your breath. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth.
- Stretch your arms, legs, and back. You can also do some neck rolls or shoulder shrugs.
- Put on some relaxing music or nature sounds to help you destress.
- Take a few sips of water to hydrate and refresh yourself.
- Recite or write down a positive affirmation or something you’re grateful for to boost your mood and lift you up.
These micro-breaks take no more than five minutes. But, when done with intention (and preferably with your eyes closed), they can relax and energize you.
Remember That There Are Silver Linings
Gratitude helps us appreciate the good among the bad.
Let’s face it. The world seems an especially dark and depressing place right now.
Remembering that every storm cloud has a silver lining can foster, in each of us, compassion for ourselves and others, which then allows us to cultivate joy in all aspects of our lives – from work to relationships.
We can begin by simply acknowledging when something good happens, no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential it may appear on the surface. That moment could range from getting through an especially difficult meeting at work, enjoying a delicious meal with friends or family, or even appreciating the beauty of nature as part of your self-care ritual during your lunch break.
When we pause to appreciate these little moments, they become much more meaningful than they initially seemed; this sense of appreciation then becomes contagious as it radiates outwards into other areas of life.
Go Back To Your Roots
When it comes to self-care, connecting with nature is one of the quickest and easiest ways to find balance in life. Whether you have five minutes or an entire afternoon, immersing yourself in nature can help bring a sense of calm that nothing else can offer.
Here are some simple suggestions:
- Embrace silence. Spend time outdoors without music playing or your phone buzzing. Simply sit outside in the sun (or rain!) and take in all the sounds around you.
- Take a mindful walk. Go for a stroll through your neighborhood park or local forest trail and observe everything around you. Feel the wind on your skin, listen to birds sing, and appreciate the beauty of nature’s design.
- Ground yourself. Find a comfortable spot outdoors. Take off your shoes and place both feet on the ground. Feel the grass tickle your feet. Burrow your toes in the sand. Root yourself in the earth. Then, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Connecting with nature will naturally slow down your breath rate, which can instantly make you feel more relaxed and centered. (If you don’t want to go barefoot, you could wear a pair of earthing sandals instead.)
By communing with nature, you’ll be able to take a step back from your daily grind and come away feeling refreshed – while reaping many physical and mental health benefits!
Practice Self-Care Now – Even When You’re Busy!
“You can’t pour from an empty cup.” That’s why taking care of yourself is a must, especially if you’re busy and constantly on the go.
We all want to take better care of ourselves. But with our hectic lives, it can be hard to find the time or energy to do so.
Fortunately, there are impactful practices that fit into any schedule and lifestyle.
Prioritizing sleep, creating more opportunities to move, eating good food, taking micro-breaks, adopting an attitude of gratitude, and doing grounding exercises are all excellent ways to practice self-care even when life is a whirlwind.
While not always easy, self-care in such a time as this is possible.
Don’t let busyness stand in the way of caring for yourself; instead, embrace it as an opportunity to practice self-love every single day.
Because when you feel better in your body, all else follows. You begin to enjoy proper sleep. Remaining in a state of gratitude is easier. You tend to make healthier choices. You eat better food, take more breaks because it’s good for you, and are generally happier.
So, what are you waiting for? Start practicing self-care today!
Frequently Asked Questions About Self-Care For Busy People Who Don’t Have Any Time To Spare
For more information on doing self-care when you’re so busy you don’t have any time to spare, check out our Q&As below:
What Is The Best Way To Fit Self-Care Into A Busy Schedule?
Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to fit everything into your schedule, let alone make time for yourself?
The best way to incorporate self-care into a busy lifestyle is by setting boundaries and working smarter.
You can start small. Say “no” more often. Setting boundaries with others around what you are willing and not willing to do will help ensure that your personal time isn’t taken away from you. This will create space for you to give attention to your own needs without feeling guilty about it.
You can also start working smarter. In other words, prioritize tasks effectively so that you don’t fall behind when life gets hectic. Use tools to speed things up. Learn how to block time and manage it effectively.
Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated; just find ways to work it into your daily routine, and remember that sometimes slowing down can lead to better results in the long run!
How Can I Create A Consistent Self-Care Routine?
Creating a consistent self-care routine can be difficult, especially when you’re busy. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you need help figuring out what works for you, check out our posts below:
- Hacking Mindfulness Meditation & How To Effectively Use It For Self-Care
- Your 10-Minute Morning Self-Care Routine For A Successful Day
- 20+ Quick & Easy Ways To Practice Self-Care During Lunch
- The Ultimate Bedtime Self-Care Routine For A Restful Night’s Sleep
- 100+ Uncommon Self-Care Ideas To Turbocharge Your Life
Is There A Way To Practice Self-Care Even While Traveling?
Traveling can be an exciting yet daunting experience. Many of us would love to take the opportunity for a break and practice self-care but wonder how it’s possible with all the logistical chaos that comes with packing up and leaving town.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to incorporate self-care practices into your travels. All you have to do is make the time to do them. Check out the links in the previous question; which of those would be easiest for you to do while travelling?
Note: The information on this website is for general information only, and is not a substitute for medical, financial, or legal advice. You, or anyone you are concerned about, are encouraged to seek independent medical, legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the website information relates to your unique circumstances. If you or the person you are concerned about appear at risk of self-harm or harm to others, please seek immediate professional assistance.