The textbook definition of self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
But what does self-care really mean for us? Does it mean you have to go get a mani-pedi every week? Does it mean you need to sign up for massages all the time? No, what I’m talking about here are the little things that you can do during 5 extra minutes of time that you have throughout your day. This is not something that you need to set aside a whole day for. This is not something that you have to plan a year in advance for that extra vacation just for you.
These are the little things for you to do to get the self-care in that you need to during your day to day life. The key is to prioritize it.
So that means putting it first, making sure it happens, adding it to your to-do list. Those are the ways that you are going to prioritize and put it first so that all the little things like doing the laundry, doing the dishes, cleaning the house, things that don’t have to happen on a certain timetable don’t come first.
The Big Rocks Exercise
I believe I saw this on Facebook a long time ago and it kind of blew my mind. This is how it goes: there is an empty jar that represents you. There are big rocks which represent the important things in your life.
For example, taking care of your family, having a roof over your head, your significant other, etc. There is also gravel and sand. The gravel and sand represent things in your life that are not important to you but take up a little time here and there.
If you start with pouring the gravel and sand, the unimportant things, into the jar before the big rocks, the important things, you run out of room in the jar for all of the big rocks. But if you start with the big rocks first and you fill it out with the gravel or the sand, it finds its way into the nicks and crannies. This exercise was eye-opening for me.
5 Tips to Prioritizing Your Self-Care
Decide That You Are Worthy
This is really important.
You need to decide that you are worthy and you need to really feel that in your bones because a lot of times what holds us back from putting ourselves first is thinking that other people are more important than us.
Now, that’s kind of hard to hear, but it’s something that is super important. You need to feel that you are worthy deep within your bones because you are, you deserve to have your needs met and you deserve to have happiness every single day.
Decide TODAY that you are worthy of self-care.
Instead of Saying, “I can’t because…” Try “What if I can?”
Moms tend to lead a busy life but instead of saying, “I can’t have time to myself because the kids are always around,” or “I can’t have time to myself because I don’t have help.”
What if you said, “What if I can?”
This is a mindset shift. Instead of saying, “I can’t” think of “what if I can. What if I got help? What if I ask for help?” Flip it around and start thinking “What if.” That allows your imagination to run free and lets you think outside the box.
Plan In Advance
This is all about planning ahead of time and building a strategic plan for your life because when we’re in the day to day of it and we have extra time, we don’t know what we actually want to do. The time passes and it’s gone.
If you know some ways that you can fit in self-care activities that are quick and easy ahead of time, then you can easily move them into those little extra spaces. Planning and knowing ahead of time, the things that you can do for yourself will help fill in those gaps in your day.
Don’t forget that self-care is really personal, what feels like self-care to one person is not going to feel like self-care to another. For me, I like taking a walk outside every day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. I require that I need to go outside and get some fresh air and go for a walk every day. But that might not be for everyone.
Multi-Task Your Self-Care
This is a really fun one. Adding self-care to something you already do so that you can use your time wisely. Multitasking is basically the ultimate mom life hack.
Here are 5 examples of how I add self-care to something I already do:
- There are some really great bath bombs for your shower. They have essential oils and they smell amazing. I got mine at Bath and Body Works, but you can find them online. All I do is just add a simple shower bomb into my daily routine and this is self-care for me. It kind of ups the game for you. You know, you have a shower every day, but now it’s part of your self-care. Planning ahead is important here because you need to order those bath bombs or find them in the store so that you have them ready for you when you’re taking your shower.
- Just along with that, taking a bubble bath and listening to a training. So if you have something that you need to do, like a training that you need to listen to, take a bubble bath while you’re listening to it.
- If you find yourself having less time for your friends, fit them into your day by including them in activities you already do. Maybe you get a manicure and pedicure, but instead of going alone, bring a friend and one activity becomes double self-care for you. The key here is to be present in the moment. Be grateful for the feelings. That is what turns something mediocre into self-care.
- This is one of my favorites. If you’re going to target or going grocery shopping, just grab a Starbucks, walk an extra lap around the store, and just enjoy your time.
- For those of you that have long commutes. Enjoy your Starbucks, listen to a podcast, or a fiction book on your way to work or on the way home that can up a boring commute by doing something that you enjoy.
Take Advantage of Wasted Time
This is key. This is where you’re going to find those extra five minutes here and there, that at the end of the day, make you feel like you have absolutely no time.
When you add up all the wasted time you have, you’re going to realize that you do have time for some of these small things throughout the day. So I have some examples of ways to time, and this is going to be specific for you. So make sure you make your own list after reading this.
Here are a few of my examples of wasted time:
You’ve done five loads in one day so what can you do while you’re folding laundry? Can you listen to some music and dance around? Can you listen to a podcast or a book? Can you watch a TV show?
That’s the time that I watch some of my TV shows that no one else in my family likes or that are not kid-appropriate. I go hide in the closet and fire up my TV shows on my laptop.
The car line
Another way of finding wasted time is if you drop your kids off or pick them up at school and maybe you’re stuck in the car line. What can you do during that time? Why not bring your favorite book along?
Waiting for kids activities
My daughters are in dance, so there is a lot of extra time when I am dropping them off that I could use for something else. For my daughters, I have about 45 minutes in between dropping them off at dance. That is 45 minutes of nothing to do. How can you use the time in between events?
Waiting while your food cooks
What about waiting for water to boil. It takes forever, right? How can you use that extra time for you?
Scrolling and couch potato time
This is where we lose a lot of time without even realizing it. Kind of keep your eye out for those couch potato moments that you could maybe use for something else.
Are You Ready to Put Your Self-Care on Autopilot?
The Positivity 365 Bundle is packed with ways to put your self-care on autopilot. The main part of the bundle is a Google calendar of affirmations that you get every single day. That is a great way to put affirmations on autopilot.
If you’re feeling a bit stuck on ideas for self-care, the bundle comes with a guide that has over a hundred self-care and ideas. Plus it also has worksheets for you to come up with your own ideas that work best for you, why you think they’re the best for you, and how you can work them into your day.
What are those little things that you can do to fill out the waste of time? How can you put yourself first throughout the day, even if you think you don’t have the time in those wasted time, by multitasking, or one of the other ways I mentioned. Start writing it down today. If you take five minutes after reading this to start, you’ll be more likely to finish later when the next time you have five minutes.
I challenge you to start writing it down right after reading this and grab your Positivity 365 Bundle here. What are you waiting for? You deserve it!