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October 28, 2018
If you are so busy that you spend your lunchtime shoving sushi rolls into your mouth while frantically responding to emails, implementing a self-care routine might seem impossible. You know it’s important to look after yourself, but you’re not sure how you’ll find the time to fit in that essential oil-infused bath (or massage, or floatation therapy, or 75 minute hot yoga class, or acupuncture) that every single wellness influencer you follow seems to be able to schedule weekly. But, looking after yourself doesn’t need to be quite so time consuming and your self-care routine is allowed to look a little different to those you see on Instagram. Little steps go a long way.
Try these self-care hacks to help you create more time for you.
Devote your first few moments to gratitude
Setting your alarm 5 minutes early won’t make much of a difference to your routine, but it will be enough time to help you start your day feeling optimistic. Leave a notepad on your bed side table and as you wake up, jot down (or mentally note) three things you are grateful for, plus what you are most excited for today. By shifting your mindset from stressed to excited, you’re able to attack your day with more positive energy.
Cleanse mentally and physically
Use your shower as a time of reflection. You might not have time to for a full 20 minute meditation in the morning but you can use your shower time wisely. Try this total game-changing mindful shower technique that will help you switch off autopilot as you run through your morning routine: While standing under the water bring your attention to your body, feel each drop of water as it lands on your skin and slides down your limbs. Watch the water as it travels down your body and towards the drain. Imagine all your stresses and worries leaving your body with the water and as it disappears feel your body softening and your muscles relaxing.
Schedule in a meeting with yourself
If you spend most days promising you’ll make it to the gym or to that Pilates class, only to get stuck at work unable to leave, start thinking of exercise as making a meeting with yourself. Schedule it into your diary and block it out in your calendar. Once it’s in there it is non-negotiable. Prioritise it as you would any other work obligation or meeting.
Spend five minutes breathing
Spending 5 minutes on breathwork at the end of your lunch break will help energise you for your afternoon. Pop in some noise cancelling head phones, play a chilled playlist and bring your attention to your breath. Without trying to change anything, just watch as your breath comes in and out of your body. Notice the way your belly rises and falls as you breathe. Allow your breath to settle into its own natural rhythm, gradually becoming slower. Use this time to get out of your head and ground into your physical body.
Learn to say “no”
If you’re overcommitting yourself and not leaving any time for you, make a promise to start saying no. You cannot please everyone all the time, and remember that your friends and family only want what’s best for you. Try being completely honest next time someone asks you to do something, and tell them you need time for yourself just to rest. You’ll be surprised at how supportive they will be and you’ll be setting a new precedent going forward. You may even inspire someone else to do the same and take back some time for themselves too!
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