Do you struggle to fit self-care into the workday? If so, you’re not alone!
Fitting self-care into jam-packed schedules during the week can be a tricky thing to do. The weekdays can be a grueling juggling act. We’re all busy trying to manage crazy, hectic schedules and unfortunately, self-care is one of the things that gets put on the back burner.
It’s no wonder by Friday afternoon we’re counting down the minutes to happy hour!
What is self-care?
In short, it’s any activity that you do to improve and take care of your physical, mental, and emotional needs.
I can hear some of you right now saying there aren’t enough hours in the day to fit in self-care (I hear ya – life is busy!)
I’ve even heard people say self-care is indulgent and self-fish. Self-care is the least self-fish thing you can do because when your cup is full, you’re better equipped to help others!
In honor of this lovely Sunday I was going to write a Self-Care Sunday post. We hear a lot about self-care Sundays.
However, I decided that it might be more helpful to discuss the little ways you can care for yourself DURING the week to keep your cup full and better able to cope with all your competing demands.
Practicing TLC on a Sunday is important to prep you for the week ahead, but self-care shouldn’t be limited to one day a week.
The thing is, self-care doesn’t need to take a large chunk of time!
Check out these 6 practical tips to fit self-care into your workday (or any busy day!).
Some of them might seem like common sense but most of us still aren’t incorporating them into our workday. If they feel like common sense to you then let them serve as helpful reminders.
1. Take a 10-minute walk on your lunch break
If you can fit in more than 10-minutes great! But even as little as 10-minutes can change the rest of your day. Getting your blood and endorphins flowing during your lunch can help decrease stress and cheer you up!
There have been numerous studies demonstrating that short, light activity can have a big impact on your physical health.
Consider walking to get lunch, scheduling a 10-minute walk during the day, or walk to work if possible. Finding a co-worker to do this with might make it fun and help with some accountability.
2. Use a 5-10 Minute Guided Meditation
These short meditations work!
Close your office door, put in some headphones and turn on the guided meditation of your choice.
If you sit in a cubicle this can be a little tricky but If you drive to work you can sit in your car and do it. I’ve worked in lots of shared office spaces and would use my car as my own little retreat. I would recline the seat, pop in my headphones, and walk out feeling more centered and ready to take on the rest of the day.
If you take public transit you can still do a guided meditation. Just throw in your headphones and close your eyes. Please don’t feel silly because I guarantee nobody is paying attention to you. I bet there’s even some fellow riders who are doing the same thing!
There are a TON of great YouTube guided meditations. Here is one of my favorite body scan meditations for relaxation (it’s only 8 minutes!): Relaxing Body Scan Meditation
3. Say No!
I’ve become good at this one and it’s made a huge difference in my life and mental health. It’s stressful when you over commit!
I’m guessing you’re already spread thin on weekdays. Saying yes to every request depletes what little energy you have left – especially when you’re saying yes to things you don’t actually want to do!
Say yes only to the activities that are important to you and that fill your cup. Saying “no” to everything else is practicing self-care.
4. Keep Your Work Area Tidy
Clutter can be completely distracting and contribute to feeling overwhelmed. When you have a clean work space it is likely to increase your productivity, which in turn decreases stress. Anything you do to promote feelings of calm is practicing self-care.
5. Use Your Commute for Self-Care
I mentioned this previously, but I can’t stress enough that one of the best ways to fit in self-care is during your commute. A lot of people view a commute as a bad thing but it’s really a perfect way to build some self-care into your day!
Whether you drive or take public transportation it’s an opportunity to listen to motivational podcasts and inspiring audio books. If you take public transportation reading is also a great way to spend your time.
6. Set Your Alarm for 10 Minutes Earlier
I can hear some of you right now saying “NO WAY”! I get it – it’s hard to get up, especially if you aren’t passionate about what you do.
However, I can assure you that this is one of the best things you can do for yourself! Getting up just a smidge earlier to practice some self-care sets the tone for the rest of your day. Use that 10 minutes (or more if you can!) to have a cup of coffee in silence, meditate, read, or journal.
Choose whatever practice works for you and stick to it. Reaching for your phone as soon as you open your eyes is stressful. Try getting up early to practice self-care for even ONE day and I guarantee you’ll notice a big improvement in your day.
If you liked this post, check out my post on how to reach your biggest goals!