No time or energy for self-care

How do you fit in self-care even when you feel like you don't have the time or energy?

So many of us are burning the candle at both ends and have so much going on that there just doesn't feel like enough hours in the day. There is a lot of work that can be done to dig into what matters the most and free up some time. But for this week we are just going to concentrate on how to fit in little bits of self-care into the tiny pockets of time that you likely do have available even if you don't realize it right now. 

Think about your mornings. 

  • First of all, what do they look like? 
  • What about when you wake up? 
  • Are you alone? 
  • Are there others that are already awake? 
  • Or maybe you have a couple of minutes before you have to start waking everybody else up

Getting up even 10 minutes earlier can allow you a few minutes of alone time to set the day off on the right foot. 

Maybe it's… 

  • sitting outside and drinking a cup of coffee or 
  • sitting in a favorite chair or spending a little bit of time doing a Bible study or reading something inspiring 
  • some stretching 
  • doing something else to nourish your spirit before you start giving your time and attention to everyone else. 

How can you focus on yourself and how you are feeling and what you need? 

  • Do you like to exercise first thing in the morning? 
  • Do you prefer to shower right away? 
  • And would this give you a few extra minutes alone in the bathroom?

No one likes the feeling of being behind or stressed out from the moment they wake up but a lot of times we let our mornings begin that way. 

With everyone rushing around and feeling frustrated. taking just a few minutes to sit and visualize your day and how you want it to go can set the tone and set the intention for your day.

Imagine everything going smoothly. Imagine feeling calm and peaceful and then actually feel it. 

What can you do to set yourself up for success? 

  • the night before can you get bags packed for the next day and 
  • get the coffee ready we're all you have to do is push the button or have it set up to auto brew or 
  • have breakfast or lunches prepped so that it cuts time and stress from your mornings 

Take a couple of minutes to brainstorm - what does your ideal morning look like? 

If you had a morning on vacation, how would you like it to go? 

  • How do you want to feel?
  • What do you want to wear?
  • What do you want to hear?
  • What do you want to smell?
  • What are you eating?
  • What are you NOT doing?

As you work through that, think about how you can incorporate pieces of that into your regular days. You likely only get a few weeks vacation a year and that's if you're lucky. Why save all of the good stuff for then instead of enjoying it every day? 

What makes you feel really good? You can go a little deeper into this in podcast number 9, but what can you do that you know makes you feel better? Something simple, like particular songs or scents. 

These are things that take very little time and not much planning. But it does take some intention, so how can you fit that in and make it work? If there are things that you know you enjoy, like body spray or hand cream or essential oils or lip balm or foot cream. Maybe a book of poetry or quotes or devotions - things that make you feel good - and loved - quickly. Have them all in an easy-to-reach place either in a pamper-me basket or a happiness basket or by other things that you already do so that it will remind you to do them as well. 

Some other simple self-care things involve stopping doing certain things or doing them less instead of adding things. Like the news for example  D you consume a lot of news programming and if so, how do you think that impacts you? If you find yourself becoming more anxious then consider limiting your news consumption to a few minutes a day. 

The same with social media. What does that do for you, both positively and negatively? How do you feel when you are on social media? Do you feel more positive and encouraged? Or do you maybe feel like you don't quite measure up or that you're lacking in some way?

 

Do you mindlessly watch video after video of people doing things that you really don't care anything about because it's an escape from your regular life? 

Doing that occasionally isn't necessarily a bad thing. But if you feel like you never have time to do the things that matter most to you, but you realize that you're spending quite a bit of time on social media, maybe now’s the time to take a look at that. When I was working with my own coach a couple of weeks ago, we were talking about time and the way that it can start to get away from us if we're not careful. And I was introduced to the Toggl app, which I'd heard of before but hadn't used. I started using it as a way to track the time I was spending doing certain activities. And what I found was just tracking that time made me spend less time doing things that I knew weren't productive. 

So if I was working on let's say writing an email and I spent some time on that and then I took a bit of a break to go maybe put in a load of laundry. Well, one of the hazards of working from home as you may know if that's something that you have done over the past couple of years is that some of the good things, like being able to do laundry, also have the potential to be negative things - it's easy to get distracted. 

So while I may have the intention of going and putting in a lot of laundry and coming right back, but instead maybe I'll clean up something in the kitchen or decide I want a snack. And then there'll be a pile of mail there. And it's easy to lose 15 minutes or more for something that was just going to be putting a load of laundry. 

But when I know that I've got that app running and I entered that I was putting in a load of laundry, it's that reminder to me to get back to that and to basically not waste time. 

And there are apps as well that will track your time spent in a particular app. So maybe if you want to see how much time am I spending on Facebook or TikTok. 

So one of the things that you could do is make a list of some things that you would really like to have time to do. And then think about and track some of the things that you're doing that you could do a little less of and use that time to add in some of the things that you do like doing.

It may be super simple like you're not getting enough sleep and you feel like you're always busy and you really don't have time to go to bed any earlier, but then you realize that you spend an hour earlier in the evening on social media. And so if you decide to go to bed an hour earlier, and then maybe you're not so tired and you don't feel the need to kind of get lost in mind-numbing videos. 

Or maybe you want to read a little bit but you just find that you don't really have the time or the energy. Could you do that earlier in the day before you get so exhausted? Or just use it as a way to unwind. You know, it's easy to watch TV right before bed because it just feels so mindless. But then there's the issue of the blue light and the stimulation and all of that that can impact your sleep quality. So that kind of adds to that vicious cycle. 

So, there are a lot of things that you can do and you really just need to think about what do you want most? It's not enough to go through life on autopilot. I have a friend a dear friend who is incredibly sick and isn't going to be with us much longer and it's such a reminder that our time here is limited and things can change so quickly. We need to make the most of it. We need to think about what matters most to us, not what matters most to others. 

 

Next week we’re going to dig a bit further into self-care and how to build that rhythm into our days and weeks.  In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you! What are your challenges in this area? Is this something you struggle with? Or do you have some great tips to share? DM me at http://www.instagram.com/jennylytlern

And if you’re ready to go deeper into any of these areas, check out ways to work with me further at https://www.jennylytle.com/work-with-jenny

Until next time, take a deep breath or two and never stop becoming the best version of YOU.

I am also always open to suggestions and show ideas, and want to collaborate with other like-minded individuals, so feel free to reach out to me at https://www.jennylytle.com/podcast-guest

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