Solving the Self-Care Dilemma

You’re juggling an impossibly busy schedule.

You know that you should take better care of yourself, but you can’t justify it right now.

You simply don’t have enough time or energy left after handling everyone & everything else.

You promise to do more for yourself when the kids are older, or you get a better job, or your schedule lightens up, or…or…or…

It’s Not That Deep

My Gen Z daughter says “it’s not that deep” when she’s telling me about someone who made a situation more complicated or emotionally taxing than necessary. This is so relevant in the arena of self-care. If you’re already overburdened, trying to make big lifestyle changes can be unsustainable. Instead, try building a collection of tiny practices that sprinkle ease and freedom throughout the day.

Here’s a roadmap to get you on your way.

It Starts with You

Self-care starts with (re)discovering the things that have historically made you feel fully engaged, relaxed, and content with life. We’re all different and so are the things that empower, recharge, and comfort us.

Take 5-10 minutes to jot down whatever has made you feel free, energized, peaceful, and most alive from childhood to the present. The simpler the better. Try not to censor anything that seems impractical or unrealistic today – just let it flow.

Need ideas to get you started? Music, doodling, exploring in the woods, telling jokes, reading, riding horses, doing puzzles, storytelling, exercising, silence, dancing, catching fireflies, sports, deep conversations, sky gazing, and playing games.

Set your imagination free and see what appears on the page.

Leverage What You Love

Pick out 1-2 favorites from your brainstorming session. Find the simplest possible way to bring 1-5 minutes of that feeling or experience into your day. Whatever it is, be sure to give it 100% of your attention.

Example #1: If you find peace in nature, go outside for just 1 minute to look at the sky, listen to the birds, breathe, and stretch. Remember to bring your whole self to the experience, then notice how you feel afterward.

Example #2: If laughter is your medicine, stand in front of the mirror, make a ridiculous face, and start laughing. If it seems forced at first, just keep snorting, chortling, and giggling until you can’t help yourself.

Doesn’t seem like it’s enough to make a difference? It is. Whether you’re starting from scratch, or leveling up, these micro-breaks are easy, proven ways to decrease stress, improve mental focus, and even reduce pain. Your collection of tiny practices will grow quickly once you get the hang of it.