We live in a fast paced world and we usually have little time to do anything including taking care of ourselves. Self Care is basically taking care of yourself in ways that work best for you. Check out “The Vitality Fix” for other ways you can practice Self Care and increase your energy levels.
We usually do have time even if it isn’t much. We just have to utilize are time better because time is the most valuable currency. If you were like me and working 65+ hours a week and balancing life outside of work then you have even less time.
Breaking Self Care Up Throughout the Day
You do not have to self care all at once. Start off with making sure you have a non-negotiable of getting 6-9 hours of sleep. This will allow you to schedule around it. The next form of self care is making sure you are getting enough water and nourishing meals. You can grab a reusable water bottle and set reminders to drink every 60 minutes. The nourishing meals can be meal prepped one day a week( set an hour or two aside for this) for 3-4 meals ahead. I find the best way to meal prep is throw some food in the crock pot or on a baking pan in the oven because then I don’t have to actively cook for long. Also, having ready to go snacks like hand held fruits, bananas, and nuts.
If you do not have any time to make food for 3-4 days in advance feel free to invest in a meal prep service or get healthier alternatives when ordering out.
Another, way to self care is getting more movement in. You can do a quick 30 second stretch in the morning when you wake up or on a quick break for work. You can take the stairs, choose an activity that is more movement based to do with your kids, or park further from your car. Just get moving more than what you were and build up.
You do not have to start all these at once, pick one and work your way up.
Implementing Self Care with 4 Steps
1) Set 5 Minutes aside for yourself
- We all need some time alone. Feel free to use this time to read 5 minutes of a book, focusing on your breath, or just laying in place. Do what you need to do. Enjoy the 5 minutes to yourself. Set it aside right in the morning, afternoon, or before bed. You can also habit stack using this time to get some stretching in or a short walk. It’s up to you!
2) Meal Prep or get Pre-Made Nourishing meals
- There are many meal prep services out there that are affordable. If you are low on time or don’t like cooking that is a great option. If you decide to meal prep, make it easy on yourself. Choose one meal you’ll prep for 3-4 days in advance. This also frees up your time so you don’t have to keep making food every time you want to eat. Our food impacts our energy and how we feel. Choose the foods that nourish you more. It’s okay to splurge, nobody is perfect and I splurge all the time.
3)Allow yourself to unwind before bed
- Make sleep your non-negotiable. You need sleep in order to be your best self. When you give yourself some time to get ready for bed this helps( 60 minutes is recommended, but start with 5 minutes and slowly build up). It can be with family as board games, reading a book, stretching, meditation, or whatever you want to do. I do suggest, if you are using electronics to get blue light filter glasses and to dim the lights around you. This allows the brain to release the hormones for sleep. Feel free to use this time to habit stack self care. The best thing to do is to get off electronics at this time. You will notice that you have more time available. I find meditating before bed helps my clients and I wind down even more and sleep better. Check out these 25+ Meditations here.
4) Set a mini break every half hour or hours
- If we are being honest, we get more focus when we give ourselves mini breaks. As a personal trainer Is set time aside every hour for a 15 minute break. I suggest you take your breaks too so you can function. You need it to be more efficient. Take and use your full break that you get at work. Try the Pomodoro Technique. Basically 30 minutes of work, split between 25 minutes of focus and a 5 minute break. Meditation or breath work also helps in focus.
When in Doubt, Rest
All these techniques and hacks are great. Prioritize what is important. Is family or work more important? Do you want to be happy or miserable? Do the things that make you happy, or at least more of it, and less of what doesn’t.
These tricks and tips will help you increase your energy and I was able to do them even at my high of 80 hour work weeks. I do suggest you at least have one day off and try to establish workplace boundaries. I get double of what I use to get done in just 4 hours a day. That’s right, I work at most 30 hours a week in my business and get all I need done. This is a marathon, not a sprint. If you burn out, your energy will be too low to do anything. Take your vacation days. Start slow when implementing your self care and notice how your body reacts.
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