Fitness

How to Fit Self-Care into Your Busiest Days

By now, you probably already know that self-care is a non-negotiable that should rank at the top of your daily to-do list. And if you’re like most people, you’re probably tempted to push those seemingly unimportant tasks to the bottom of the pile, especially when the other stuff is stacking up. Totally understandable! But skipping self-care is not good for your general health and, though it might feel like the right move at the moment, it can leave you feeling anxious and overwhelmed in the long run.

The great news is that logging some QT with yourself doesn’t need to take a ton of time or energy. It just requires you to rethink the way you do things. Here are some of our top tips to help you overcome the urge to skip your daily self-care tasks, even when you’ve got a day full of commitments.

Rethink Your Routines

On your busiest days, you still have to get ready in the morning and wind down at night. One easy way to make sure you’re caring for yourself amidst the chaos is to infuse your regular routine with some beneficial self-care vibes. Something as simple as switching to vegan and cruelty-free makeup or listening to your favorite playlist can make you feel great when you’re prepping for the day.

Light a candle and make it a ritual

Self-care is all about de-stressing and keeping yourself in a clear-headed state. Try your best to slow down and make your daily tasks more enjoyable, such as by lighting your favorite candle and giving yourself extra time to prep for the day.

Rock a self-care playlist

Music has the power to slow you down and make even the most boring daily chores more fun. Spend the time to create playlists for every mood — chill, energetic, empowering, relaxing, whatever.

Clean up your makeup routine

Making sure your getting-ready process is as clean, ethical, and eco-friendly as possible will help you feel better about your impact on the world and can even help reduce anxiety. The toxic chemicals in makeup have been found to accumulate in the human body and environment, so make sure you’re sticking to the clean stuff.

Use luxe, ethical hair products

Your hair care stash may also be full of toxic chemicals and animal-derived ingredients that don’t align with your values. Using clean, cruelty-free hair products is another great way to spiff up your routine.

Don’t Skimp on Sleep

We all have a limited supply of energy, so if you’ve only got the gusto for a single self-care improvement, make it sleep. A growing body of research shows that good-quality sleep is key to a wide range of critical health factors, from supporting the immune system to helping you regulate your mood and recharge your brain so you can focus on what matters the next day. Practicing good sleep hygiene by doing things like putting away your phone an hour before bed can help ensure that you get the best-quality rest possible and are ready to crush the day in the a.m.

Practice Busy-Person Meditation

Study after study has proven the benefits of meditation — being mindful for a few minutes each day can do more than just put you in a Zen-like mental state. It can also help reduce blood pressure, manage pain, control symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and ease anxiety and depression. If picking up meditation sounds like a big commitment, consider starting off small with a 10-minute mindfulness meditation once a day before or after work.

Catch Up with Friends

Connecting with friends helps boost self-esteem and happiness, so it’s not something you can afford to skip. We’re not saying you have to squeeze in brunch or happy hour every single day, but you can use your commute time or lunch break to make small connections. Whether that be FaceTiming a close friend or sending your bestie a funny meme via Instagram, the result is the same — you’re showing your loved ones you’re thinking about them and forging meaningful connections. And if you need an excuse to grab drinks or coffee after work, this is it!

Practice Positive Thinking

We know it sounds a little corny, but positive thinking really does make an impact. Mayo Clinic agrees — positive thinking may lead to an increased lifespan, lowered rates of depression, and even increased immunity against the common cold. All from simply changing your thought process. Here are a few tips on how to do it:

Fight negative self-talk and replace it with positive mantras, such as “I can do anything” or “I am worthy.” It sounds hard, but simply being aware of the negativity can help you identify and eventually correct your thought process.

Try your best to spin unpleasant or anxious thoughts into positive ones, framing everything as a chance to learn and grow. Rather than falling into a sinkhole of pity, look at everything as a new opportunity.

Fight the urge to call yourself lazy when you take time off to do things that make you happy or help you relax, such as watching TV or reading an entertaining book. These are acts of self-care and they’re important, too.

Spend a Little Time Outdoors

We probably don’t need to tell you why some glorious sunshine is good for your mental and physical health. Research has connected getting fresh air with tons of real benefits, including lowered risk of depression, improved sleep, and better mood. Sign👏us👏up. You don’t need to go on a five-mile hike to soak up the benefits of the outdoors, either. Parking further away from the entrance to work, taking a walk around the neighborhood at lunch, or walking to get groceries will do the trick. Just make sure you don’t skip the SPF!

Self-care doesn’t need to involve soaking in the tub for hours on end (though we’re here for that, too). In reality, it means making small changes that don’t take a ton of time or effort. While these things may seem low-effort, they add up to make a big impact that’ll change your entire life.

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