13 Essential Self-Care Tips for Busy People

You provide plenty of time to your work and family each day, but how much time do you allot for yourself? You go to sleep each night with the intention of carving out some “me” time tomorrow. Then before you know it, a couple days will turn into a month, and a month will turn into a year. Now you tell yourself, “I just need to grind for a couple years” and then I will be able to live the good life.

While it may seem necessary to devote all of your time to your professional life, if you want to be successful for the long-haul, you are must take care of yourself first. Although it does not feel like there is enough time in the day, you will benefit from these 13 self care tips for busy people.

When it comes to your self-care, you need a measurable and consistent strategy. Your self-care strategy needs to encourage your physical, emotional, social and spiritual well-being. When you spend too much time on any one aspect of your well-being, you run the risk of losing your balance.

You need to look at your self-care as a question of self love. Do you love yourself?

While this may seem like a silly question, let me ask you it another way. How do you show yourself that you love yourself? Do you take a moment each day and ask yourself how your day went? Or do you take yourself out for lunch every so often? Do you plan fun activities or write yourself simple notes? It probably seems silly to think of yourself this way, but I want you to be honest.

If someone else treated you the way you treat yourself, would you believe them if they told you they loved you? The truth for most of us is we wouldn’t. Love is more than a word or a feeling, it is an action.

I know you do not have a lot of time, so keep in mind these self care tips are meant to be completed within a short amount of time each day. You do not need to feel pressured to add every self-care tip to your daily routine.

However, it is recommended that you add at least one self care strategy for each of the four pillars of your well-being.

1. Begin Counting Sheep

This is not the first time you have heard someone tell you how important sleep is, and I am sure it will not be the last time. Of course, late at night is when the kids go to sleep or when the company stops moving, so it is natural you want to use this time to “catch up”. However, when it comes to your self-care, if you want to operate at peak efficiency, you need to get the proper amount of sleep.

In order to ensure you are able to get the proper amount of sleep each night, you need to make a night routine. Start by setting the time you want to wake up and then, determine what time you need to go to sleep. For example, if you need eight hours of sleep and want to wake up at 7am, then you need to be asleep by 11pm.

Now that you know the time you need to be asleep by, make a list of what needs to be done for you to go to sleep. Whether that is an email for work or helping the kids with their night time routine, you want to allot enough time for these activities so you will not be up past your bedtime.

Developing a night routine maybe a good idea: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

2. Start Moving and Shaking

You likely know exercising reduces the chance of you developing heart disease, stroke, or diabetes. However, did you know that exercise also protects your memory and thinking skills? Studies suggest that the part of your brain that controls your thinking and memory have “greater volume” in people who exercise.((Harvard Health Publishing: Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills ))

The recommended amount of exercise per week is 150 minutes, but it is okay if you start small and work your way up.

3. Expand Your Palate

There are plenty of nutrients in fruits and vegetables. The problem is most people do not have the proper amount of nutrients in their food. As a result, you are forced to take vitamins to get the nutrients you need.

Supplementing your nutrients with vitamins is always an option, but you have to eat anyways. Might as well kill two birds with one stone by eating foods that have a high nutritional value.

4. Take a Vacation

I know what you are thinking and you are probably right. You do not think you have time to take a vacation and you may be right in some regards. But, there is a saying that people sacrifice their health to attain wealth and then, they spend their wealth trying to buy back their health.

You do not want to stress yourself out to the point that you are making yourself sick. You do not need to take a cruise or anything grand. You can simply take an afternoon and promise not to answer any calls or check any emails.

Spend that time as you see fit. You can use that time to clean or iron your clothes for the week. You can go finish that movie or book you just have not had the time to complete. It is up to you, as long as you are disconnecting from the stresses of your normal life.

5. Start with the Warm and Fuzzes

Each morning, it is a great idea to start your day by giving thanks. This self-care tip can be done while you are taking a shower or driving to work. You simply think about three things you are grateful for in your life.

“People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude)”((Harvard Health Publishing: Giving thanks can make you happier )).

And to inspire you a little bit, here’re 32 Things You Should Be Grateful For.

6. You and Superman

You know how Superman needs the sun to refuel? Well, you do too. Open a window or take your work outside, it does not matter. You are doing well as long as you have the sun shining down on you.

Unlike other essential vitamins, which are obtained through food, vitamin D is achieved through the skin’s exposure to the sun. In fact, at least 1,000 different genes that manage virtually every tissue in your body are regulated by vitamin D.((Environ Health Perspect.: Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health ))

7. It Is Okay to Say No

People pleasing tendencies are inside all of us. If you have ever gone along to get along, then you need to start saying no more. It is physically and emotionally draining to do something you do not want to do.

The good news is, you can say no. So what if someone does not like you!

The reality is doing something you do not want to do is only forcing people into your life that you would be better without. That is why it is critical for you to be your authentic self in all interactions. You will save plenty of time and money when you are honest and let people know how you feel.

Learn to be the authentic you: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Connect with Your Inner Self

Mindfulness mediation is a powerful self-care tip for the busy person. You can accomplish mindfulness meditation in as little as a few minutes. All you need to do is focus on the present.

One of the easiest ways to practice mindfulness meditation is to focus on one of your five senses. Your senses are always in the present, so focusing on them will help you to be mindful of what is going on in the here and now.

The benefits of mindfulness mediation are numerous. It can help you to increase your ability to regulate emotions, as well as manage your stress and anxiety.

If you want to start to meditate, try this: Meditation for Beginners: How to Meditate Deeply and Quickly

9. Spend Time Catering to Yourself

Do one nice thing for yourself every day. It can be as grand or modest as you decide. You can try one of these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

By taking the time to treat yourself to something nice, you are teaching yourself that you are worth it.

It is important for you to have a positive self-image of yourself. By adding this self-care tip, you will increase your confidence and boost your overall self-esteem.

10. Let Go of the Past

You got to stop holding on to old stuff. Whether you hurt someone or someone hurt you, you need to forgive and move on. The past cannot be changed, nor does it guarantee your future. You have the ability to make decisions that will positively alter your life every day.

I love the practice of writing an issue on a piece of paper and then destroying the paper as a symbolic way of telling yourself it is done.

And there’re more things you can try to learn to let go: 7 Ways To Let Go Of The Past And Live A Happy Life

11. Be a Caregiver

Helping others is a great way to improve your well-being. You can help a coworker, grow a plant in your yard, or even get a pet. By taking the time to help others, when they succeed, you feel rejuvenated yourself.

This can be as small as holding the door for someone or you could have a plant that you only need to water once a week.

12. Use Your Funny Bone

All you need to do is laugh. Even if you do not find anything particularly funny, laugh anyways. Laughing can improve your mood and it is also shown that people who laugh live longer. Even though it may feel unnatural to laugh when you do not find anything funny, your fake laugh will turn into a real laugh.

13. Paint Your Canvas

It is important to make sure you have the proper mindset on a daily basis. You have probably heard of some of the benefits of having a vision board. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to take some time to create a vision board.

However, I know how busy you are, so here is the next best thing:

Decorate your office with pictures of your friends and family. If you do not like your friends and family on this particular day, decorate your desk with pictures of your favorite places. These images are going to be a positive reminder of the things you enjoy in life.

Final Thoughts

You do not need to add all 13 self-care tips into your life. However, you can start by adding one and then working your way. Ideally, you will have a self-care plan that includes tips that address your physical, emotional, social and spiritual well-being.

Remember, you do not “have” time, you “make” time. So choose to prioritize yourself and set yourself up for long-term success.

More About Self-Care

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