How to make time for self-care

Oct 31, 2018 | Self-Improvement

How to make time for self-care

Why respecting your self-care is a non-negotiable

Julia Franckh

Being a punctual person is a big part of my identity. If I say I’ll be somewhere at 11:00 am, I will move heaven and earth to get there at 10:55 am. Of course, illnesses and emergencies are exceptions, but it’s important to me that I keep my word when making plans with other people. If I say I will be there, you bet ya, I will be there.

But there’s this one person that I always flake on: me. I am great at filling my schedule with work deadlines, workshops, meetings… (the list is endless) but at the end of the day my plans to go to the gym, do yoga, or take a bath magically disappear in my long list of to-dos. Anything that falls into my self-care category goes straight out the window at the slightest opportunity to let it slip.

Besides not being able to do all the things that make me happier on a day-to-day basis, the problem is that I have taught myself that I am a flake. That friend you have that is always an hour late, always bails or finds something better to do? Well, you stop counting on them to actually show up. Of course, I can make that plan to go to the gym, why? Because I know it’s not going to happen anyways.

But I’m trying to give myself a second chance at being more dependable. Below are two strategies that I have found useful in helping me stay committed to self-care:

  1. I schedule self-care routines in my calendar just like any other commitment (I actually have an ical calendar labeled “self-care”). This means that a gym session or bath gets the same level of priority as all my other to-dos.
  2. I have my non-negotiables: things that I will do no matter what. These are small routines that are realistic enough for me to integrate into my day-to-day: going for at least a 10-minute jog first thing in the morning, taking an actual lunch break away from the computer and reading before bed. They may seem small but end up making a massive difference when I do them consistently.

I still have a long way to go in respecting my own commitments as much as the ones I make with other people, but with simple strategies like my non-negotiables, I am finally starting to show up on time for myself.

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