I always talk about the importance of self-care and our self-care goals but so many people (myself included!) struggle to make the time for it. I’ve learned it’s often not about having the time or making the time – it’s about having the motivation.
This month, I took a break from social media. One would imagine that would free up *a lot* of my time and it did. My self-care however? It was about the same. Maybe even a little bit less. It was a reminder that we make time for things that are important and for a lot of days – self-care didn’t make the cut. (Thanks Depression.)
I want to talk about how we can make the time and find the motivation.
If you’re juggling work, family responsibilities, your personal life, and more, fitting in the time to practice self-care can be challenging to say the least.
Make Self-Care Automatic
The best way to create a consistent self-care practice is to make it something you do without thinking about it. It’s not a reward or a treat – it’s an essential part of your day. Even the little acts of self-care count and can make a big impact on your day. The easiest way (at least for me) to do this is to add a lot of self-care to my morning and evening routines.
Set Broad Self-Care Goals
Some people work better under specific goals (and if that’s you – go for it!). I prefer broad goals. Instead of saying “I’m going to get up at 6 am and go for a run.” My goal would be something like “I’m going to add more movement or exercise into my day.”
A lot of us tend to be all-or-nothing people so when we fail at a goal (especially several days in a row) we give up. But if you’re able to meet that self-care goal of at least being more active than what you usually are – that gives you the motivation to stick with it.
Focus on Your Mental Health
If you’re not taking care of your mental health it’s going to sabotage your self-care all the time. Mental health and self-care go hand-in-hand for me. They feed off of each other. I can’t have one without the other. If I’m not taking care of my mental health then my self-care suffers. If I’m not practicing self-care then my mental health suffers.
Go to therapy. Join a support group. Go to AA. Go to Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment. Talk to someone. Brush off those dusty coping skills. Make your mental health just as much of a priority as your self-care.
Respect Your Own Limitations
Your goals are your own. Make sure to set personal goals that represent what YOU want. You don’t have to keep up or compete with anyone other than yourself. Just because someone else is getting up early or doing something that’s Instagram-perfect doesn’t mean you have to. Just do what nourishes you.
Plan Your Self-Care
Set realistic goals according to your schedule. It’s easy to tell ourselves we “just don’t have the time” like self-care is relegated to leftover time not spent on more important things. When you schedule it – intentionally – it’s harder to push it aside. Set reminders or use the best scheduling apps to help you out.
Find New Ways to Motivate Yourself
If you’re still in need of new ways to motivate yourself you could shake things up a bit. Try this self-care jar activity, for instance. Fill a jar with different activities on pieces of paper and do them at random. If your plan is to be more active set a goal that after two weeks of being more active you’ll buy cute new activewear. Get that super cute water bottle if you can stay on top of being hydrated.