One of the things my host mom told me is that you are never too busy for anything. If you feel like you can’t go to the gym daily because you are so occupied with work, school and everything else then going to the gym basically isn’t a priority to you. I mean, it makes sense to make work and school a priority because they somewhat secure your future but at the same time, what’s the point of you working so hard and not taking care of yourself in the name of, “I just don’t have the time for it,”
When you are working on a big creative project, I know this from experience, you tend to want to work on it the whole day and night until it is done. It’s easy to neglect self-care in that situation because you feel like it’s something that can wait. Meditating is not urgent, right? You can do that when your project is done. So is exercising, doing your hair/getting a haircut, going out for lunch alone or with a friend – all of that can wait. Well, at least that’s what you tell yourself, right? I don’t blame you for thinking like that because if it’s something that can wait then it’s naturally not a priority.
What we don’t notice when we are working like this is that we mentally and physically burn ourselves out. Have you ever noticed how you just run out of ideas and just get brain fog after hours of working on a project without doing something new? Usually, when we lose motivation from that, we don’t even complete our project or task. We just move on to the next thing and be bummed that it ‘didn’t work out,’ We are here to fix that today…
These are little self-care tips I have for you that work for me too. They keep me inspired, motivated and typically help me come up with better ideas for whatever I am working on and stressing about…
1 | Add a Self-Care activity to your to-do list
Whether you are one of those people who create daily, weekly or monthly to-do lists – you need to add a ‘self-care’ activity or two on the list. Now I know you might be thinking about the extreme, such as going on a spa date but that’s not necessary. Simply applying a face mask and laying down for 10-15 minutes while it sits/dries is enough. Depending on the kind of person you are, self-care for you could also be cleaning your room or house. The point is to do something that will re-center you.
2 | Head to bed and sleep
Now this is something I excel in. There is also a very thin line between resting when you are tired and using sleep as an escape. These two are quite hard to distinguish because it’s healthy to sleep for long hours but then again if you are sleeping for too long, you could be in denial of the fact that you are avoiding responsibility. Like I said, I am a professional at running for my bed when I am tired and when I am feeling overwhelmed but it’s so important to take not of when you should be sleeping and when you shouldn’t. Get yourself out of bed when you realize that you are sleeping as a way of avoiding the work you should be doing.
3 | Do a 5-minute check-in
Okay, when I say ‘5 minutes’ I do not mean time yourself. Please don’t because that defeats the whole purpose. My check-ins are pretty random, whenever I think about checking-in, I do it there and then. Typically, multiple times a day too. But if this is somewhat new to you, then it’s best to try and make it a habit first.
After waking up in the morning or before going to bed at night just check up on yourself. How are you doing/feeling today? What has been in your mind lately? What’s making you happy? Why are you feeling physically drained? What are you looking forward to? You could either ask yourself the same questions every time or switch it up – whatever feels right and natural to you.
4 | Be mindful in your daily activities
What do I mean by that? Pay attention, close attention, to every little thing that you are doing. When you eat, eat without distractions, focus on your food. Look at your food, notice the texture of it in your mouth. Is it healthy or unhealthy? This is not an opportunity for you to judge yourself, just genuinely answer – that’s being mindful. Practice this even when you are washing dishes, walking to take out the trash…
5 | Take a shower
You are probably thinking that there was no need for this to be on the list of tips because this is ‘not self-care’ and literally everyone takes a shower every day. Pfft! You’d be surprised. This is also based off personal experience; I love taking showers. I am one of those people who finish the hot water when they shower, and the next person suffers. However, when I am working on a time-consuming project, I legit forget to shower. This is a simple yet effective form of self-care, it’s essential too!
Showering can help ease the mind. To me, it’s also a form of meditation – literally and figuratively cleansing yourself. Do not rush to get out and get back to work, take your time with it. This is also a good time to practice mindfulness.
Pro tip – take it up a notch and shower with music.
6 | Come up with another project
Before you cry, “that’s doing entirely too much g,” hear me out… Step away from your project and do a fun project on the side such as working on a coloring book, gardening, cooking, baking… anything that you consider fun. This self-care activity will not only be fun, but it will also help you come up with more and better ideas for your main project.
It’s so easy to neglect taking care of ourselves when we have so much on our plate. Where we usually go wrong is thinking that adding anything related to self-care on the plate is going to burn us out even more. The fact is self-care is what will save you from being burnt out.
The more self-care you practice, the better and more present you become. Practice these tips whenever you feel like you are too busy – catch yourself in the moment. Share them with a creative or overworked friend you know and save a life!