Today’s guest post is from an amazing lady who is taking the online world by storm with her self-care practices. If you’re feeling busy and overwhelmed, this article will resonate with you. Welcome Sarah!
Step back for a moment and think about all you do in a day, and more importantly, all you think about doing each day. Chances are, it’s an ever expanding universe of ideas and goals and it’s important to take time to reflect on everything you’re accomplishing, even when it may not feel like it.
When you’re busy working, running a side hustle, managing a family/household, trying to get out with the girls, and tackle your endless to-do list, taking time for yourself can feel like the last thing you have time for.
I’m here to remind you just how important self-care is and that there are some great ways you can make that time, not only a priority, but an actual occurrence in your daily life.
Let’s jump into four big ways you can step into more self-care even when you’re busier than a bumble bee pollinating thousands of flowers!
How to Practice Self-Care When You Feel Endlessly Busy & Overwhelmed
#1: Give yourself permission to pause
Consider how often you allow yourself to slow down. I know, I know, this can feel limiting, especially when there’s so much to take care of. But when we’re constantly go-go-go we put ourselves at a higher risk for burnout, anxiety, and overwhelm, which can result in some nasty things like exhaustion, resentment, and pure lack of motivation.
One easy way to do this is to schedule a time each day to sit down and zone out. Sounds simple enough, right?
Even taking a walk for 15 minutes each day, hiding out in a room where no one can bother you, or asking for help from someone else so you CAN take a break can feel incredibly life-changing when it’s been awhile since this last happened. Give yourself permission to be present in a moment without having to give, create, or provide.
Pausing also allows you to notice the dust settling around you and gain some clarity on what is working well, what may need to change, and how you can make that happen.
#2: Set aside time this week for a brain dump
I used to be known as the post-it queen at one of my past jobs. My desk was constantly littered with post-it notes, to-do lists, and reminders. Eventually the pile would grow and I’d end up having to toss a bunch of it which led to the ever anxious follow-up thought of “oh no, what am I forgetting now?!”
You may notice similar things happening around your house. To-do lists for cleaning, sorting, organizing, a phone full of past reminders that never happened, a wish list of things you’d love to do but don’t have time for, requests from your family, errands that need to be taken care of.
One of the biggest reasons we often feel overwhelmed is that we know there’s a ton to get done but 1) we don’t even know where we wrote everything down and 2) we don’t feel like trying to figure it out.
A huge part of self-care is giving yourself a chance to feel organized and in control of what’s going on in your life.
To make a brain dump, take out a journal or a notebook (not a loose piece of paper that will end up getting lost) and write down anything and everything that comes to mind. Don’t worry about it being relevant, a top priority, or unrelated to current goals. This is a place to get everything out of your mind and onto paper.
You can also use a Word Document or a spreadsheet, just make sure to do it in a place that will be easy for you to reference.
Once you have this completed, you can end your days knowing that there’s a list you can reference and you can set aside time to choose which tasks you need to complete sooner than later.
#3: Activate your built in relaxation response
Did you know that your body already has built in ways to help you calm down? Our body works to keep us in a balanced state within our Autonomous Nervous System. Within this system we have our Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS), responsible for that “fight or flight” response and our Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS), responsible for “rest and digest.”
When we’re stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious, our SNS is on at full force. You may find that your body feels tense, it’s hard to relax, and completing tasks can feel more intense. When the PNS is activated, our blood pressure drops, our cortisol levels lower, and our immune system is boosted.
There are a number of ways you get your body to relax and your mind to follow:
- Take in a deep breath and slowly exhale longer than your inhale
- Focus on the positive. There’s actually a 5:1 ratio when it comes to positive and negative thoughts. In other words, for every negative thought your brain encounters, it takes five positive thoughts to bring you back to a state of equilibrium.
- Give someone a hug. Contact with other person releases oxytocin into our bloodstream and helps relax our minds. Hint: Make that hug last for at least 30 seconds to really let it build
#4: Create a solid stop time for your side hustle
For a while, I found myself automatically drawn to my laptop even on the days I was supposed to have “off” or take a complete break from life.
Building a side hustle can take a lot of effort and I’m not saying you won’t have to work late some days, but it’s important to set a time where you are done. A time when you can (and will) walk away from the laptop, stop checking social media accounts, and give yourself the needed mental break so you can refuel those creative juices and start fresh when you jump back in.
I find more and more that the key to building a side hustle is allowing the ebb and flow to work with you, not against you.
As you make time for these elements of self-care in your life, be patient with yourself and allow yourself to build awareness around what works and what you need more of.
Sarah Steckler is a Creative Self-Love Coach who helps busy women who feel overwhelmed tackle their to-do list and tap into their creative side so they can feel in control of their life and have more time for self-love and self-care. An avid collector of journals, stickers, and washi tape, Sarah loves finding new ways to track and organize her life while cuddling with her English Bulldog, Bella. She believes in the power of owning your true self and making time for passions that light your soul on fire. Download her FREE Self-Care Planner here! (http://www.sarahsteckler.com/weeklyselfcareplanner)
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