Making time to nurture ourselves can often feel selfish, but self-care is so critical to mental and physical health that I would argue we need to place it at the top of our priority list. This is most important when we are feeling worn out physically or mentally. It is so easy to keep going without taking stock of how we are really feeling about our lives, our health, and our current relationships. But sooner or later, unless we start really nurturing ourselves, we find that we begin to resent our families, our friends, our work and our once enjoyable commitments, for taking up all our time. The unfortunate result of this is frustration, fatigue, self-loathing, and a lack of overall enjoyment in our lives. The remedy to feeling this way is to realise that we are the masters of our bodies, our actions, and our schedules, and to make a little time to self-nurture.
Define Your Priorities
Sometimes we feel a sense of frustration about our lives and schedules but cannot seem to place why we are feeling this way. Consider that maybe it is because we have not really considered what our priorities are.
Take a look at where most of your time is now going and think about where you would like it to be going.
Consider all of these areas of your life.
- Emotional health
- Physical health
- Spiritual well-being
- Service/contributions to others
Now that you’ve considered these areas in your life, where would you like it to be different? What areas have you neglected?
Rescuing Time for Self-Nurturing
We all have time wasters that zap us of energy and leave us feeling frustrated. Instead of using whatever time you have left at the end of your day to spend on yourself consider using the best parts of your day when you have the most energy as your key times to do some self-care.
Consider reclaiming lost time from unnecessary activities. Here is some great ideas.
Phones, Computers and TVs
- Screen your phone calls. If you do not recognise the number consider letting the call go to voicemail.
- If it is not a suitable time to talk consider saying straight away, ‘I’m really glad you called but I can’t talk right now.’ Try not to make excuses.
- Only check Facebook and emails once a day
- Turn off the ringer.
- Choose what you watch on TV. When the program is over, immediately turn the TV off.
- Give your TV away.
- Turn off your computer at a set time every day.
- Turn off the information overload. You do not need to read every newspaper, watch the news every night, or answer every email every day.
Housework and Errands
- Let housework go. Try not to use cleaning and straightening up a room as a way to stay busy and avoid nurturing yourself.
- Enlist help. If you are married or live with someone, divide up the work. For example: you clean, do laundry, and take care of the dog. Your partner can cook, shop, take out the garbage. Whatever the specifics, work it out.
- Hire a cleaning person once a month, even if you have to give something up in order to have the money to do it.
- Do not waste your peak energy times doing housework, or any other tedious work.
- Consolidate your errands by being organised so that you do two or more errands in one go e.g. make a shopping list so that you know exactly what you are buying.
- Complete many of your errands online such as paying bills and shopping.
- Deal with procrastination. Take one item at a time and just do it.
- Ask for help – you are not superhuman and others are usually glad to help; and
- Finally, regularly query yourself, ‘Is this how I choose to spend my time?’
Holistic Medical Doctor