Hey Bloomers! 🌼 As we go about our work, it’s important to set aside time for ourselves in order to ensure that we’re well taken care of. Unfortunately, things don’t always go this way. Sometimes we find that we’re extremely busy, with little to no time to spare for ourselves. It is therefore important to have a ready prepared self-care plan that you can implement during these times. Chances are, you may not have the energy nor time to create a plan then and you’ll fall into the trap of neglecting yourself, so having one on standby is beneficial. Today, we’ll be having a discussion about practicing self-care when busy or overwhelmed.
Understanding self-care and its importance
Self-care involves the whole being. When you start practicing self-care, you are tapping into every aspect of your existence. You’re making sure that you’re nourished, and therefore able to positively interact with yourself as well as the world at large (Advice from Ruva). I have written two previous blog posts on self-care that give a thorough understanding of the concept, and you can find them HERE and HERE. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s commence with the plan…
The key 🔑 is finding things that can be done in little time
This self-care plan has to start from a realistic place because when you’re truly busy, you’re not going to run a 10km marathon and prepare three healthy meals for the day, from scratch. This isn’t realistic because when you’re in that place, you won’t have enough time to do any of those things. It is therefore important that your self-care plan has things that can be done in little time.
Here are some examples:
- Eating healthy. It’s useful to have a prior list of healthy meals that are both easy to make, and can be made in little time. The reason for this is because when we’re busy, we tend to find the nearest thing that we can eat when we’re hungry (whatever it may be). We may also find ourselves eating unhealthy takeaways for lengthy periods of time because they are cheap and convenient. Having knowledge of quick and easy healthy meals that you can make is therefore of use. Even through the busy schedule, you’ll be able to spare a few minutes to make yourself a healthy meal. Thereby taking care of yourself. Alternatively (or concurrently), if you’re aware that you’re going to be busy ahead of time, you can meal prep. That means that you’ll be able to just pull out your already prepared meals from the refrigerator, heat them up, and you’re good to go!
- Exercise. Together with healthy eating, exercising ensures that we’re physically taking care of ourselves. One might think that when they’re extremely busy, there’s absolutely no time in the day to work out. Wrong. Because you can set aside ONLY 10 minutes to get your body moving. Yep, you read that right, 10 minutes. There might not be enough time in a busy day for a long workout, but there definitely is some time for a short and effective workout. According to Self: When done right and with appropriate intensity, a 10 minute workout can be an incredibly effective way to work up a sweat, get your heart pumping, and get your muscles working. Plus: When you compare 10 minutes of working out to zero minutes of working out, 10 minutes is almost always better!
These are two ways in which you can take care of yourself physically during a busy period. However, as we repeatedly mention on this blog: the mental aspect is just as important! Being busy sometimes has other negative consequences such as feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Not only is it important to be in a good mental space for your health, it also helps with your work. Are you really going to perform at your peak while overwhelmed and stressed?
Here are some examples:
- Take a few minutes to meditate, using whichever meditation method works best for you. One great benefit of meditation is that it helps you to focus on the present. Sometimes, when we are busy and overwhelmed, we tend to start worrying about the future. “Will I be able to complete this on time?” “Will I be ready for the test?”. The problem is that we can create numerous negative scenarios about the future. Many of which will never even end up happening. Meditation is therefore helpful in that it allows you to focus on the present moment. When you’re done meditating, your mind is focused on the present. It’s focused on what you’re working on now, instead of worrying about how things are going to go in future. It can be for as little as 5 minutes a day. As Thought Catalog says, “creating your own meditation practice can be as simple as setting aside five minutes a day to listen to your breath”.
- Rest. Rest bafethu, rest 😂😂 Now, hear me out. I know this sounds counter-productive. If you’re busy the last thing on your mind is resting, because all the focus is on completing that project/assignment/getting ready for the test. But here’s the thing: you have to listen to your body, because it’s always communicating. Listening to your body can help you to stay mentally healthy. Your body will let you know when it is exhausted and desperately in need of rest. You could have been working all day long, and you feel incredibly worn out. This exhaustion could be accompanied by a headache or any other physical manifestation. What is your body telling you? That you are tired. And what do you need to do about that? Rest (Advice from Ruva). Going against its instructions will do neither you, nor that work you need to complete a favour. You’re not going to perform at your best if your body is tired. So rest, and pick it up when you feel a little better and more energised.
- Pray. Get into contact with the source of your power/strength. Where you go to when you need comforting, rest or encouragement. For example, if you’re Christian, go to Jesus. Let Him know that you’re overwhelmed. Matthew ch 11 vs 28: Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heaven burdens, and I will give you rest”. So, in the middle of all the chaos, go the place where you’ll get comfort. It may help you to feel a lot better and less overwhelmed. And most importantly, you’ll be taking care of yourself
I would like to add some important last remarks, after this post on practicing self-care when busy or overwhelmed. All these techniques are just shortcuts, to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself even when you have little time. When you have more time though? Do the most!! Dedicate a lot of time to taking care of, loving and continually improving yourself ❤️
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