Carving Out Time For Self-Care

Happy girl

American culture doesn’t do moderation particularly well. We work long hours and often come home to a family or active social life that’s just as demanding. With all the professional, social and family demands placed on us, it often leaves little room to take care of ourselves.

For those living with a chronic illness, this can be incredibly costly. Self-care is an absolute must in managing chronic illness or it can result in longer recovery periods or being more susceptible to illness.

If you’re having trouble finding time for self-care, consider the five methods below to regain control of part of your day.

Set a date night with yourself and your partner: Pick one or two nights each week that you completely devote to relaxing and recuperating. For the solo date, this can be any activity you enjoy, from going on a run to watching a movie on bed. But just like a date with another person, make sure to be there on time and don’t arrive late or cancel last minute! For the date with your partner, focus on the activities you both enjoy and connect over.

Early to bed, early to rise: Finding it hard to carve out time for self-care? Try going to bed an hour earlier and waking up an hour earlier. The extra hour you have to your day can be devoted to meditation, exercise, reading or anything else you choose.

Little white lies: If your solo date night is Tuesday and someone asks you to meet up with them, it could be uncomfortable telling them you’d rather spend that night alone instead. Feel free to tell them a little white lie like you’re feeling under the weather or have to work late.

Avoid unnecessary distractions: A lack of down time could also be a result of poor planning. Would you have an hour or two for self-care if you didn’t regularly check Facebook, surf the Internet or text friends? Try to remove “fillers” from the moments when you need to work or complete a task and you might be surprised at how much time is left over.

Make self-care a priority: Would you go four days without brushing your teeth or showering? You’ve made these daily items a priority in the same way that self-care should be. Adopt the attitude that at least 30 minutes per day must be devoted to self-care, no matter what.