Scheduling Self Care

Doesn’t it seem like there’s not enough time in the day for self care? Everyday life is full of activities: eight or more hours of work, child care, school, church, community activities and more. And don’t forget your relationships!

It may seem impossible to take care of yourself while

  • taking care of a family and keeping up with the house
  • or while running a business,
  • or working a job,
  • or any combination of the above.

But there is a way to solve this problem – through scheduling and calendaring. If you don’t already use a calendar, there are lots of options available. I like to keep info in Google Calendar, but my favorites are a bullet journal and a scheduling app (I use Todoist). Your health and happiness depend on it. Plus, you’ll seriously be shocked at how much more free time you have when you do schedule everything.

Every day, or at the beginning of each week, sit down and find areas that you can fill in your calendar with some self care activities. If you can put those things in your calendar first, right after your required work schedule, you’ll become even more successful at meeting your self care goals.

Try to schedule your self care as early in the day as possible. Schedule everything even if it feels silly. This can include phone calls with your family and friends, a bath, or even a short nap. Once you have it scheduled, stick to it, and make it just as important as the rest of your tasks.

You would never overlook something on your calendar if it pertained to work or your family, so why do that to yourself?

self-care

You are just as important as anything else in your life. Your overall health affects everything that happens in your daily life. Neglecting self care can cause horrible moods, depression, and even affect your work in a negative way. In other words, self care is just as important as work and your family.

Adding these activities to your calendar avoids the repeated and all too familiar excuse of not having enough time, or saying, “I’ll just do it later.” There is no pushing something under the rug when it’s on your calendar and the time is blocked out. You already took the time out to make time, so there really is no excuse. Your work or family doesn’t need more of your time. You need to take some time for yourself.

Make sure you schedule in enough time for each self care activity so you can fully enjoy it. Don’t rush these activities, or you will quickly make something that is supposed to release stress, stressful. If you only have a certain amount of time, choose your self care interests wisely. If you only have ten minutes to spare, only do something that takes ten minutes, and stick to it.

It may seem difficult, or a little silly, at first, but over time it will become second nature. You will experience so many benefits, that skipping over your self care will seem insane and unnatural. Self care is just as, if not more, important than your work and family, because it determines how each day will develop for the rest of your life.

Make Your Own Self Care Survival Kit

self care survival kit

A self care survival kit is a personalized box  (or basket) of fun things to use to pamper yourself. When you are feeling sad, stressed, or just feel like it, pull this kit out and enjoy. The survival kit will help you loosen up and just relax and feel a sense of self-pride. Making a kit can be just as rewarding as using one. Just the act of making the self care survival kit is self care!!

The first task that needs to be done when creating this kit is finding a box or basket to put things in. Buy colorful markers, glitter, and ribbons to decorate the outside if you want to. This can be super creative or just simple. Decorate until you are happy with the way it looks. For my kit, I used a plane wicker basket I already had.  Then I wrapped the handle in some pretty pink ribbon and lace I inherited from my great grandmother.

Now it’s time to figure out what items to put in the survival kit. Essentially you want to fill it with anything that makes you feel good, brings a smile to your face, or relaxes you.

A good way to help you get started is by using all five senses as you fill your kit. Let’s look at a few ideas.

• Sight – Photos of loved ones, a favorite book or magazine, a list of affirmations, postcards from friends and family, or adult coloring books.
I have a favorite postcard from my favorite Aussie, and of course, tons of favorite photos on my phone. I also keep a subscription to one of my favorite magazines:

• Smell — Scented soy candles, incense, or essential oils.
Because of all my sensitivities, I have to be very careful about artificial smells.  Fortunately, essential oils are all natural and most of them don’t bother me. My favorite is lavender, which I use in my bedside diffuser.

• Sound – Favorite music CD, an audio book, or a list of your favorite videos on YouTube.
I crank up one of my Spotify playlists – trying to opt for Strong Women and not Tearjerkers. I also use the Calm app to help me meditate.
• Touch — Anything that you can feel and want to touch. Avoid textures that make you uncomfortable. Face masks, foot scrubs, calming lotions, stress ball or extra paper or a journal to write poems or thoughts. Silly putty and kinetic sand are other great stress relieving toys.
My favorites are this cool little hot/cold eye mask, and of course my bullet journal with lots of colored pens and washi tape.

• Taste — Try to avoid high calorie or extremely unhealthy foods. Gum, flavored lip balm, mints and tea bags are all good options.
Carmex and Trader Joe’s chai tea are my favorite relaxing tastes.

Add as many items in each category as you like. If there are certain categories you don’t care for feel free to avoid it. Maybe you want complete quiet when doing these activities so you might add in some ear plugs instead of music. You want to feel excited when you open this kit so make it worth it.

Keep your self care survival kit somewhere you can see it every day and easily get to it. Don’t hide it away. This kit is a way to remind yourself that you need time for you. The more you see it the more you will remember that you are just as important as everything else going on in your day. Eventually, it will become a healthy routine.

What would you put in your self care survival kit?  Please leave a comment and let me know.