Self-care strategies for busy professionals

Self-care strategies for busy professionals

If you want to be happy and healthy, practising regular self-care will be a game-changer for you. 

Self-care is much more than just a spa day or going to shop for your favourite things at a mall.

It is a holistic approach toward your physical, emotional, spiritual, artistic, and social self. You have to enquire within to understand what self-care is to you. Take a moment and ask yourself “What are my mind and body telling me right now?” They could ask you to slow down, rest, or just pause before you go on to finish another task. This simple yet necessary self-awareness prompt will help you get in touch with yourself from time to time and will allow you to tailor a self-care activity based on your needs.

 If you find yourself wanting to start your self-care journey but are feeling stuck because you do not have enough time or resources due to your hectic life then this article is for you. This article explores different self-care activities that you can intentionally include even in your hectic schedules. 

Saying no: 

Neeta has been working overtime for the past 1 week because of a product launch. After getting back home, she has to cook herself dinner for the night and her lunchbox for the next day. Her office is one hour away from her home and she has to wake up early to catch the metro so that she reaches on time every day. Neeta’s friends have made a plan to go for a weekend party at their friend’s farmhouse. The farmhouse is two hours away from Neeta’s place. Neeta knows that travelling and staying up late may not be the best way to spend the weekend but she ends up saying yes because of peer pressure. All of us have Neeta in different circumstances.

I do not think we often talk about how important it is to prioritise yourself and your needs over others or others’ expectations. Saying no to others also means saying yes to yourself and your needs at the moment. Saying no can feel ‘selfish’ and rude’ but it is important to respect the intention behind why you are choosing to say no. 

Delegate what you can:

Make a list of upcoming tasks and rate them according to priority. Delegate what you can. In your personal life, if there are tasks that may not require your personalised attention, keep them on hold for a while. You can use this time to do something that you enjoy doing. It can be anything right from exercising to video calling your loved ones or even dancing alone to your favourite song. These things may seem little but they hold an important space because they help you decompress and disconnect from the monotonous life. 

Focus on the little things:

Taking care of yourself does not require you to do something grand like take a vacation or take a week off. Self-care is an intentional practice that is capable of striking a balance between what the self wants and what the self can access at the moment. If a vacation is not possible, you can go for a nearby hike or watch the sunset from your favourite spot, order your favourite food to eat, or take a detour while leaving work and go to a café to spend time by yourself. When it comes to self-care even the smallest things matter.

Slow down consciously:

Consistent multitasking can drain your energy faster. Do a quick analysis to find out when you can slow down during your day and plan things accordingly. 

A few ways to slow down:

Sleep hygiene: Make sure you are disconnected from all the digital devices at least thirty minutes before you go to bed. Dim the lights and turn off any loud noises that you can. You can meditate, read a book or journal about your day, or simply lie down on your bed and decompress. 

Mindful walking: When you go for a walk, leave your phone at home is possible. Spend time in observing things and people around you. This is an excellent sensory experience where you can include maximum sense organs. Pay attention to the different colours of the trees, different smells, and different noises coming from all directions, feel the wind, and feel how heavy or light your feet feel. Observe whatever you can without judging. 

Go offline: Decide an hour of the day when you will completely distance yourself from all possible devices and social media applications. It may be difficult to practice but this little detox every day can be great to get in touch with your old hobbies or learn new ones. Social media apps often end up becoming fillers or substitutes for your hobbies and they eventually create a sense of lack of time. Therefore it can help to distance yourself from it consciously. 

Cook your favourite meal: Cooking is one of the rare experiences that engage all your senses and thus it requires you to be in the present moment. It also fosters a sense of connection with the food that keeps you going every day. If you do not know how to cook, you can take help, if you do not want to cook you can simply observe people who are cooking.