Self-care for busy people – part 2

In this blog post, we discussed small spa-like actions you can add to your day that don’t take extra time but still offer you ways to care for yourself, body and mind. Today we’ll discuss my time-saving self-care tips.

Time-saving self-care

Unplug

We receive hundreds of notifications every day, but how many of them are really that important? Very few of them. I started realizing that even when my phone was on silent, I felt overwhelmed by the notifications whenever I checked it. I would swipe them all away after clicking on a few. What did that give me? Wasted time and anxiety. To rid myself of this ridiculous problem, I turned off 99% of the notifications on my phone. (I have an Android, so I went to Settings > Sound > Apps, and from there I clicked the options to “Block” or “Show no notifications from this app” on the majority of my apps.)

Blocking notifications for individual apps took some of my time initially, but once I started receiving about 10 notifications per days instead of hundreds, I knew I was never going back!

Now I mainly receive notifications from my calendar, texts, phone calls, and Facebook messages. No more status updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for me. Just the important things in life – people and events with people. Now I only receive important updates and peruse social on my own time, before or after work, not when Betty Jane posts something.

Do it. It will change your life.

Streamline your inbox

Unroll.me is a marketer’s worst nightmare and a dream come true, all wrapped into one. It helps you streamline your email inbox by giving you a list of your subscriptions and allowing you to unsubscribe right then and there, or “roll up” the subscriptions you do want to keep into one daily email. Oddly enough, I read more emails I’m subscribed to with this free service because it makes it easier to review the content before opening individual emails.

Create music playlists

If you enjoy listening to music while working or working out, then you understand the necessity of listening to new songs occasionally and of having a standby playlist of songs that will always inspire you. Whenever I listen to new songs or suggested songs on Spotify and love a certain song, I take the time to briefly look away from my work and add the song to one of my playlists. By taking these brief moments to save songs for later, I’ve developed multiple playlists for different scenarios. This has saved me time so I don’t have to try to find that one song I want to listen to.

Say no

This one is a hard one for many people, including me. Saying no when you’re a people pleaser is painful, but necessary. I learned that when I overwhelm myself with other people’s tasks that have no benefit to my goals, I usually get angry, frustrated, or exhausted, or a combination of all three. (Learn more on that in this amazing book.) Instead, I started saying no. Do I still offer help to people? Yes. But do I always agree to help them? No. Because I’ve learned that I’m not obligated to do something just because someone else wants me to. As a recovering people pleaser, saying no gives me energy, allowing me to say yes to something else that is more important.

Ask for help

Are you stubborn like me? Ask for help anyway. I’ve learned that I can’t do it all. It’s impossible. Not only that, but that I wasn’t created to do it all.

I am not meant to do it all. I am meant to do my part.

This means that when my to-do list is longer than the month, I ask my husband, friends, and coworkers for help. The best part? When you start giving up tasks that you don’t have time for or that you just don’t understand, you are not only doing yourself a favor, but you’re also helping others.

For example, a coworker of mine didn’t have time to complete a project, so I took it on. I could do most of it, but there was a missing (technical) piece I couldn’t figure out, even with Google’s help. So I sent a message to my coworker. He provided the missing link for me and I was able to complete the project. In this scenario, we both asked for help. When my coworker asked for help, he admitted that he didn’t have the time. When I asked for help, I admitted that I didn’t know a technical piece of the project. It was a win-win situation. I saved him hours of time by completing the project, but I made sure the project was done correctly by asking him to explain a technical aspect of the project (which also saved me time and a headache).

Learn when to stop (and wear proper shoes)

Listen to your body and your mind. Learn when you need to stop. When to stop working out or take a rest day. When to take a day off work (sick day or mental health day). When to call it a day and stop cooking, cleaning, writing, etc., so you can relax before doing it all again tomorrow.

And when you start going again, wear the right shoes. I’ve learned over time that I love cute shoes, not sensible ones, and at the ripe old age of 27, I already have foot problems. Don’t be me. Wear tennis shoes during every workout except yoga. Buy quality winter and rain boots. Purchase insoles if, like me, you have high arches (or low arches).

For most of us, our feet take us through our days, so it’s so important to take care of them with every step.

This is the hardest self-care item of all, especially for busy people, but it’s so important. You need to take time to slow down or stop when your body tells you to. This is learned over a lifetime, not a night, so give yourself grace.

In the busyness of life, remember to take some time to take care of you.

Challenge: Try one self-care item listed above. Let me know what it is and if it brought you joy in the comments.

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