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I’m too Busy for Self-Care

Middle-aged man looking down at task list and feeling overwhelmed.

There are days or seasons of life when we feel like we have too much on our plate to remotely consider ourselves and our health. I would like to challenge this mindset and instead view taking care of your health as a spectrum and it is important to acknowledge where you are on that spectrum will change throughout your life. However much or little you do to take care of yourself today does not reflect what you may have done in the past or what you will do tomorrow or even the next day.

Adapting to a new season in life is hard. This may involve a physical injury, parenthood, or caring for an elderly or disabled family member. Your previous health habits may not fit neatly in this new season of life. It is important to figure out how to be an adaptable caretaker of yourself because this will help you be a better caretaker for others.

You cannot pour from an empty cup.

Self-care means prioritizing yourself and making your well-being a priority–this looks different for everyone. Don’t get me wrong bubble baths and reading are great and can be briefly rejuvenating. However, for sustainable well-being, we recommend rooting self-care habits in nutrition and exercise choices. 

First and foremost, give yourself grace and time to embrace new healthy habits that work better for your current stage of life. When making changes to nutrition make sure you are eating breakfast and not skipping meals. Don’t forget that sleep, physical activity, and hydration status play a significant role in appetite regulation. Having the goal of moving more than you do right now is a great place to start. Circumstances change (e.g., becoming a parent) and it may not be realistic to think your old exercise routine will fit into your new reality. For example, if your current self-care routine is tied to reading books consider downloading audiobooks to your phone or another easily portable device and taking a walk while listening. 

Don’t aim for perfection when changing habits because making changes is hard. View every day and every meal as an opportunity. It you have setbacks don’t beat yourself up or throw in the towel completely. You will improve over time!

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