how to renew when you don’t have the time
Self-care is a trend flooding all of my social media. Within the past few years, I’ve seen articles popping up about the best methods of self-care, self-care challenges, self-care for moms, college students, depressed people – on and on it goes. I see amazing ideas that I always want to try out.
But here’s the thing. I have no time for that.
I’ve given a sample of my typical schedule before (check it out in this post) but suffice it to say I keep very, very busy. I find that filling my time with school, church, work, and friends is better for my mental health than just sitting around and scrolling Pinterest. My mind doesn’t do well with emptiness.
But I still know that I could be taking much better care of myself. I can fit in time to make sure I’m being refreshed, and renewing myself so that I have enough strength to do everything I need to do.
You can find time for self-care too. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:
don’t underestimate small chunks of time
Don’t have three hours to do yoga, take a bubble bath, and pamper yourself? Yeah, me neither. But one of the most useful things I’ve found when I need a quick reorientation is to make or grab a cup of something hot (coffee or tea, depending on my mood and the time of day) and put on a good song (For de-stressing, I love Breathe by Jonny Diaz or Sane by for King & Country).
I take a few minutes to soak that in if I need to, and then I can go back to what I was doing with more energy and a better frame of mind.
If you only have a few minutes, that can still be enough to help you get your strength back. Sure, a month of not sleeping can’t be fixed with a five-minute nap between classes, but the five minutes is better than nothing.
A few more ideas for quick self-care:
- Pop your headphones in when you have a break. Play your go-to song.
- Keep a travel-sized lotion in your bag. Use it on your hands if you notice they’re dry or rough. (You can make your own with the recipe I link here or use one like this)
- If you enjoy tea, carry one of your favorite teabags in your bag (I’ve been loving green teas with either pomegranate or blackberry – check them out here). Most coffee shops will let you have hot water for almost nothing if you bring your own teabag.
- keep a couple different colored pens (these or these are ones I usually have on hand) and doodle in the margins or on scrap papers – I’ve even doodled on sticky notes and it did the trick.
If you have more ideas, drop them in the comments – I’d love to hear them!
make sure to cover the basics
One of the dumbest ways I omit self-care is by thinking I don’t have time for even the basics. I’ll do anything from forgetting/skipping a meal, to leaving my contacts in for too long, to pushing off a shower or brushing my teeth (I know – gross).
Self-care is so much easier if you build it into routines that don’t take much time. For example, I started washing my face when I brush my teeth and put my contacts in or take them out. That fits into both my morning and evening routines. It takes less than two minutes. It helps me remember the whole routine. And I’ve noticed a difference since I made it into a habit.
Even if you have time for nothing else, keeping these basics going will help you feel a bit better and avoid burning out:
- Spend time with God. Let me elaborate a bit here. Even just taking a minute to pull up one of your favorite worship songs is better than nothing, and it can make a huge impact on the trajectory of your day. Optimally, though, you can listen to a few chapters of Scripture while you go through morning and evening routines or during commutes.
- shower regularly
- wash your face
- change contacts, toothbrushes, whatever else regularly
- eat your 3 meals a day
- Drink water
- use deodorant
one thing can make a difference
If I wake up in a bad mood, or already feel burned out before I even get out of bed, I need a few tricks to change the trajectory of my day. For me, that means I might dress up a little, outside my standard jeans, T-shirt, and sneakers. I might braid my hair or wear a necklace. If I want to touch up my face but don’t have much time, I’ll quickly apply mascara or even just chapstick.
It might seem silly, but each of those things help me to redirect my thoughts. I feel more confident, more comfortable in my own skin.
Your list may be similar, or completely different. The point is to find little things that can improve your attitude and boost you enough to keep going. Feel free to tell me what’s on your list!
Are these quick fixes going to work as well as taking an entire afternoon and evening to renew and reorient yourself? Probably not. But since most of us don’t have that luxury, fitting in a few of these will go a long ways towards keeping your energy, your mood, and your confidence up. Go forth and conquer your crazy days!
Did I miss something you consider essential to self-care? What are your favorite quick fixes for self-care? Let me know below!
You may also like:
- Knowing Your Limits
- Finding Peace: the One Thing Missing
- Your What, Why, & How
- Bullet Journaling when you have NO Time