Do you feel so busy that you don’t have the bandwidth to think about your own needs, let alone do anything about them? Maybe you’re constantly thinking about work, or worry that you’re not proving yourself or your value if you aren’t available 24/7 (especially if you’re working remotely). Perhaps you’re juggling childcare, eldercare, pet care, or other family commitments. Or maybe you’re just caught up in the regular “life” tasks of paying bills, keeping a clean house, and managing the day-to-day. How do you carve out time for yourself, your health, and your needs when you’re always on?
The first step is to stop, take a deep breath, and realize that the world doesn’t rest completely on your shoulders. Many times the people around you could help more if you simply asked and spread out the responsibilities both professionally and personally. And in some cases, you need to let go and trust that everything will be OK, even if some tasks on your list are done imperfectly or not at all.
The next step is to give yourself permission to take care of yourself now. If you put off self-care until work is less busy, your kids are back in school, your house is in order, or some other circumstances are exactly right, you may never get to it. But if you take a brief pause and go through these steps, you can begin to take care of yourself, even when it feels like the responsibilities at home and at work never end.
When it comes to health and happiness, different people have different needs. But there are some universal truths. We all need the basics of sleep, physical movement, and sufficient food. And to thrive, most require quality time with people, time in nature, time for spiritual connection, and time doing something that brings joy.
Take a moment to define what you need and what you want. Ask yourself:
To read the full Harvard Business Review article, click the link below:
Authored by Elizabeth Grace Saunders.
Illustration by Mark Harris; Source image: We Are/Getty Images
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