I get it – you’re busy – you serve or care for many people (and things)! But these 7 words can help you take care of yourself when you don’t have time.
Yes, you read that right.
These 7 simple words can help you when you have no time to take care of yourself or self-care.
It’s a unique self-care idea you may not have heard of before.
You don’t need time, you need focus!
Let me explain…
Serving and caring for others, a rewarding career, or a social life filled with community service activities are noble acts.
But without focus, these endeavors can take over your schedule – and your life – to the point where you start to carry resentment. Ongoing resentment can lead to burnout.
And nobody has time for that!
Today, you’re going to discover 7 easy ways to focus, overcome your time problem and get back to finding me-time for your self-care.
1 Use Focus As a Weapon
As a person who serves or takes care of others, you already know how important it is to feel as well as possible.
The truth is that you’ll also function at your best when all of your systems: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual, are at their highest level of wellness.
You can create focus by making self-care a top priority.
Before you roll your eyes at that comment, please hear me out because I used to feel the same way.
The thing is, most people focus their efforts on diet and exercise to improve their wellness.
But, I want to tell you about Romans 12:1, which leads us down a different path.
The verse reads, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way
to worship him.” (Romans 12:1 NLT).
God uses this verse to encourage us to focus our efforts on our faith and spiritual worship.
HERE’S WHY: When we follow God’s request, our self-care is a part of the equation, which helps us make self-care one of our priorities.
So, even when you feel like you have no time to take care of yourself, you feel a gentle nudge that keeps your DESIRE for self-care front and center. Often this desire can serve as motivation to make good choices.
If you struggle to connect to the Spirit, a few moments of gratitude can be helpful.
2 If You Have No Time to Take Care of Yourself – Turn to Your Calendar or Planner for Help
This might sound strange but if you’re someone who fills up your planner or calendar, schedule some time to take care of yourself.
Then keep your self-care appointment.
And before you cancel on yourself, ask if you’re going to cancel anything else on your schedule. If you say no, I want to stop you and ask you to consider why you’re putting all other appointments, tasks, and activities ahead of your time.
Seriously, check it.
Why are you putting your self-care time as a lower priority?
- Do you feel guilty when you spend time on self-care?
- Is it because you feel less important or unworthy than other things, people on your schedule, or your to-do list?
- Could it be because you feel important or special if you are busy (and self-care isn’t staying busy enough)?
- Or perhaps you only feel fulfilled taking care of or serving others?
As a believer, the truth is anything can become an idol. Staying extremely busy to feel better about yourself is a common (but often overlooked and not mentioned) idol.
To overcome this struggle, schedule a block on your calendar for quiet time so you can focus and talk to God about your busyness.
The more you’re consistent with your daily quiet time, the more you’ll be able to say Yes! to your self-care appointments.
3 Make Every Decision Count When You Have No Time to Take Care of Yourself
Have you become part of the society of people who mindlessly go through your day?
- Get on social media without thinking
- Scroll endlessly
- Read useless information
- Watch videos that tell you nothing
- Eat and drink without being aware of what you’re putting in your body
You may want to make some changes.
Having self-care as your focus can help you move away from living a mindless life and be fully present to address each decision in a way that positively affects your life.
4 See Your Barriers as Part of the Process (& Not Failure)
Simply stated, when you start taking care of yourself, you’re going to run into barriers that will interfere or try to block you from having time for self-care.
Suppose you view these barriers as your failures. In that case, you’re not only going to struggle to keep your focus on self-care and taking care of yourself, but you’re going to beat yourself up over and over mentally and emotionally, which only perpetuates more negativity.
Instead, accept barriers and roadblocks as part of the process and start dealing with them as they arise.
You may need to choose a different day or time for specific activities. As long as you stay focused, you will overcome your barriers – I promise!
5 Protect Yourself From Yourself
I listed several reasons in #2 that you might struggle to keep your self-care appointment/time.
An additional reason is you have trouble saying no.
You need to learn to say no and protect yourself from yourself!
If you need help saying no, I wrote this post about ways to do this.
Also, you need to make sure you set and follow personal boundaries.
When you’re focused, you can keep your self-care front and center and plan other things around that so you can stay filled and be at your best when you serve and care for others.
6 Consider the People You Love As a Motivation Source When You Have No Time to Take Care of Yourself
There is a lot of science behind the study of motivation.
Most recently, if the family is a priority for you (common in people who serve and take care of others), you can find motivation by thinking about your family.
Often when we get frustrated with ourselves (and are exhausted and stressed), we blame our family for our lack of self-care.
But, if you focus, you can step away a little and recognize how much you value your family (& that’s why you do so much for them!
You can also discover the truth – that your family would definitely NOT want you working until you’re exhausted.
That’s a lie you tell yourself when you’re exhausted.
Take that step back every day and for a few minutes to consider your love for them and spend time being grateful for your family.
7 Start Where You Are
The key here is to start with whatever you have to work with.
Feel like you only have 5 minutes for self-care?
That could be 5 minutes of investing in your self-care and a guaranteed positive return on investment.
It doesn’t matter how much time you have or how far you think you must go. Start with some simple things you can do in 5-minutes, and you’ll see results!
In conclusion, you don’t need extra time to care for yourself.
You only need to be present at whatever time you have so you can focus.
Having a focus will give you 7 ways to take care of yourself, even if you only have 5 minutes.
To start, I suggest you write down a 5-minute time block for self-care on your schedule for today or tomorrow!
And then, keep the appointment with yourself!
Lisa Kimrey is a 30-year veteran registered nurse, speaker, and author of the Bible study, The Self-care Impact: Motivation and Inspiration for Wellness. At Mylifenurse, Lisa writes about simple ways to care for yourself to stay happy, healthy, and rejuvenated while you serve and care for others. Combining her years of nursing expertise with Scripture-based encouragement, Lisa shows readers easy ways to begin and maintain their self-care journey – without feeling guilty. Be sure to grab your FREE Self-care Starter Guide!