Why are you taking a break? You have a to-do list that's like a mile long. Girl, what are you doing?
I think we all have that voice in our head telling us that we have to work our fingers to the bone. That we gotta hustle til the world stops. That we will sleep when we are dead.
Yep, that sounds crazy, doesn't it?
We live in this world of 24/7 hustle. Go go go.
Smell the flowers.
And focus on self-care and loving yourself even if you don't feel like you deserve it.
Here's how to do just that:
1. Know Burnout Doesn't Help Anyone
I know you may not always have time for self-care, but I have to ask, who does burnout help?
Your body will find a way to settle you down after a while, and you won't have any control over how that happens. When you focus on self-care, your body can take time to rest without having to force you to rest. When the body has to force you to take a break, it usually comes in the form of sickness, and you don't need that in your life.
Hustling and going until you experience burnout is the opposite of what you should be doing. I know you see a million books, influencers, and quotes about the hustling lifestyle, but hustling isn't forever. Those same people who tell you to hustle every day have teams of people behind them supporting them and helping them make their dreams a reality.
Don't ever think that this all has to fall on your shoulders!
2. Focus On The Small Things You Can Do Daily
There are many small tasks that you can do daily to focus on self-care. All your self-care habits don't have to be these grand gestures! Here are a couple of small things you can do each day to focus on you:
- Unplug: You don't have to be connected to social media 24/7. Give yourself a social media curfew or just lock your phone away in another room for a few hours a day while you are working. I promise your friend's selfies will be there when you get back!
- Read A Book: Reading is such a fun activity. There are so many different types of books from self-help to fun fiction books that can change your life. Mix it up and read a variety of books. You can also listen to audiobooks!
- Listen To Music: Listening to music can instantly boost your spirits! Create a playlist of songs that hype you up when you feel down or follow someone else's playlists on a site like Spotify. You will love having some music in your ears each day.
- Meditate: There are many meditation apps out there. A lot of meditation apps have exercises that take as few as five minutes to complete. Who doesn't have five minutes to spare to recenter and get back to yourself? If you don't, you are probably lying to yourself! Use these apps to focus on you and love yourself daily.
- Face Masks: Face masks are getting cheaper by the minute. Get a face mask on sale and use it when you need a little bit of self-care each week.
This is just the start when it comes to small things you can do daily. Many simple things will help you focus on being the best version of yourself you can be. Don't hesitate to use these activities to better yourself.
3. Give Yourself Time Off During The Week
I like to take at least one day off a week. As a content creator and freelancer, it's hard to take off multiple days, but if you can just give yourself one day a week, that would be fantastic.
Besides my one day off a week, I also like to give myself a few hours on the weekdays off. I like to eat dinner, spend time with my family, and watch a few episodes of television without feeling guilty each night.
Plus, I also make it my mission to be done with my work by midnight each night.
All of these things help me focus on self-care and take some time to myself each day.
You have to find the balance that works for you though. The boundaries I set up for myself may not work best for you. It's all about trial and error until you can find some down time that works best for who you are as a creative and a person.
4. Use Free Or Low-Cost Self-Care Techniques
If you feel like you don't deserve self-care, you probably don't want to spend a ton of money on self-care. Start with the free or low-cost versions of self-care first, then work your way up to the splurges.
There many small free or low-cost things you can do to focus on your self-care like:
- Take a walk
- Cook a great dinner at home
- Go to a movie matinee
- Sleep in on the weekends
- Go to a free/low-cost workout class
- Have a photo shoot with a friend
- Go window shopping
- Hang out at a coffee shop
- Have a girls night in with a friend
- Listen to a fun podcast
Use these methods to take care of yourself when you don't feel like you deserve it because they don't take up that much time or money.
5. Create Manageable To-Do Lists
When you don't feel like you deserve self-care, chances are you aren't living up to some part of your life. Maybe you don't feel like you are getting enough stuff done on a daily basis. I feel like we create these unreasonable expectations for what we can actually manage. We write out these miles long to-do lists, and then we get upset when we can't actually get through the entire list.
Stop doing this.
You need to focus on creating small to-do lists you can actually manage. Start small, and then when you get better at work, you can produce lengthier to-do lists.
Also, stop putting every minute action on your to-do lists. Keep them short, simple, and to the point, so you can actually get stuff done.
Related Reading: 5 Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective by Fast Company
6. Manage Your Time Wisely
I have been obsessed with the Pomodoro technique for a while, and I have even talked about it on the blog before. I love this technique because it makes me re-evaluate how I am spending my time. If I am not using the Pomodoro technique, I can often waste my time for hours on end. With the Pomodoro technique, I may have one bad session, but I know that I will be re-evaluating my time every 30 minutes or so.
If you have a hard time focusing on self-care, you may be thinking about all the stuff you didn't get done throughout the day. Managing your time better throughout the day will help you get rid of that guilt.
It's all about getting rid of your procrastination and getting focused on the task at hand. If you can do that, you will be well on your way to effective time management.
7. Say No To One Thing Daily
The only person you need to say yes to is yourself. If you don't want to do something, don't make yourself do it. You don't owe anyone anything.
Don't be a yes person! Of course, you don't want to say no to everything passively, but you also don't want to say yes to everything passively.
If you put too much on your plate, it will feel like you don't deserve time off because you have so much to do. Don't put those things on your plate to begin with! Be upfront with yourself about what you can reasonably manage and then go from there.
You have every right to tell someone no. Do it for your self-care!
I hope that this advice has helped you today.
Start small, one tiny foot forward. Eventually, you will get better at choosing to love yourself and take care of yourself.
Force yourself if you have to at first. Then eventually once you realize how amazing it feels to take a break, it will come like second nature to you.
You got this girl, and you deserve this too.