We all know that taking care of ourselves is important. However, when life gets busy and the little things pile up, it can be difficult to make time for yourself. In fact, these moments, when it seems the most difficult to take a minute or two to yourself, are the most crucial moments to recognize that you need a moment to give yourself a little TLC. It doesn’t have to be long, but it is important to care for yourself, especially when it seems like it’s the last thing on a long list of other things to do. Here are a few tips for putting yourself back into the rhythm of things when you feel like you just can’t get a moment.
Pay Attention to the Moment
When everything is chaotic around you, and you’re on your phone and thinking about the next meeting you have and the project you haven’t done yet, and, and, and… PAUSE! Take a moment to center yourself to the here and now. Look around you and notice what is in front of you. You can stand up and change your position so that you physically get a new perspective. Try and focus on several things in front of you. Speak to the thoughts about the future – and say “not now” (you can actually think this to yourself!). Then refocus back onto the task at hand.
Feel then honor it
If you are having high emotions that are difficult to deal with, don’t just ignore them. Rather, allow yourself to recognize the fact that you are feeling these emotions, and give them a name and space to exist. With recognition comes the ability to provide yourself help. If you have time or the inclination, allow yourself to process your emotions in however is best for you – walking, drawing, or writing them down. You may even want to place the written note about the feelings in a box to set aside for a dedicated self-care moment.
Once you’ve paused, returned to the moment, and recognized how you are feeling, take 10 very gentle, deep and slow breaths. Try to concentrate just on the flow of breath coming in and out; you can close your eyes if it helps you to focus. Taking gentle breaths (particularly with a focus on a long, slow exhale) naturally calms the body down. And when you focus on your breathing, it returns you to the present moment.
Drink plenty of water
In busy times, we often forget to stay hydrated, which can agitate the mind and body. Keep a water bottle nearby to help prompt to stay hydrated. You can take a moment or two while drinking the water to taste the water, focus on breath, and bring yourself back into the present moment.