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Building a Simple Self-Care Routine for Busy Life

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As a combat medic and licensed practical nurse, I've spent years in the healthcare industry. Self-care is a term often mentioned but rarely fully explained in practical terms. In our busy lives, we struggle to prioritize self-care, leading to burnout, exhaustion, and declining health. The constant juggling of multiple responsibilities and high-stress levels can leave us feeling overwhelmed and drained.

Imagine waking up each day with a sense of calm and balance. Picture yourself managing daily stressors with ease, having the energy to engage in activities you love, and feeling more connected to your personal values. This sense of relief and well-being is possible through consistent self-care practices.

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is a deliberate act to maintain our physical, mental, and emotional health. It's about taking moments for yourself to recharge and rejuvenate. Self-care can take many forms, such as a brisk walk in the park, a quiet meditation session, quality time with loved ones, or indulging in your favorite hobby.

Why is Self-Care Important?

Neglecting self-care can lead to serious health issues stress, and anxiety. Living on autopilot and ignoring our personal values frequently results in burnout. To truly benefit from self-care, we must create a deliberate plan and implement it consistently with care and intention. This approach helps prevent burnout, reduces stress, increases self-awareness, and improves overall well-being.

Building a Plan: Simple Self-Care Routines

Make Time for Yourself

Set aside dedicated time every day to focus on your well-being. Whether it's 15 minutes or an hour, make this time sacred and non-negotiable.

Prioritize Activities That Bring You Joy

Identify activities that make you feel happy and fulfilled and incorporate them into your daily routine.

Set Boundaries

Learn to say no to things that drain your energy or don't align with your values. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries to protect your mental health.

Practice Mindfulness

Take a few moments each day to practice mindfulness. This could be a brief meditation session or simply focusing on your breath.

Self-Care for the Mind

  • Meditation and Mindfulness: Begin with just 5 minutes of deep breathing or a quick mindfulness exercise during your lunch break. Use apps like Headspace or Calm to guide you. Calm is one of my favorites, but if you would like, I can show you how to use Endel with EFT Tapping to take it further. 20-25 minutes a day first thing in the morning will vastly help with the rest of your day.

  • Journaling: Spend 10 minutes each morning or evening jotting down your thoughts. Focus on writing three things you're grateful for each day. I make this a part of my mindfulness practice. I do a section before and after my session—or a section in the morning and reflection in the evening. This is especially helpful when work puts things on your mind you need to let go of, at least until the next day.

Self-Care for the Body

  • Simple Exercises and Stretches: At your desk, incorporate stretches like neck rolls, wrist flexor stretches, and seated leg lifts. Opt for 15-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions or a brisk walk during breaks.

  • Nutrition and Hydration: Consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day. Keep a water bottle at your desk as a reminder to sip regularly.

  • Consider reducing energy drinks and caffeine/nicotine products. These products stress the body, and when the body is stressed, the mind quickly follows. The mind and body cannot be truly separated from one another.

Self-Care for the Soul

  • Joyful Activities: Take time to read a book or listen to your favorite music. Spend time outdoors, whether it's a walk in the park or simply sitting in your garden.

  • Setting Boundaries: Identify your top priorities and allocate your time accordingly. Politely decline additional tasks or commitments that overwhelm you.

  • Worship. As a chaplain, I'm introducing this deliberately. To worship means to ascribe worth to something. If you are a person of faith, consider taking time to pray, thus demonstrating the worth you place to the one you pray to. Consider what else is of high worth in your life, and reflect on its value to you.

Seeking Support

Self-care sometimes involves seeking help. Lean on your support network for emotional and practical assistance, and don’t hesitate to seek professional guidance from therapists or coaches when needed.

I can assist with Calm-Response™, a values-based, solution-focused plan designed to help realign with personal values using EFT tapping to relieve emotional stress. Regular sessions will significantly enhance this process, providing a tailored approach to your unique needs. Just as you maintain your vehicles, home, and relationships, taking care of yourself is an important part of showing up for yourself.

Conclusion and Call to Action

Incorporating self-care into your daily routine is not just beneficial but essential for overall well-being. Start with one or two routines and gradually build from there. Remember, every small step counts.

Are you interested in getting help with mindfulness, enhancing spiritual growth, or using Calm-Response? Schedule a free consultation call with Focused Pathways® today and discover how we can support you on your personal growth journey.

Comment below and let me know what works best for your self-care.

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