Everyone defines self-care in their own unique way. Your form of self-care may be working out 3 times a week and doing yoga on the weekends while another person’s form of self-care could be a weekly date night with their significant other or binge-reading a whole book in one afternoon.
Regardless of what it means to you, we all need to do it. How many times do you keep commitments to other people but break the ones you make to yourself? One thing you can do to ensure you make more time for self-care is to add a self-care routine to your calendar.
If you have a scheduled appointment with yourself to do something, it’s going to be more difficult to break that. You can’t use the excuse that you don’t have the time anymore. If you’re looking to add a self-care routine to your calendar, here are some easy ways to do it.
Book Self-Care Appointments First
At the beginning of it’s easy to feel the pressure to hit the ground running. I personally try to accomplish as much as I can before noon hits and I endure my usual afternoon slump.
However, booking self-care appointments first thing in the morning may even help you feel more energized and productive for the day. Plus, you won’t miss them because they’re first on the list. You can schedule time to exercise in the morning, journal, go for a walk, read, meditate etc.
You don’t have to do a full-blown self-care routine in the morning. However, you can take one or two small tasks and schedule them in the morning. Yes, this may push back some meetings and other tasks, but you can also train yourself to wake up earlier to allow more time for self-care.
This is something I’ve been working on. I went from getting up at around 7:30 am to getting up at 6 am. I’m and working on officially rising at 5 am but it will take some time to get there. Rising early does make your day longer, but it also allows you to get more done.
Time Block Your Schedule
I’m a big fan of time-blocking, mainly because I know people don’t have an infinite number of hours to do things. Time-blocking allows you to knock out various different tasks in the time you have given yourself. Instead of expanding work to fit a whole 8 hours work day, you can easily cut that time in half and still accomplish the same things.
This concept can also apply to your self-care routine. Choose a time of day to block out just for self-care. This can be 30 minutes, one hour, or several hours if you’ve already finished up with work and other responsibilities for the day.
Block out this time in your calendar and book your self-care appointment for whatever task you’d like to focus on. I like to block out time from 2 pm to 3 pm most days to work out because that’s when my gym is less crowded. I have other entrepreneur friends who like to block out time for self-care around lunchtime or in the early afternoon.
When you time block your self-care routine, it’s important to give it a name in your calendar. Be specific about what you’re doing, where you’re going, who you’ll be with, etc. That way, it appears in your calendar just like any other daily task or appointment.
Systems are practices and processes used to get things done. Your calendar can be used as a tool to organize systems in every area of your life. When it comes to making room for self-care, you can turn your self-care routine into a system that you can easily schedule in when necessary.
Think of your favorite self-care practices. Make a list and turn them into a reasonable routine. Most successful people have an effective morning routine or evening routine. You can think outside of the box and create a flexible self-care routine that you can add to your calendar whenever you feel it’s neccessary.
For example, your self-care system for regular maintenance may look something like this: Go for a brisk walk(15 minutes), meditate (5 minutes), bullet journal (15 minutes), organize something around the house (10 minutes). This 45-minute self-care system can easily be added to your calendar weekly or even weeks in advance.
You can also create other systems to accommodate different tasks you have lined up for the day. That way, your self-care routine becomes even more significant as it will contribute to all your other appointments.
Break It Up and Disperse
Once you’ve identified what self-care means to you and what your favorite self-care practices are, break up activities and add them to your calendar if you can’t block schedule for the time being.
If you have scheduled downtime during the day or gaps in your calendar, add in a 5 to 10-minute self-care routine as a reward for checking a few things off your to-do list during the day.
This is an approach you can take when you’re in the beginning stages of being able to add a self-care routine to your calendar. You may not feel like you have a lot of time or energy to prioritize self-care at the moment.
Or the idea of blocking off a huge chunk of time to practice a self-care routine may give you anxiety if you have a pretty tight schedule. However, there is always time to prioritize self-care and when you do it, you’ll be rewarded in a variety of ways long-term.
A quick 5 or 10-minute break won’t do much to throw off your daily schedule, and you’ll feel much more accomplished after you take the time to prioritize and add a self-care routine to your calendar.
What are your thoughts on self-care? Do you have a routine and add it to your schedule to ensure you keep the commitment?
Choncé Maddox is a professional writer who recently left her job in the web design industry to produce killer content and manage her own writing business full time. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs be more productive and create a life they love by doing fulfilling work. On the side, she runs a podcast and blogs about getting out of debt at MyDebtEpiphany.com.