What if You Don’t Have Time for Self-care?

Self-care includes all the things you do for yourself to keep your body and mind healthy. It’s an indispensable part of addiction recovery. Self-care may include things like regular exercise, meditation, journaling, prayer, taking time to relax every day, and getting enough sleep. While most people believe these things are good for you, they often feel like they just don’t have enough time, especially if they have kids or demanding jobs or both. However, regular self-care can mean the difference between a strong recovery and gradually unraveling. Here are some tips for finding time for self-care.

Put it on your calendar.

The best way to make time for self-care is to recognize it as a priority and put it on your schedule. There’s a principle called Parkinson’s Law, which says work will expand to fill the time allotted. It can often work the other way too. If you know you only have so much time to complete a task, you can usually get it done more quickly. As a result, if you actually schedule self-care as part of your day, you will probably find you can still do everything else you need to do. In fact, you will probably do everything else more efficiently. When you feel less stressed, more rested, and more energetic, everything feels a little easier. What you lose in time, you can more than make up for in efficiency.

Look for wasted time.

If you can’t quite get everything done after scheduling self-care time, look for low-priority tasks to eliminate. This will often happen automatically. We often waste more time than we realize with busy work, scrolling through social media, or watching TV. Not only do these activities waste time, but they often make us feel anxious or depressed, so eliminate them if you can. However, some things that seem like a waste of time really aren’t. For example, if you take the scenic route home from work, it may take longer, but it may also provide some much-needed alone time to relax and listen to music or an audiobook.

Do a little at a time.

Don’t get hung up on the idea that you need a large block of time for self-care. While that’s often preferable, a little self-care is better than none. Take mini-breaks at work and practice some deep breathing. Park a little farther away from the store and carry your bags to get a little extra exercise. Take the stairs. Research has shown that these kinds of exercise “snacks” can be just as good for you as half an hour of sustained exercise every day.

Learn to say no.

Another way to have more time is just to guard your time better. You can’t do everything others want you to do, so learn to set boundaries. Politely say no when you feel like you have too much on your plate. Having more time to keep yourself healthy will be better for your friends and family in the long run.

Arbor Behavioral Healthcare offers an integrative and holistic approach to treat substance abuse and a wide variety of addictions, as well as underlying mental health and psychological issues. All of the addiction recovery programs offered by The Arbor are designed to heal the mind, body, and spirit leading to a lifetime of sobriety, health and wellness. If you’re ready to find healing and restoration in a peaceful, loving environment, please call us today at 844-560-7269.