This is a guest post by Nicky Bicksler, who lost over 200 pounds from weight-loss surgery. Nicky created Stop Weighting, Start Doing, an inspirational blog that helps women make successful changes after weight-loss surgery.

6 Ways to Seamlessly Add Self-Care into Your Day

Self-care is far too important to ignore, but finding the time is so difficult!

Between your career, husband, kids, house, and everything else that needs your attention, who has time for a bubble bath? Luckily, self-care doesn't have to take up hours of your time. In fact, you can pamper yourself by simply adding a few self-care techniques into the things you're already doing. Follow these six simple steps and you'll feel refreshed and rejuvenated in no time! 

Listen to Podcasts

The first way to add self-care into your busy life is to listen to podcasts on your commute to work. There are so many great podcasts out there, ones that encourage us to reach for our dreams, inspire us to move forward, and entertain us when we need a break from everyday life. Instead of listening to the same songs on the radio and having to flip between stations during commercials, tune in to a podcast that will motivate and uplift you. The positive words will echo through your brain as you get your work done and tackle your daily tasks. Starting your day this way gives you time to reflect on what was said and try to implement some of those techniques in your life.

For this reason, your first tip to add self-care into your busy life is to listen to inspiring podcasts during your daily commute (or even while running errands).

My favorite podcast is Do It Scared with Ruth Soukup. She encourages us to push past our fears and live the life we love. Ruth's podcast is perfect for getting me in the right frame of mind before I get to work.

Pick the Best Time to Work Out

I understand how hard it is to fit a workout into your busy life. However, making time to exercise two or three days a week is essential to a healthy lifestyle AND to self-care.

If you work, you're already out of the house, so it's best to block out time for the gym before or after your commute. Think about it... if you hit the gym before heading to work, it's already done for the day. If you decide to be active immediately after work, it's one less thing on your evening to-do list. The kids are likely with a caretaker, so add an extra hour onto that time so you can get your workout done. Your mind and body will thank you.

If you're a stay-at-home mom, schedule your workouts first thing in the morning so you can take on the day with it already checked off your list. There are TONS of YouTube videos ranging in length and style that you can do right from home.  Another great resource is FULLforLife's FB page, which features a daily one-minute workout move. 

So, your second tip to add self-care into your busy life is to be active (first thing or after work) two to three times a week, even if it's just for a few minutes. 

Dedicate a Few Minutes to Meditation

Meditation seems to be the latest self-care trend out there. There are so many benefits to meditation, like reducing anxiety, controlling stress, and improving emotional health, according to a 2017 Healthline article. But who has time to sit quietly when there are so many things that need to be done?

Your third tip to add self-care into your life is to take 10 minutes of your lunch break and meditate. The beauty of meditation is that it can be done anywhere, and you don't need any special equipment. Just find a spot, close your eyes, and breathe for a few minutes. Focus on your breath and try not to think about any one thing. You'll start the second half of your workday refreshed, focused and calm. The best part... you won't have to fit it into your evening when you are trying to get supper on the table, take care of the kids and get things done around the house.

If you're a stay-at-home mom, you can even try practicing this with your kids at lunch. It may only last a few seconds at first, but as time goes on it'll become routine and the amount of time will build upon itself. 

Doing things throughout the day sets me up for success because it's one less thing I have to worry about adding into my nightly routine. For this reason, your third tip is to meditate for 10 minutes during your lunch break.

Finding Time for Friendship

Self-care doesn't always have to be something we do alone. In fact, connecting with your friends and other moms can be more therapeutic than we even realize. For this reason, your fourth tip is to make a date with your best friends to have dinner or talk while the kids play. You don't even have to go out to eat; you can share responsibility by having everyone bring food, pot-luck style, to share. If your friends also have kids, let them run around and play with each other. They'll stay occupied while you catch up with your friends.

I have a core group of three girlfriends, and we regularly schedule these dinner nights. We rotate houses, and we each bring a dish to share. The kids love getting together to play while the rest of us get a chance to catch up and have some much-needed girl-time. I always leave these nights feeling refreshed and happy, like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. These nights are so valuable to us, and we all leave feeling more refreshed than when we arrived.

Finding time for girls' nights once a month or once a quarter will help recharge you, which is why it's your fourth and the most FUN way you can add self-care to your busy life.

Change Your Passwords

Besides being safer online, changing your passwords regularly can actually help you repeat positive self-talk daily. Your fifth tip to add self-care to your busy life is to change your passwords to a positive phrase abbreviation. For example, let's say you want to repeat the phrase, "I am good enough and my presence in this world matters." Change your password to the first letter of each word in the phrase. Your password, in this case, would be Iageampitwm. Add some numbers on the end and a punctuation mark, and you have a highly secure password.

This way, every time you type your password, it's going to cause you to repeat that phrase in your head as you type out the letters. Without even realizing it, you're going to be adding these positive self-talk messages in your day. The more you repeat positive self-talk, the more you start to internalize and believe it. Therefore, your fifth tip to add self-care to your busy life is to change your password to a motivating, positive self-talk abbreviation.

Make Your Nighttime Routine More Relaxing

Your final tip to add self-care to your busy life is to make your nighttime routine more relaxing. As you're getting yourself ready for bed, brushing your teeth, taking off your make-up, brushing your hair, and washing your face, light an aromatherapy candle and play relaxing music. The soothing scent of your candle mixed with some mellow music should help relax you and get you ready for bed. Try a lavender candle to make you feel ultra-mellow and ready to sleep. It won't take any extra time and will help you wind down at the end of a long, busy day.

If your mind seems to be racing, write down any thoughts in your journal before getting into bed to help take them from your mind.

Add Self-Care to Your Busy Life

As women who are often on overload, it's important to be kind to ourselves. It prevents burnout and it helps us live our best lives. Remember, you can add self-care into your routine by sneaking it into things you already do.

  1. Listen to podcasts on your daily commute.
  2. Meditation during your lunch break allows you to be more motivated throughout the day.
  3. Schedule your workout at the start of your day or on your way home from work so you're sure to get adequate exercise each week.
  4. Find time once every couple of months to have dinner and chat with your friends. This gives the kids a chance to play and you a chance to talk with your closest gal pals.
  5. Change your password to a motivating phrase so you repeat positive self-talk daily.
  6. Finally, light a candle and play music as you prepare for bed. This will reduce anxiety and help your mind to relax, making it easier to fall asleep.

The beauty of these tips is that you don't have to do all of them every day. You can pick and choose which ones work for you that day and add them into your routine!

We'd love to hear what your self-care favorites are! Comment below. 

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