Has everyone been telling you to add self-care to your day but you just don’t know how or where to fit this in?
It can be incredibly overwhelming to find the time for self-care with everything you’re juggling and all the plates you’re trying to keep spinning right now. But, it doesn’t have to be.
Finding the time for self-care is possible. I’ve been helping my clients manage their schedules and effortlessly add self-care to their daily routines and it’s easier than you might think!
Read more to discover 3 simple ways to add self-care to your block schedule.
First let me tell you what a time-block schedule is…
A time-block schedule is one where you block off time during the day for each type of task you plan on doing, in order to use up just about every hour of the day. It can help you stay on track and get everything you need, but should also leave room for your own personal time.
If you use a block schedule, here are 3 ways to be sure you fit in your self-care.
1. Create a dedicated, daily self-care time slot
The first and most obvious way to add self-care to your block schedule is actually making a block for it. It can be anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or longer, depending on what you plan to do.
But adding it as an actual block ensures you schedule time for it every day so you don’t miss it.
It’s important that once you’ve blocked it in that you make this time slot sacred – treat it as you would any important meeting and sow up for yourself, because you are important and you deserve to be a priority.
If you don’t have a specific time slot for self-care, then you will likely fall into the trap of “I’ll do it later” or “it’s not that important,” which will lead to you never doing anything for yourself.
This time should be used as an opportunity to clear your mind and get away from the mundaneness of your usual work routine. Allow yourself to relax with a fun activity. An added bonus would be if it also included some sort of physical activity, such as going for a walk or taking a yoga class.
Don’t be stressed about feeling like it doesn’t fit anywhere. Self-care really doesn’t need to take much time, so if you only have a 10-minute time block open in your schedule, then that’s where it can go.
2. Use one of your “free” blocks of time for self-care
Another way you can use your block schedule is to choose one of the free windows you have available and allocate it to your self-care. Many times, you’ll have a little free block that you leave open so that you can decide at the time what you want to do, and this works great for your self-care routine.
If you haven’t been doing this, now might be a good time to introduce it into your schedule.
The free windows allow you to choose what you want to do, and not feel like it is getting in the way of the rest of your responsibilities.
See if you can give yourself a short free block (or multiple ones) every day in between other tasks so you can choose from those where you want to block in your self-care.
3. Add self-care to your morning or nighttime routine
The last way you can make room for self-care is by adding it to either your morning or nighttime routine. This will then become part of your daily routine, making it an easy transition for you to add more activities you to do for yourself.
There are no rules about what time of the day you need to practice self-care. Below are some ideas of the different ways you could practice self-care in the morning or in the evening.
Start your day by adding self-care to your morning routine
Here are some different ways to practice self-care in the morning.
- Add quiet time with morning pages
- Move your body in a gentle way
- Take care of your physical health
- Get outside as the sun comes up
Quiet time with morning pages
In the morning, when your day first begins, try doing morning pages. Morning pages are a style of journaling where you don’t think about what to write – similar to stream of consciousness.
Here you just write what is on your mind and get it out of your head before you do anything else in the morning.
Morning pages provide quite a few benefits for you.
- You’re doing something good for yourself first thing in the morning, which really sets you up for the day.
- It’s helps you get any worried thoughts out of your mind in the morning, before you get to work, do your workout, or have to focus on other responsibilities.
Move your body in a gentle way
This isn’t when you want to do a strenuous workout, unless that is something you truly enjoy. Instead, focus on a gentle form of movement that will relax you and get you ready for your day.
It looks different for everyone, but for you this might mean a simple morning stretch routine, yoga or Pilates, a walk on your treadmill or walking your dog, or just 5 minutes of moving your body in whichever way you find the most relaxing and enjoyable.
Take care of your physical health
The morning is the perfect time to focus on your physical health and get your day started right.
This includes drinking water to help rehydrate your body after sleep, as well as getting something healthy into your body as your first meal of the day.
Start your day off with water, as you have spent all night not getting any hydration in. You can choose to put lemon in it, but it’s not necessary to be healthy.
Then you can have your coffee, protein shake, morning smoothie, or a healthy breakfast.
Get outside as the sun comes up
Try to get outside and soak up some of the sunshine, whether right as the sun rises or when it begins to feel warm. Soak in that vitamin D, enjoy the fresh morning air, and have a little quiet time outside.
No matter where you live, you can benefit from this, whether it’s on your backyard patio, walking your dog early in the morning, or standing on your apartment balcony.
Adding self-care to your nighttime routine
Self-care could also easily be added to your nighttime routine. This is when you tend to have a little more downtime, as you are not trying to rush to get your kids out the door or stay productive with work in the morning.
Here are a few tips for adding some self-care activities to your nighttime routine.
- Analyze your current nighttime routine
- Give yourself an hour of alone time
- Choose relaxing activities you enjoy
Analyze your current nighttime routine
Before you can think about what type of self-care to do at night and how long you are able to dedicate to it, you need to know what your current schedule looks like.
If you have a nighttime routine, consider what it is, what you tend to do, and when you start. There is likely a short window of time where adding self-care would make the most sense for you.
For example, maybe after dinner you watch a bit of TV, followed by brushing your teeth and then lying in bed on your phone before heading off to sleep. Self-care for that period of time would be to eat a healthy dinner, watching an episode of your favourite show and then after brushing your teeth spending a little time journaling instead of aimlessly scrolling social media on your phone right before bed. As an added benefit, this will also help you have better sleep which is a vital part of self-care.
If you have specific rituals that happen at the same time every day, consider if those are the times when self-care is needed. You don’t want it to inconvenience you, otherwise you won’t gain the emotional benefits from self-care as it will feel too forced.
Give yourself an hour of alone time
About an hour is a good amount of time for your nighttime self-care routine, preferably when it is quiet and you can spend a little time alone. If you have less than that, it’s perfectly fine, but make sure you are making yourself a priority.
Try to fit in some alone time, even if it’s just when you take your bath or shower at night, go through your skincare routine, or have a few minutes to write in your journal. This can be so much more therapeutic than you might think.
Choose relaxing activities you enjoy
Remember that self-care should be enjoyable and something you look forward to, not something that needs to part of your general hygiene. Self-care is not the same thing as flossing your teeth at night or doing chores during the day.
Your self-care routine should be focused on activities that are not expected of you. Choose additional relaxing activities that are intentional and will improve your mood and your life.
It can help to start with a list of everything you enjoy doing. Anything you can think of can go on the list. Think about what makes you feel happy or joyful, what relaxes you, what you do on a sick or rainy day, what you like to do alone or with friends or family. This list can often help you pinpoint what would be best to add to your nighttime self-care routine.
So, now you have a few options and ideas on how and where to add self-care into your day. If you found these useful and would like more self-care tips and resources straight into your inbox, subscribe to my newsletter below.