I don’t know about you guys, but I kind of feel like I’m drowning in responsibilities and tasks right now! Because of the amount of school work I have this term, I haven’t had much time to work on my business or my blog. But, it’s all about prioritizing, right?
One thing I told myself that I could NOT push to the end of my to-do list is self-care. There have been too many times in the past where I thought I didn’t have time to exercise, cook healthy meals or even wash my face before bed (anyone else almost fall asleep at their desks?!), and that’s not okay! I made self-care as a busy creative entrepreneur (and student, mom, wife and human being!) a top priority so far this year, and it has made a big difference.
If you’re struggling to find the time to take care of yourself, here are a few tips.
I’ve always been a fan of planners, to-do lists and trying to be organized, but I guess until recently I didn’t actually know how to organize properly. So I got a book on organization at a thrift store that helps with basically every part of life. That’s when I learned there’s thinking you’re organized, and actually being organized.
Organization often starts with your home. Is your house tidy? Can you find things right away without having to run around and look for it? An unorganized house can feel time consuming and chaotic and that’s no good. Make sure you also organize your files (paper and digital!) for an easier time, and then organize your schedule. I actually have four planners now: one for school, one for my blog/biz, one for my personal life and one for all of them combined on my phone.
I have a lot on the go at all times. I’m kind of a “project junkie” I guess. However, some things take more precedence than others. For example, if an article is due soon I need to get it done or I’m trouble! If I have a school assignment that’s due, I need to hand it in on time or I fail. Those take precedence over making zines or watching TV.
Of course, you have to take into consideration things outside of work, like your family and friends. Make time for them, and for yourself! Because the people you love (and you should love yourself!) should be a top priority in your life, too.
I finally started meal prepping this year and it has been a life saver! The weeks I don’t get around to meal prepping are the weeks I eat like shit. Now I like to spend my Sundays getting groceries, chopping up veggies and baking healthy breads and muffins for the week.
Last summer I spent up to three hours a day driving to and from work. I enjoyed listening to music and used that time to get in the mindset for work or for home. It was like I was able to shake off the stress from work and be more relaxed for my family. That’s when I realized that my time in the car was actually quite valuable and I even started listening to podcasts. I kind of wish all of my textbooks came with an mp3 version of someone reading it aloud to me, but my favourite thing has always been listening to my favourite songs and just feeling really good about life in that moment!
Music is really powerful, and I put on different playlists for different things whether it’s cleaning, working or driving.
Find the Time
A lot of people complain they don’t have time for anything. I know because I was so guilty of this it wasn’t funny! I used to spend my evenings “relaxing” by having a couple of beers, enjoying guilty pleasure foods and watching TV – all the while thinking it was considered self-care. Then before I knew it, my evening was gone and I got nothing done! If you’re guilty of “wasting” time like this, then you should be able to find the time to take care of yourself. After I realized my “relaxing” evenings were more stressful, I changed it.
Instead of binge watching TV every evening, I go to bootcamp twice a week (which feels amazing!) and I spend that time doing homework, reading, playing with Sidney, walking Penelope or even working on my blog.
Speaking of bootcamp, exercising is one of those things so many people feel like they don’t have the time for. But if you just set aside even three hours a week to workout, you’ll have so much more energy and you’ll feel better in a lot of different ways!
Three hours a week really isn’t even that much, when you think about it. Either do one hour workouts three times a week, or half hour workouts six times a week, or even break it up even further to the point where you do ten minutes of stretching in the morning, ten minutes of skipping in the afternoon, and ten minutes of squats and push-ups in the evening. It all adds up!
I’ve always really valued my sleep. Everyone knows that I’m adamant about getting at least seven hours, but prefer closer to nine. Getting enough sleep is something I have never compromised and it’s something you shouldn’t compromise either! Getting enough sleep will make your day so much more enjoyable and productive.
I think a lot of us have trouble with this, but every now and then you have to firmly say no. As a self-proclaimed project junkie, I want to contribute to all the things! But if you’re already super busy with your current commitments, you shouldn’t take on more. Learn when to say no, whether it’s for a new project you can’t justify, or if your friends wanna meet up for drinks during crunch time.
Asking for help seems to be another big issue for a lot of busy creative entrepreneurs. I know that I usually have a really hard time asking for help, but recently I spoke up and I discovered that my husband is happy to pick up the tasks I don’t have time for, that my mom is happy to have Sidney over on weekends when I’m pressed for time, and my daughter is also happy to do her part. Sometimes people don’t know you’re struggling unless you say something.
Finally, another way I handle being a busy creative entrepreneur and manage to make self-care a priority is by writing things down in my journal. It’s one of my favourite ways to de-stress and unwind at the end of a long, busy day.
Related: The Benefits of Keeping a Journal
Do you have any awesome self-care tips to add to this list? Let me know in the comments!