As a therapist, a common issue I see is the feeling of being overwhelmed with the busyness of life. Careers, intimate relationships, families, household responsibilities, social pressures… the list goes on. It can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything, let alone to take a break. Does this sound familiar?
Being busy in itself is not a bad thing. There are natural seasons of life that are going to feel a little full or chaotic. However, being busy for sustained lengths of time can lead to unhealthy levels of stress without some balance.
One way to find balance is through emotional self-care. Emotional self-care can include:
Emotional awareness: Practice self-reflection and emotional awareness to understand your feelings, thoughts, and emotions. Acknowledge and validate your emotions, and give yourself permission to experience and express them in a healthy and constructive way.
Stress management: Find healthy coping mechanisms that work for you, such as exercise, deep breathing exercises, journaling, music, or engaging in other creative activities.
Mindfulness and relaxation: Incorporate mindfulness practices into your daily routine to promote a sense of presence and awareness. Engage in activities that help you relax and unwind, such as guided meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, or spending time in nature.
While it may seem like some of these suggestions take a lot of time, they don’t need to. It's not about the quantity of time spent, but rather the quality and intention behind the self-care activities. Even small moments of self-care throughout the day can add up and make a significant difference in your overall well-being.
If you are still thinking that you don’t have time for this, consider that 15 minutes is only 1% of the day. Whether you do that all at once or spread it out minutes at a time throughout the day, regular self-care can help. So, grab your favorite drink or take a stretch break when you can.
Remember, self-care is a personal practice, and it's important to find what works best for you. If one thing doesn’t work, keep going. You are worth the time and the effort!
If you are struggling with the busyness of your life or caring for yourself, therapy can help.