When trying to juggle our careers, family, social life, and other obligations, it can be all too easy to lose ourselves in the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day. But practicing self-care is an important component of our health and wellbeing.
During our “Just Ask” virtual program, experts Ianna Raim of Ianna Raim Consulting, Lindy Smiley of Starwood Property Trust, and Carol Hindsman of Ryder Systems shared some insight into how we can take better care of ourselves and make sure our daily schedules align with our values.
1. Focus on Choice Management, Not Time Management
It’s true—there are only 24 hours in every day. While it’s impossible to add more time to your do, you can give yourself more control over the ways in which you choose to spend the precious time that you do have.
Ianna Raim says that “you don’t find the time, you make it. Schedule time for yourself and put it on your calendar. It takes as much importance as a meeting you have. Saying no to other things means you can say yes to yourself. Saying no is empowering. If you’re not well, everyone in your universe suffers.”
Carol Hindsman uses a visual of a battery to explain a similar point. “You always need to have time to recharge. Don’t let yourself get run down. If I let my battery get run all the way down, it’ll take that much more time and effort to bring it back up. So I try to set some time for myself to recharge, even if that means taking a ten-minute chunk of time to put down electronics, catch your breath, and bring your energy level back.”
2. Be Disciplined
Making time for yourself might sound easier said than done, which is why Lindy Smiley emphasizes the importance of staying disciplined.
“If you’re not on some type of schedule,” she says, “it’s easy to fall behind and feel like you’re not getting things done. Sometimes that means saying no or leaving early or going to bed at a certain time. But those controls help to keep everything in motion.”
3. Accept Help
As difficult as it may seem to let go of control and accept help from others—whether at work or at home—this is a critical part of taking care of yourself and making time for your priorities.
Carol shared an example from her life, explaining that her 10-year-old makes hot dogs on Thursday nights to help with dinner. “I’m a big believer in making everyone be a part of everything,” she says. “Let go of some things that aren’t done to your expectations and take advantage of the help you can get from those around you.”
4. Change Your Mindset
The right frame of mind can go a long way when it comes to improving your mood and overall outlook. Ianna suggests practicing gratitude when you’re feeling negative. “We are better at feeling grateful for big things,” she explains, “but it’s harder for feel grateful for very small things. So really notice the small things, like the fact that you got a parking space or the line at the bank went quickly. Build gratitude into your life every day.”
Similarly, Lindy emphasizes focusing on what you have and not what you don’t have. “Take a step back and look at yourself. Be grateful for the simple things you have to start your day on a high note.”
5. Change Your Words
The language that we use to describe our day-to-day activities and chores can have a remarkable impact on our mood and outlook. All of our experts suggest changing the way you talk and think about certain tasks to help shed a more positive light on even the most mundane of tasks.
“I try to use positive words to describe the things that I do,” says Carol. “Instead of saying I have to sweep the house, I try to think of it as making my floor look better. I also try not to complain. Have a positive action rather than just a complaint that stays negative.”
Ianna emphasizes the importance of practicing self-compassion and forgiving ourselves. “Our language feeds our emotions,” she explains. “Monitor your language around how you talk about things—yourself, others and your day. Celebrate your wins and reward yourself.”
Prioritizing ourselves and our values is an important component of our wellbeing and happiness. Remember that if you don’t make the time to take care of yourself, you won’t have the energy to take care of those around you or the important projects at work. Be kind to yourself!
Our free and open-to-the public virtual “Just Ask TCI” program happens on the third Friday of each month, so invite your friends and tune in to our monthly talks!