It’s Saturday morning. As the sun shines through my window and I lay in bed, I breathe in deeply and relax. I survived another week of overwhelming news headlines and Zoom meetings: It’s time to treat myself. I fantasize about buying the stiletto sandals and chandelier earrings that I’ve been eyeing for weeks now. But my stomach grumbles to remind me that I still haven’t gone grocery shopping. And I’ve barely even worked out this week. With so much to juggle between work, family, and friends, my self-care upkeep feels more like an annoying chore than a short-term and long-term wellness benefit.
Just before those tasks overwhelm me though, I smile and remember that I’ve outsmarted myself in anticipation of my self-care fatigue. I take a deep breath and enjoy the rest of my day because I have already set these strategies in motion.
1. Let your calendar work for you.
Chances are, if you don’t schedule what can feel like self-care chores — housework, exercise, errands, doctor visits — they won’t happen. Pull up your calendar and schedule all of the self-care tasks on your list that you are most likely to procrastinate, especially the ones that you just know you’ll forget. You can even color-code them to ensure they stand out. Make sure to set recurrences (daily, monthly, yearly, or even custom) so you won’t have to remember the due dates on your own.
2. Plan it all at once.
The thought of scheduling separate appointments for everything is overwhelming enough. So why not schedule them on the same day? For example, try to batch schedule your health appointments — like a dentist and eye doctor appointment — back-to-back. Or plan to get an oil change and head to Zumba class on the same day. Have fun with it! Create different themes to keep you motivated like “Doctor Days” or “Wellness Wednesdays.” And if you have any sick days available, use them for health-related appointments.
3. Sync your automated payments.
Bills don’t have the same due date, which can make keeping track of payments cumbersome. Do yourself a favor and coordinate your automated bill payments to be around the same day of the month. And choose the day towards the beginning of the month or close to payday. Yes, you’ll have all of your bills due at the same time, which can be draining for your bank account, but by getting it all out of the way at once — if possible — you won’t have to worry about your account taking hit after hit throughout the month. This tip takes a little planning. You want to make sure you have a decent cushion in your account to avoid overdrafting, but prioritizing your financial health this way will allow room for more thoughtful self-care activities.
4. Use social media to keep you motivated.
Take 10 minutes to peruse who you follow on social media and think about how they contribute to your commitment to self-care. Unfollow profiles that make you feel bad about yourself and replace them with ones specific to the self-care areas that you know are important but struggle with: fitness, finance, mental health, diet, relationships, etc. If you aren’t sure where to start, here’s a guide on how to better curate your feed. Let the accounts you follow keep you motivated when you’re not feeling it.
5. Connect to your big picture.
I love traveling to see people I love, but I know that if I’m not disciplined with my finances, fitness, diet, and mental health, I won’t be able to do it. To stay encouraged, I surround myself with photos of the people who matter most to me. Any time that I’m tempted to make unnecessary purchases, skip workouts, doctor’s appointments, or eat food that is terrible for me, their faces help me remember that my poor decisions reduce my time with them. I also see their smiling faces when I complete those daunting acts of self-care. So surround yourself with your squad to stay encouraged.
No matter where you are on your self-care journey, these tips will help keep you on track without stressing you out!
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