Do you often find yourself struggling to fit in time for self-care during busy or stressful periods? In this guest blog, life coach and blogger, Kat Horrocks shares her top 5 tips for finding balance and prioritising self-care.
Savour the moments
What’s one small thing you could do to add some joy or pleasure into your day? Self-care doesn’t have to be extravagant. It could be enjoying your coffee outside, calling a loved one or putting your favourite comfies on when you get in! These things might seem frivolous (I can already hear you saying, “I don’t have time for that!”) but they really, really matter.
Learn the art of the graceful no
A good practice is don’t commit in the moment. Instead, offer to check your diary and follow up later. If it’s not gonna fit in, don’t be afraid to say, "thank you for thinking of me, but I’m already at capacity for this month”. Always better to be upfront and assertive, rather than dealing with added stress of cancelling later or being overbooked and letting things get worse.
Don’t forget the basics
Or as I like to call them, your self-care non-negotiables. Meals, breaks, sleep, hygiene, health and fitness - you know the drill. We’ve all been there - it’s midday, you’ve not showered or eaten yet because you’re glued to your laptop, and you’ve not even left the house yet this week, nevermind been to the gym. Try not to let these things slip. If anything, they’re 10x MORE important if you’re in a vulnerable place.
We tend to be really hard on ourselves when we’re already under a lot of pressure. The negative self-talk can creep in. If you do slip up anywhere, let yourself know that’s absolutely fine. Treat yourself in the same way you’d treat a best mate going through a difficult time. With patience, love and kindness. You’re only human.
Ask for help
If you’re struggling, ask the people around you to give you a hand. You have to lean on your support network during difficult times, as tough as that ask might feel. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak, it makes you admirably strong, and in turn can strengthen your relationships! Put yourself in their shoes, you’d do the same for them!
Visualise a way out
Acknowledging that time will pass and you’ll get through this is key. We’re always going to tackle busy periods in work and life. Embrace that ebb and flow and just accept it! If you know there’s a point in the future where things will calm down, you could even look to book something special in or mark the date in some way, as a treat for yourself. A spa day, a day trip, even just a weekend with zero plans so you can chill on the couch. Whatever you need, book it in.
For more words of wisdom or information about Kat’s one to one life coaching services, you can visit her website or Instagram page. Alternatively, I highly recommend giving her podcast, ‘Put Yourself First’ a listen!
Photo credit goes to Manchester-based photographer Georgie Class.