Self-care is such a hot topic these days and is often synonymous with self-indulgence. While there is nothing wrong with treating yourself to a luxurious bath, there are more aspects to self-care most people are not aware of. We like to categorize these as emotional, practical, social, and physical self-care practices that improve our overall wellbeing.
We’re going to discuss practical self-care and various habits you can implement daily.
What is practical self-care?
Everyone is busy and sometimes it’s hard to do it all. Between taking care of the family, work, being a supportive partner, managing household chores, and taking care of yourself it’s no wonder why 59% of the population experienced some level of burnout in 2022. This is where practical self-care comes in. Practical self-care refers to activities done now to prevent stressful situations in the future and giving you more time to do other more enjoyable activities. This helps manage your stress and anxiety levels and makes your daily life easier. These tasks may include financial planning, organization, and keeping track of a schedule. So what are some activities you can do to make your life easier?
Organize each day of the week
Bringing structure to your week is the equivalent of decluttering your physical space. As someone who wears multiple hats throughout the week, I often found it difficult to switch from doing creative to administrative tasks. If your job allows this, try organizing your week based on the type of tasks you need to complete. It allows your brain to be completely focused on what you need to accomplish that day. Here is an example of how I organize my week:
Tuesday- Creative (Marketing and Social Media)
Wednesday- Account Management
Thursday- Product Development
Friday- Personal and Professional Development + Complete remaining tasks from the week
Schedule time during the day for specific tasks
For most people multitasking doesn’t work. Studies show that we’re actually less productive when we switch tasks repeatedly throughout the day allowing mistakes to happen more frequently. Instead, try blocking off time for specific tasks throughout the day. This allows uninterrupted focused time to do your work. The best time for me to do deep work is in the mornings so I block off a few hours in the morning to completely immerse myself in those tasks. While this is not possible everyday it’s a template I use as much as possible. Here is an example of how I organize my day.
6:00 am - 9:00 am: Morning routine + work out
9:00 am-10:00 am: Catch up on the news, email, and take urgent meetings
10:00 am-2:00 pm: Deep work
2:00 pm-3:00 pm: Take a break and walk outside
3:00 pm- 5:00 pm: Easier tasks, admin work, and meetings
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm: Family time
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Personal time
9:00 pm - 10:00 pm: Evening routine + bedtime
Reduce your decisions throughout the week
Have you ever felt overwhelmed and unable to focus on simple tasks at the end of the day? If so, you might be experiencing decision fatigue. Decision fatigue is mental exhaustion after you’ve made too many decisions in a row or presented with too many options at once. One method to combat decision fatigue is to create routines to save time and bring consistency to your day. Here are some ways to reduce your decisions throughout the week:
- Decide on your meals for the week on Sunday. You don’t have to cook all the meals, but write down a meal option for each day. This allows for healthier choices and saving money on your grocery bill.
- Pick out your clothes the night before. My mornings are always rushed so I try to limit the choices available.
- Schedule time for activities that are important to you. Ever have an hour during the day when you can’t decide if you want to go to the gym, watch tv, read, or take a bath? The hour is over by the time you make a choice. Instead, schedule these activities throughout the week so you are committed to doing them.
- Have effortless routines to give your brain a break. Put your less important tasks on autopilot to minimize anxiety and conserve energy for more important decisions.
Learn your limits
Practical self-care is about making decisions now that will benefit you in the future. To prevent unwanted stress, understand how much you can handle emotionally, socially, and physically at any given time. Creating boundaries now such as declining a social event so you’re not overbooked will lessen anxiety for the future.