“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” —Lucille Ball
We’ve talked before about how important it is to maintain a practice of regular self-nurturing, whether it’s walking, yoga, meditation, or what have you.
But chances are the busier you become, the more that stuff takes a backseat to other things on your schedule. And that’s exactly when you need them the most. Disruptions to your regular schedule too, like getting sick or traveling, can do the same thing to your self-care system. You might even fall into a pattern of self-judgment when you let your nurturing routine go, which in turn adds more stress to your hectic day.
The good news is, there’s a simple way to avoid all that, even for the busiest businesswoman out there. It’s called micro care, and today we’re going to show you ten easy ways to make it happen, no matter how busy you get.
What’s Micro Care?
We use the term micro care to describe any number of small nurturing things that take five minutes or less—thing which you can do throughout your busy day.
The concept is pretty simple. Rather than judge yourself when you don’t go for a walk or hit the gym or meditate, why not focus on what you can do?
Instead of waiting until you have the time to “get back into it,” make the decision to nurture yourself for a few minutes here and there throughout the day. It may not be the cardio workout you’re used to, but doing these little things will help reduce stress until you can get back into your normal routine.
After all, carving out time for yourself is only part of the self-nurturing equation. How you take care of yourself when you “don’t have the time” matters just as much.
10 Ways to Implement Micro Care into Your Day
1. Go outside for a few minutes
Notice your surroundings. What color is the sky? Do you hear birds? Focus on being in the moment and being 100% present with your surroundings.
2. Stretch your body
Stand up and take a deep breath and stretch. You may not have had time for your yoga class, but you can do Down Dog or Child’s Pose for a minute or two to let your body stretch and relax.
3. Close your eyes
Take a deep breath and center yourself. Focus on your breath for a few moments, and let your thoughts come and go. Instead of engaging with them, just notice yourself observing them instead. Think of it as a little reminder that “you are not your thoughts.”
4. Anytime you get the chance to walk, take it
Even a five-minute walk around the block can do wonders. The fresh air and change of scenery will make a big difference.
5. Create an affirmation
Make a short phrase that supports you in caring for yourself, and put it on a sticky note where you can see it. For example, “I am lovingly embracing self-nurturing practices with ease and grace.” Here and there throughout the day, take a quick second to read your mini self-care affirmation and think about its meaning. Every time you do, it becomes true.
Connect with someone you love, even if only for a couple minutes. Sharing with a partner, family member, or friend can really get your endorphins going.
7. Take a break
Instead of working through lunch, take a real break and do something enjoyable. Maybe read a few pages of a novel, take that walk you didn’t get to, or eat outside if the weather’s cooperative. Remember, even when you’re busy, it’s okay to give yourself permission to relax a little.
8. Eat foods that are nourishing and healthy
Avoid sugar and things with lots of caffeine. Munch on fruits and vegetables throughout the day, and try swapping that second cup of coffee for a cup of herbal tea.
9. Do something that brings you joy
It can be anything. Maybe spend a few minutes with your cat or dog. Whatever it is, make sure you include a little joy in your day. Even if just for a minute.
10. Do a three-minute meditation
Close your eyes, focus on your breath, and slowly breathe in and out. Let everything else go. If it’s hard to quiet your mind, try a Mantra. It can be anything. Maybe the word “Love.” Breathe it in and breathe it out for three minutes. If you’re worried about losing track of the time, go ahead and set a timer before you start. You’ll be amazed at how deeply nurturing even a short meditation can be.
All of the above takes very little time and can make a huge difference in your life. Work a little micro care into your day, and you’ll find that when you do miss your workout or meditation, you’ve still got your bases covered. After all—when you feel nurtured, you are nurtured.
What are some of the little things you do you nurture yourself when you feel too busy?