Self-care tips for busy lives

There are always patches of life that feel overwhelming and frantic. It may be a cluster of family birthdays, social events and celebrations, or just life getting all a bit too much. Trying to juggle modern living can be draining and often leads to a fraught state of mind, especially when you feel like you’re being pulled in many different directions. Accommodating the demands and expectations of others can lead to our own needs or wishes being overlooked and pushed to the back-burner. And by sacrificing aspects of ourselves, we can become cranky and disgruntled. Read on to find out how we can preserve our own well-being while working with the demands of others.

Communicate your wishes and priorities

One of the first things we need to face is whether we feel our wishes are being overlooked, as this can often lead to resentment and frustration. Having frank, open and honest conversations with those we share our lives with is the most effective way we can ensure we feel supported and listened to. 

Don’t wait for it to spill out in an angry, tired, upset argument. Instead, try and make time to express yourself clearly and without guilt. These conversations can also be a revelation for others if we’ve been putting on a brave face of appearing to manage. There’s nothing wrong with ensuring your needs and wishes are being met, especially when you are bending over backwards to try and meet everyone else’s demands. 

Engage with nature

We all know that a brisk walk in the woods can be incredibly calming and beneficial. While we may want to hibernate or busy ourselves with jobs to do, going for a stroll can be just the thing to help us clear away the cobwebs, gain perspective and replenish the soul. Let’s be honest, it’s rare you come back from being in nature and feel worse for it. So, dust off those wellies and get outside. Spot icy cobwebs hanging in the bushes or the dappled sunlight breaking through the leaves on the trees. You’ll feel better for it!

Take time out

It may sound like a cliché but having time to yourself is vital. It might be indulging in a long bath, being consumed by a good book or visiting a local nature spot. Whatever your idea of pleasure and peace may consist of, ensure you carve that time out for yourself as the busier we become, the more we need to recharge. All too often, we can overlook this need for peace and quiet. We may even feel guilty or lazy by taking time to stop but when we consider how fast and demanding life has become, it would seem more implausible that we could expect ourselves to manage without time to revive and restore our energy levels.

Plan but be prepared to change

Working out what needs to be done and when it can be achieved is key to busy patches going more smoothly. Asking for help is essential if you want to avoid feeling like you are carrying too much and, ultimately, becoming frustrated with those who you feel aren’t pulling their weight. If you find yourself lying awake worrying how you’re going to manage everything, it may be more constructive to get up, make lists and plans. The likelihood is that you will sleep better and feel more settled for it. 

However, the more we over-organise something, the more challenging it can be when something derails our plan or challenges it. None of us wants this, so being prepared to change, roll with punches and accept when things need to evolve are all vital qualities that help us strike the balance between being organised and controlling.

Accept being ‘good enough’

You may not consider yourself a perfectionist, but it’s likely you have been in a situation when you know you’ve put yourself under unnecessary pressure in order to do your best. Whether it’s achieving at work, hosting a family gathering or simply ensuring the children are being fed properly, we can set overly-high expectations of ourselves. 

Knowing when something is ‘good enough’ is a really helpful mindset to get into. If we think about it in terms of school grades, trying to achieve A+ in all aspects of our life is unrealistic. It’s inevitably going to lead to stress, potentially even multiple failures. Accepting that the occasional grade B or C is still OK can be a game-changer. And if no one gets hurt, does the odd D really matter?

Avoid comparisons

‘Keeping up with the Jones’ may be an old phrase but it’s a concept that can dominate life even more so today. Managing our insecurities and jealousy over the big things may take work, but we can often accept that they are the way they are and potentially out of our control. Significant contrasts could include how beautiful your house is, the status of your job or where you can afford to go on holiday. But then there are the little comparisons. And it’s these that eat away at our contentment without us even realising. 

This could include how your friend manages to always look so well turned out, or how your niece’s handwriting is so much neater than your own child’s. Perhaps it’s the fact that your colleague seems to get on with your boss better than you do, or they appear to manage their workload effortlessly. The likelihood with all things is that there are sacrifices being made elsewhere, or perhaps that person is actually very stressed trying to keep up appearances. Being content with your lot sounds simple, but it can be a real challenge to attain that state of mind. 

The first step is acknowledging when you are making those comparisons and questioning why you place such importance on them. Perhaps it’s the tip of a bigger anxiety iceberg and one that you may need to address.

Brain dump

When it all seems too much, ‘brain dumping’ can be hugely effective in sorting out your thoughts, unearthing worries and organising ideas. How you go about it is up to you, and will be dictated by your preferred way of working. 

Grab yourself a piece of paper and scribble down a spiderweb of words and thoughts. Perhaps you’re someone who prefers to type it all down – writing it as a journal entry can be hugely insightful and effective. Lists might be your thing: organised, efficient and clearly categorised. However, you prefer to ‘dump’, get it all out and give yourself a moment to unpick everything you unearth. It can be a helpful way of processing all that is rattling around in your head and making sense of it.

You may be wondering how hypnotherapy could support all this. It is, in fact, the perfect way to address any issues or challenges you may be facing, as well as taking time to relax and be at peace. It is, therefore, the ideal companion for anyone seeking to look after themselves a little more.

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Written by Jessica Chapman
Jessica Chapman is a therapist and teacher with a passion for the outdoors and being creative. She enjoys assisting others in making positive changes to their lives alongside working on her own aspirations.
Written by Jessica Chapman
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