Finding Balance & Making Time For Self-care

Many of us have so many responsibilities in our lives that we need to forget to make time for ourselves. Sometimes our lives can be so full of things that need to be accomplished, never ending lists that get checked off and then more tasks are added. Does it ever end?

In a fast pace lifestyle it can be very challenging trying to find balance and manage stress. Balancing being a parent, spouse, daughter/son, colleague, student can be overwhelming and cause a wide range of emotions. When we begin feeling overwhelmed, some individuals may feel sad, anxious, angry or irritable.

Each day presents its own challenges and it is very important to take a step back and make time for self-care. Self-care is important for emotional health, feeling balanced, and stress management.

Think of something that you truly enjoy and make time each week to do that something that makes you feel relaxed and happy. Everyone needs time to shut off their crazy, hectic schedules and focus on themselves.

Some self-care strategies for overall stress reduction include:

Getting enough sleep. Turn off your television and computer and go to bed earlier. This can be challenging because technology may be your only relaxation time at the end of the day, but we all need sleep in order to function the next day.

Maintain Social Support. Social support can be helpful in lifting your spirits, feeling connected, and feeling a sense of belonging. Family and friends can be a good listeners and may be able to help you process your thoughts and feelings when you are facing personal challenges.

Finding a Hobby. Having a hobby that you enjoy can make you feel happy when you are facing challenges. It gives you a time-out so that you can focus on something enjoyable. Having hobbies has been helpful for individuals and families to find balance and reduce stress. If you are unsure of what hobby you should do, think back to when you were younger and think about the things you enjoyed, it may be sports, dance, collecting something, making jewelry, art, music. Take some time and explore your options. Look at your local community (park district, churches, etc) and see what classes are offered.

Exercise & Nutrition. It is important to maintain healthy nutrition. This can be a big challenge when you are on the go and convenance becomes essential. Make healthy snacks you can grab from your refrigerator or pantry. Exercise is also important because it helps reduce stress, anger, anxiety, and depression. Exercise is important for both your physical and mental health. Make time, even if it is a quick walk around the block.

Process your Emotions. Keeping your emotions bottled up and not effectively coping with them can lead to an emotional explosion. Learn how to process your thoughts and feelings and identify ways to help you cope with your feelings. If you are unsure of how to process your thoughts and feelings, seek a professional counselor that can help teach you how to process thoughts/feelings and provide you with useful coping skills to keep your emotional balance in check.