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Thank you to guest blogger, Emma Grace Brown
Affordable Ways to Fit Self-Care Into Your Busy Life
by Guest Blogger, Emma Grace Brown of EmmaGraceBrown.com
Self-care is all about making time for you, but finding the time to care for yourself is easier said than done. Without room in your schedule — or your budget — self-care can often seem nearly impossible. So, here are some effective ways to work self-care into your life without draining your wallet or sacrificing too much of your time.
Capitalize on Your Vacation Time
Taking time off to de-stress and refocus on the meaningful aspects of your life is essential to your mental well-being. However, a Gallup study found that only 62 percent of Americans report taking a vacation in the past year. Don’t waste your vacation time sitting at home or plugging away at extra work. Instead, consider pooling your money together with a group of friends or family members for a vacation rental — even if it’s simply for a staycation!
You already know that Austin is a popular vacation destination for adventure and rejuvenation, so save money on your staycation by seeking out a rental near activities you will enjoy. According to Turnkey, you can have a one-of-a-kind experience in your hometown if you want to stay downtown near the Austin City Limits Music Festival or kick back on Lake Austin where you can enjoy swimming, boating and fishing. No matter where you stay around Austin, you’re sure to find a comfortable rental where you can cut loose and relax.
Set Some Work and Life Boundaries
Sadly, every vacation must come to an end. Keep the self-care flowing through your work life by setting some boundaries. You don’t have to cut back on your work hours to reduce job stress. Instead, try taking on fewer projects or letting your coworkers know that you won’t be available after a certain time of the day. To avoid thinking about work on your off time, Mic recommends setting conversation boundaries with your friends and talking about things other than work.
During your day, try to set some boundaries for yourself as well. Make a point of cutting out small time-wasters, like checking your email or updating your social media accounts multiple times per day. Perfectionism and multitasking can also zap your free time. At the end of the day, you’ll discover that banishing these habits can give you a whole hour or more of extra time that you can use for exercise, cooking healthy meals, or engaging in an enjoyable hobby.
Ramp Up Your Exercise Routines
Any form of exercise is excellent for your body and mind. If you don’t have a lot of time in your day, try to intensify your exercise sessions so you can get the most out of them. According to Verywell Fit, you only need about 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise each week to maintain your general health. Running is an excellent form of vigorous-intensity exercise because it’s cheap, adaptable, and one of the most efficient ways to get fit. Ideally, try for at least three 25-minute running sessions every week. If you need some motivation to stick to your running plan, consider signing up for a 5K race or mini-marathon.
Establish a Healthy Morning Routine
If you struggle to get going in the morning, consider adjusting your morning routine. Many of us are slightly dehydrated when we wake up, so start your day out with a glass of water. Then, consider getting outside for a quick run — exposing yourself to bright daylight first thing in the morning will tell your body to stop producing sleep hormones and banish any lingering fatigue. Make sure your morning routine is enjoyable, so you have something to look forward to the night before. You could have a cup of tea, do some yoga (don’t forget to pick up a good yoga mat!), or meal-prep a tasty breakfast. A small dose of excitement for the coming morning will help you get to bed a little earlier in the evening.
Use Counseling to Expand Your Self-Care Toolkit
Sometimes stress forces you to put up so many walls it’s hard to tear them down effectively on your own. If you’re starting to feel like you need an extra push to mitigate the stress you’re encountering, consider talking to a therapist. A few counseling sessions can give you the insight and help you need to tackle your stress head-on.
Self-care has no limits. Whatever activities make you feel really and truly great should have a place in your daily life. You don’t need to empty your wallet or even give up valuable time in your day. With everything you do, try to be mindful of your well-being and think about what small changes you can make to enjoy your life a little more.