• No Time for Self-Care? Here’s a Hidden Pocket of Time

  • I often hear from women that they have no time for self-care. Breathing? Gratitude? Mindfulness? No way–there’s not enough time.

    I hear you. You’re busy and self-care practices often fall to the bottom of the list. However, I think we can find a pocket of time for you.

    A number of years ago, when my girls were little and it was hard to schedule my time I had no time for self-care either. Then I made a discovery. Every stop sign and every red light gave me a moment in my day where I could do something. I could take care of myself.

    When you’re sitting in your car you can use that time to take care of yourself too. Breathe deeply. Make a mental gratitude list. Focus on your senses. Take time to be there, be present, and take care of you.

    Experts and researches tell us that breathing deeply releases toxins, eases stress, increases energy and improves mood.

    Practicing gratitude boosts the immune system, increases optimism, and improves mental health.

    Focusing on what you see, hear, touch, taste, and smell calms the nervous system, grounds us, slows a racing mind and helps manage anxiety.

    These are all simple self-care practices and they’re all things we can do quickly and for just a moment or a few minutes. When you stop at a stop sign, take a deep breath. Sitting at a red light? Practice gratitude.

    It’s not monumental. It’s also not difficult. In fact, it’s a simple thing you can turn into a habit, one that reduces stress and improves mental health. I know a few breaths at a stop sign or a few minutes at a red light don’t seem like much but those moments add up. Plus, they keep pulling your nervous system back into a balanced state. That’s good for your mental and physical health.

    So take the thought that you have no time for self-care and turn it on its head. And who knows, you might just find yourself hoping to hit every red light on your route.