7 Easy Self-Care Hacks for Busy Women of Color
Having a high-stress job is already exhausting. And then for many women, we go from work to another stressful situation taking care of our families, friends, and communities.
We are not clueless. We know we need self-care, but who has time for self-care?
Really, who has time when you are dealing with a demanding job and everyone else’s personal life? Plus sometimes self-care can feel like we are being selfish. We feel guilty for wanting to binge watch Insecure – Season 1 when our friend is grieving over a recent breakup.
I often look at a woman’s life as if it’s a glass of her favorite drink. She lets her job, love interest, kids, friends and the random stranger that needed help all have a sip of her drink. However, when she finally goes to take her first sip, she looks down only to discover the glass is empty.
We as women (and let’s not even talk about strong women) give so much of ourselves that there is no time or energy for self-care. But that’s just it, self-care is something that refuels us rather than takes from us. In order to fully be present to help others, we need to honor our own needs and make the time for self-care.
By learning how to take time for self-care, you’re able to enjoy a few sips or even a gulp of your favorite drink to refuel your soul and keep going.
Here are few simple ways to incorporate self-care in your life:
Just Say No
It sounds so easy, but it’s not abnormal to end up spending the day helping someone else when you had initially planned to take time for you. Learning how to say no is a game changer.
Exercise is an excellent stress reliever and gives you a perfect excuse for some alone time if you need an excuse. It also gives you a mental break as you focus on the task at hand opposed to whatever drama is filling your life.
Give Yourself a Break
Even Oprah needs a break and she is probably one of the hardest working women in the world. Feeling burnout is real and can happen to even the strongest woman. That’s why it’s important to take breaks from your daily life for self-care. Taking a trip is an easy way to push the pause button on life and take time for you. If you can’t afford to take an extended trip, consider a staycation or day trip.
Defining a clear work/life balance sets up house rules for both you and your job. If you are constantly making yourself available at all hours, people will expect you to always be on call, even when you’re on vacation.
Also, make an effort to leave work on time if you can. Each time you give an extra hour or two to the job, you are stealing time away from yourself. Of course, there are going to be those situations when you need to go above and beyond for the job, but I always like to ask myself, “will someone die if I put this off until tomorrow morning?” The reality is the work will always be there, but your sanity is not guaranteed if you keep putting it on the back burner.
Plan a Me Day, which is a day when you focus solely on something that makes you happy. Even if it is for a few hours, schedule a time when you are not dedicating your time to helping others. This can be spending a day at the spa, taking a walk around the neighborhood or simply spending a lazy day alone at home.
Cut the Fat
Figure out ways you can cut things out of your life that are causing you stress. It could be as simple as distancing yourself from that negative co-worker that complains every day about everyone in the office.
Even if you only remove one thing that is stressing you out, you’ll discover how making a small change can make a huge difference.
Think about how much time you waste reading every post and comment in your news feed. By decreasing your time on social media, you gain more time to do something you really enjoy.
For self-care to make an impact in your well-being, it really should become a daily practice. But if that is too much of a commitment, start with one day or hour at a time. The rippling effects will transform your life.