Do You Have Time to Take Care of Yourself?

Do You Have Time to Take Care of Yourself?

I am trying to make some changes in my life (now that I’m happy) and I decided to Google the words, “take care of yourself”. It was depressing the sites that came up.

20 Simple Ways to Take Care of Yourself
  • This includes starting your day with a warm glass of lemon water, drinking clean filtered water all day, having green juice as the first meal, meditating. Other than meditation (which I do twice a day whenever I get 10 uninterrupted minutes), I would never do any of these things.
25 Science-Backed Ways to Change Your Life by Taking Better Care of Yourself
  • A health site that wants you to get outdoors, hike in the woods, eat more fruits and vegetables, turn off your electronics. I actually agree with these things, and I’d love to do them, but I can make many excuses not to.
How to Take Care of Yourself – 15 Steps,
  • Interesting because the first step was assessing your mental health. That is probably a good place to start.

Don’t get me wrong, I really do think all of these are good for my well being, but I need more realistic goals. Doesn’t anyone have ideas that don’t cut into my sleep time or require me to gag down a green drink at 6:00 in the morning without coffee first?

I’m better when I take care of myself.  I am a better leader, a better employee, a better wife, a better friend, a better sister.  It’s like that old saying, “When Mamma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy”.  I don’t think I want to do a focus group with my friends, family, and co-workers to find out if this is true, but I do think they would support my taking better care of myself because it’s better for them as well.

You gotta love Google. My next attempt at finding reasonable help was to use the keywords, “easy ways to take care of yourself” and I found a website that gave me 55 Gentle Ways to Take Care of Yourself When You’re Busy Busy Busy. This is more like it.

Say no to anything that is not important to you

  • Laundry, phone calls with your mom, demanding girlfriends – this is not the time to be nice and “responsible”. Give yourself the permission to focus on what’s important. Getting the unessential responsibilities off your schedule will not only create some extra time and space, it will also lighten the burden you’re feeling to keep up with it.

Listen to your favorite music

  • Calm music will help you calm down and upbeat music will help you up your game. Pick music that won’t distract you (like music without lyrics or in a foreign language). Your favorite music will boost your mood and keep you happy, no matter how tired you are.

Surround yourself with inspiring photos

  • Put up some of your favorite photos where you can see them when you work. Whenever you get unfocused, you will feel much better if you can rest your eyes on something pretty, rather than everything that reminds you of how busy you are.

Take a hot bath

  • Nothing helps you relax like a hot bath. Use your favourite bubbles, turn off the light, light some candles and you’re good to go. One hour in the bath in the evening may be the best way to relax because of this simple fact – you can’t take your work and your computer with you.

You may notice that I listed only 4 of the 55 items provided. I carefully culled the choices before I included them. The “leftover” 51 items really didn’t meet my needs. Things like eating healthy greens, sleeping, turning off electronics, taking daily walks/runs. Apparently there is no getting around actually putting good food in your body and exercising.

Before I know it, my work, my family, my friends in need, and my bad habits have me totally out of wack.  When I see two pizza boxes in the trash during one week, when I consider buying the Costco size bag of Snickers, when my iPad gets closer and closer to my bedroom (okay my bed), I know it’s time to redo my priorities.

Tonight I will take a hot bath, pile my electronics on the table by the outside door so I can see the pictures of my family on the dresser, turn on my favorite Nora Jones music, and not do my laundry.  Tomorrow I will have green tea when I wake up (I just won’t do the hot lemon water stuff), a cup of plain yogurt with blueberries (no green drink), and I’ll take the stairs to my office.  I know it will help me function better at work and at home.

What small steps are you taking to take care of yourself?  Share with us in the comments section or via Twitter, Facebook, or Youtube.

I am passionate about helping women make the most of their skills and talents in the workplace, as well as encouraging them to ask for what they want and deserve. Creating Ask Ajna with Jae Lynn has been a labor of love and if we can help women find their authentic voice and support one another, we will build a community of change.


  1. I read, which is sort of odd because I research for a living. But, curling up with a good book, a cat and a pot of green tea at night transports me away from all the cares that keep me frazzled. I find I don’t sleep as well when I miss my hour read at night.

    • I’m with you, Carrie . . . maybe not the cat, but the tea and the book are a must in the evening.


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