Self-care is something that can look different for every person. There are people

who like to cuddle up on the couch with a book, do a face mask, take a bubble bath, or even those who like to clean.

There are so many ways to partake in self-care and it is so important to make sure you are setting aside time to de-stress and have some “you time.”

A lot of people can acknowledge that self-care is important, but they may find it hard to find time to focus on themselves when their hectic schedule is constantly pulling them in different directions. Here are a couple of tips to help you prioritize making time for yourself.

1. Create a self-care plan. Write out a list of different self-care activities you enjoy and decide how much time you can devote to each activity. After you know how much time you need, start scheduling out time for self-care in your weekly schedule and stick to it!

For instance, if you know that you would like to take a bubble bath for 30 minutes and you also know you have Friday evenings free, you can plan it out for Friday from 6 to 6:30. Once you have planned something out, treat it like you would all other important events and prioritize it, because it is just as important.

2. Say “no” more often. Another tip to help ensure there is enough time in your week to focus on yourself is to start saying no to other things more often. We live in a society that often offers too much of themselves to other people.

Say no to babysitting the neighbor’s kids if that means you will then have time for yourself that evening. At times it can feel selfish saying no to the requests of others, but it is a necessary skill to learn and will help you begin to prioritize yourself and your needs.

3. Re-evaluate your current schedule. Maybe your spouse or kids can help you with the daily household chores if they aren’t already. There may even be things on your schedule that aren’t essential. If you find yourself looking through your schedule and finding tasks that don’t actually have to be done, use that extra time for self-care activities instead.

The important thing to remember is that you are just as important as the people around you, and you should treat yourself as well as you treat other people in your life. Without taking the time for self-care, we become more irritable, stressed and less available for the people we love.

In order to fill other people’s cups, we must make sure our cups are filled. Even though it can feel like there is not enough time for self-care, there is. Sometimes, we just have to learn how to fit it in and prioritize it. Prioritize yourself today.

Emily Bernhardt, MSW, is a Youth First Social Worker at Holy Cross Catholic School, St. James Catholic School, St. Joseph Catholic School, and Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic School in Gibson County. Youth First, Inc. is a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening youth and families. Youth First provides 78 Master’s level social workers to 105 schools in 12 Indiana counties. Over 60,000 youth and families per year are served by Youth First’s school social work and after school programs that prevent substance abuse, promote healthy behaviors, and maximize student success. To learn more about Youth First, visit youthfirstinc.org or call 812-421-8336.

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