A Busy Girl's Guide to Self-Care that Actually Works

Here's a busy girl's guide to self-care that works, and every self-care ritual takes 15 minutes or less to make it work.

Written by: Neha Kalavati

Self-care essentially sprouts from self-love. It's the little things you do to show respect to yourself, your mind, and your body. The small acts of self-love that help you grow and be a better version of who you are. By now, you must have heard plenty of people talk about fancy self-care over social media involving luxuriously scented candles, expensive spa & salon treatments, high-end skincare, and whatnot!

Women hardly make time for themselves, juggling back and forth between family and career; they tend to ignore their own well-being. We, as women, have changed ourselves and the world for good, and I was wondering maybe it’s time to even redefine what self-care is and how we choose to interpret it.

Here's a busy girl's guide to self-care that works, and every self-care ritual takes less than 15 minutes or less to make it work.

#1: Wholesome and Nutritious Breakfast

Not a long time ago, I didn't particularly appreciate getting up every morning from that cozy bed, and I was certainly not a morning person. Fast forward to my life now, I look forward to getting up every morning because the thought of a healthy, nutritious breakfast DRIVES ME to be up.

I found recipes that take less than 15 minutes to put together, and I enjoy my breakfast in my balcony savouring every bite of it. It is my me-time, and I relish it in peace without any distractions. It feels like I am reviving every cell in my body with every bite I take, and these 10 minutes of having breakfast are no less than a weekend in Goa. I have also noticed that my productivity is at a peak on the days I treat myself with a healthy breakfast.

#2: Personal Safety

If you could imbibe one self-care measure from this entire article, It should be this. Personal safety is one thing every woman should consider taking seriously. As women with greater responsibilities(work, family, motherhood), protecting ourselves from any danger should top our priority list.

Here's what you can do :

1. Always carry a pepper spray/sharp tool in your handbag.

2. Learn one self-defence move every alternate day in your free time.

3. Be alert.

With so many disturbing incidents with women coming to light, this is the best we all can do to be equipped to face whatever that comes in our way.  We need to learn how to combat unexpected situations and make smart decisions in alarming surroundings. A full-fledged approach to self-care, after all, is to understand that not every person who loves us will be there to shield us during an emergency. So, put your brave face on and learn to defend yourself.

#3: Take Breaks

Breaks in Sweden are taken seriously, And it’s something that is not to be messed with in Swedish culture. A Fika is Swedish coffee and snacks break taken twice in a day(or as many times as you want), excluding lunch break. The reason I'm mentioning this is that Sweden tops the chart when it comes to work-life balance. Fika is not just a Swedish tradition, It is a way of life.

As we are advancing in our careers and working till the dawn,  self-care falls low and low on our priority list. Taking frequent breaks is essential as it might lead you to burnout.

Taking 5-10 minute breaks helps boost your creativity and productivity. Mini breaks cut-off the monotony of your work schedule, Gives you some breather, ensures your stress levels are low and prevents burnout in the long run. Breaks are also ought to boost focus and help you perform better after you return to your desk. As Robin Sharma mentions it in his book, "The monk who sold his Ferrari," "Live fast, die young" should seldom be our goal.

#4: Unfollow

Everything these days is on the internet. We spend most of our time on the social media scrolling through celebrity updates and instant messages. My Instagram feed used to be flooded with celebrity selfies I didn't care to see, influencer divas showing off a high-end bag that they probably got for free, and big brands posting a new product launch that made me sick as I couldn't afford them. In short, my feed was a collection of HD pictures that reminded me every day that I wasn't doing well in my life, and it was starting to affect my mental well-being.

And then, I came across this concept called "digital declutter."

It is primarily clearing the content we do not consume any more, Including old messages, spam emails, useless photos, and unfollowing people/accounts that do not add value to your life. I did this every alternate day for 2-5 minutes whenever I was free, and I haven't turned back since then. At this point of time, where social media and the internet are booming, this is a crucial step to take to preserve our sanity. Please do yourself a favour, and stop following all the accounts that make you feel worthless and pessimistic.

#5: Vision Board and Affirmations

" To think what you want to think is to think the truth."

Our sub-conscious mind responds to what we say to ourselves and what we repeatedly see. In the scientific terms, it’s referred to as the Reticular activating system. According to this system, whatever we set our focus onto becomes our reality. Whatever we set our eyes on, our mind works to find opportunities to make it happen. Affirmations, both visual or verbal, when practiced regularly becomes an integral focus of our subconscious mind, and therefore we are more likely to act on it. It is astounding to know that manifestation works on scientific terms.

Set up a vision board- a collage of all the beautiful images that inspires you, all the pictures of places you dream of visiting. Keep it in a place where its easy to catch sight of, placing alongside your dressing mirror is the smartest option as you can glance at it while you are getting ready.

I generally pair up saying affirmations aloud with mundane tasks that require my least attention. It is a great way to multitask, plus saves a tonne of time. Alternatively, you can also write these affirmations.

#6: Gratitude

Trust me, this works! Practicing gratitude is a well-known self-care strategy and is backed by research. Whenever you feel like you have a mountain to climb, Take a few moments and scribble down three things you are grateful for in your life.

This exercise will make you count innumerable blessings in your life and will help you feel content. Being grateful will allow your mind to shift your focus from negative to positive thoughts, and it will lead you to cherish your life. The deeper you practice self-care, the more vibrant your life will feel. So make some room for gratitude in your life, even if it means you are thankful for your cute life-partner or that beautiful smile on your face!

What is your idea of self-care? How many of these do you follow? Let’s talk in comments? :)

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