How to Make Time for Self-Care Today

April 20, 2018 Emily Roberts MA, LPC

You can make time for self-care no matter how busy you are. Self-care requires only a few moments (as often as you can) every day. Learn how to make time for self-care. Use these simple tips to make self-care happen in only moments at HealthyPlace.

Do you find that it's hard to make time for self-care? We all have busy lives and play many roles, but if we don’t take care of ourselves and listen to what we need, it makes it harder to take care of the ones we love. When we make time for self-care on a regular base, research shows that most of us begin to develop healthy self-esteem, are more mindful and present, and feel more control over our mental health.

Challenges in Making Time for Self-Care

You may be thinking, “I barely have time to brush my hair, let alone make time for self-care.”

Or if you’ve been struggling with your mood just getting out of bed can difficult. I’ve been there, and self-care doesn’t have to take much time or energy. It can be a small action with minimal effort. Grabbing a bottle of water and putting it next to your bed, whether you get out of bed or not, can be an act of self-care. Buying a travel brush next time you're doing the errands for your family, that counts as self-care, too. It doesn’t mean you have to take a bubble bath or buy some fancy essential oils. It is all about what helps you take care of you today.

The world glorifies being busy, but it is burning us all out. When I’m stuck in the busy trap, I tend to neglect my needs, which leads to more foggy thinking and feeling depleted, anxious, and irritable. So instead of giving in to the rush, the fear and the frustration that occurs when my to-do list is a mile long, I make sure to make time for self-care. I put it on my schedule and make sure that before I tend to others, I attempt to tune into myself.

Myth: It's Hard to Make Time for Self-Care

Life can be hard, but it's even harder when we don't make time for self-care. When we listen to what we need throughout the day, it’s easier to manage work deadlines, fluctuation in mood, anxiety about getting everything done, family obligations, and other stressors. I used to believe that it was impossible to make time for self-care, but my practice has helped me manage my stress and improve my mood in a significant way.

Self-care isn't just bubble baths and Bonbons; it's about developing a better relationship with yourself and doesn't have to be luxurious or time-consuming (You Can Practice Self-Care on a Budget). Purposeful self-care is proven to build more self-awareness and helps you learn to listen to what your body and brain need.

Make Time for Five Minutes of Self-Care

If you can make time to check your Facebook or Instagram feed, you can make time for self-care. Try some of these ideas today.

  1. Go for a five-minute walk (get the mail) or walk down the driveway. Make an effort to move your body or stretch for a minute or two if you’ve been sitting down for a while.
  2. Meditate or do deep breathing for a minute or two during the day. Download an app or set the alarm for accountability.
  3. Make plans with a friend or family member, setting a date later in the week or month. It gives you something to look forward to and helps you feel connected to others.
  4. Read something that interests you; it can be a magazine, book, or blog. Even five minutes can help you feel reconnected to yourself.
  5. Drink a glass of water or eat a piece of fruit. Remind yourself that even this one glass of water or handful of grapes is helping your body and mind.
  6. Take a midday break to write out your intentions and ask yourself what would help you feel better; it can take one minute or less but it gets your mind to refocus back on your needs.

Just by reading this you are doing something that honors your time and is an act of self-care. What else can you do today to honor your body and mind? Don’t put it off until tomorrow or the weekend, make time for self-care no matter how busy you are.

APA Reference
Roberts, E. (2018, April 20). How to Make Time for Self-Care Today, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 29 from

Author: Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Emily is a psychotherapist, she is intensively trained in DBT, she the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are. You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

Lizanne Corbit
April, 23 2018 at 12:35 pm

This is it -- "It is all about what helps you take care of you today." I absolutely love this read, and I love that you outline some suggestions for 5 minutes of self care. Like so many other things that can be beneficial to us we put this big goals or time stamps on them, which often times make them seem undoable. Even just 5 minutes a day of true self care can be so incredibly nourishing and rewarding. This is a wonderful habit for us all to begin incorporating.

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