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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

13 Essential Self-Care Tips for Busy People

13 Essential Self-Care Tips for Busy People

You provide plenty of time to your work and family each day, but how much time do you allot for yourself? You go to sleep each night with the intention of carving out some “me” time tomorrow. Then before you know it, a couple days will turn into a month, and a month will turn into a year. Now you tell yourself, “I just need to grind for a couple years” and then I will be able to live the good life.

While it may seem necessary to devote all of your time to your professional life, if you want to be successful for the long-haul, you are must take care of yourself first. Although it does not feel like there is enough time in the day, you will benefit from these 13 self care tips for busy people.

When it comes to your self-care, you need a measurable and consistent strategy. Your self-care strategy needs to encourage your physical, emotional, social and spiritual well-being. When you spend too much time on any one aspect of your well-being, you run the risk of losing your balance.

You need to look at your self-care as a question of self love. Do you love yourself?

While this may seem like a silly question, let me ask you it another way. How do you show yourself that you love yourself? Do you take a moment each day and ask yourself how your day went? Or do you take yourself out for lunch every so often? Do you plan fun activities or write yourself simple notes? It probably seems silly to think of yourself this way, but I want you to be honest.

If someone else treated you the way you treat yourself, would you believe them if they told you they loved you? The truth for most of us is we wouldn’t. Love is more than a word or a feeling, it is an action.

I know you do not have a lot of time, so keep in mind these self care tips are meant to be completed within a short amount of time each day. You do not need to feel pressured to add every self-care tip to your daily routine.

However, it is recommended that you add at least one self care strategy for each of the four pillars of your well-being.

1. Begin Counting Sheep

This is not the first time you have heard someone tell you how important sleep is, and I am sure it will not be the last time. Of course, late at night is when the kids go to sleep or when the company stops moving, so it is natural you want to use this time to “catch up”. However, when it comes to your self-care, if you want to operate at peak efficiency, you need to get the proper amount of sleep.

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In order to ensure you are able to get the proper amount of sleep each night, you need to make a night routine. Start by setting the time you want to wake up and then, determine what time you need to go to sleep. For example, if you need eight hours of sleep and want to wake up at 7am, then you need to be asleep by 11pm.

Now that you know the time you need to be asleep by, make a list of what needs to be done for you to go to sleep. Whether that is an email for work or helping the kids with their night time routine, you want to allot enough time for these activities so you will not be up past your bedtime.

Developing a night routine maybe a good idea: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

2. Start Moving and Shaking

You likely know exercising reduces the chance of you developing heart disease, stroke, or diabetes. However, did you know that exercise also protects your memory and thinking skills? Studies suggest that the part of your brain that controls your thinking and memory have “greater volume” in people who exercise.[1]

The recommended amount of exercise per week is 150 minutes, but it is okay if you start small and work your way up.

3. Expand Your Palate

There are plenty of nutrients in fruits and vegetables. The problem is most people do not have the proper amount of nutrients in their food. As a result, you are forced to take vitamins to get the nutrients you need.

Supplementing your nutrients with vitamins is always an option, but you have to eat anyways. Might as well kill two birds with one stone by eating foods that have a high nutritional value.

4. Take a Vacation

I know what you are thinking and you are probably right. You do not think you have time to take a vacation and you may be right in some regards. But, there is a saying that people sacrifice their health to attain wealth and then, they spend their wealth trying to buy back their health.

You do not want to stress yourself out to the point that you are making yourself sick. You do not need to take a cruise or anything grand. You can simply take an afternoon and promise not to answer any calls or check any emails.

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Spend that time as you see fit. You can use that time to clean or iron your clothes for the week. You can go finish that movie or book you just have not had the time to complete. It is up to you, as long as you are disconnecting from the stresses of your normal life.

5. Start with the Warm and Fuzzes

Each morning, it is a great idea to start your day by giving thanks. This self-care tip can be done while you are taking a shower or driving to work. You simply think about three things you are grateful for in your life.

“People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude)”[2].

And to inspire you a little bit, here’re 32 Things You Should Be Grateful For.

6. You and Superman

You know how Superman needs the sun to refuel? Well, you do too. Open a window or take your work outside, it does not matter. You are doing well as long as you have the sun shining down on you.

Unlike other essential vitamins, which are obtained through food, vitamin D is achieved through the skin’s exposure to the sun. In fact, at least 1,000 different genes that manage virtually every tissue in your body are regulated by vitamin D.[3]

7. It Is Okay to Say No

People pleasing tendencies are inside all of us. If you have ever gone along to get along, then you need to start saying no more. It is physically and emotionally draining to do something you do not want to do.

The good news is, you can say no. So what if someone does not like you!

The reality is doing something you do not want to do is only forcing people into your life that you would be better without. That is why it is critical for you to be your authentic self in all interactions. You will save plenty of time and money when you are honest and let people know how you feel.

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Learn to be the authentic you: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Connect with Your Inner Self

Mindfulness mediation is a powerful self-care tip for the busy person. You can accomplish mindfulness meditation in as little as a few minutes. All you need to do is focus on the present.

One of the easiest ways to practice mindfulness meditation is to focus on one of your five senses. Your senses are always in the present, so focusing on them will help you to be mindful of what is going on in the here and now.

The benefits of mindfulness mediation are numerous. It can help you to increase your ability to regulate emotions, as well as manage your stress and anxiety.

If you want to start to meditate, try this: Meditation for Beginners: How to Meditate Deeply and Quickly

9. Spend Time Catering to Yourself

Do one nice thing for yourself every day. It can be as grand or modest as you decide. You can try one of these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

By taking the time to treat yourself to something nice, you are teaching yourself that you are worth it.

It is important for you to have a positive self-image of yourself. By adding this self-care tip, you will increase your confidence and boost your overall self-esteem.

10. Let Go of the Past

You got to stop holding on to old stuff. Whether you hurt someone or someone hurt you, you need to forgive and move on. The past cannot be changed, nor does it guarantee your future. You have the ability to make decisions that will positively alter your life every day.

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I love the practice of writing an issue on a piece of paper and then destroying the paper as a symbolic way of telling yourself it is done.

And there’re more things you can try to learn to let go: 7 Ways To Let Go Of The Past And Live A Happy Life

11. Be a Caregiver

Helping others is a great way to improve your well-being. You can help a coworker, grow a plant in your yard, or even get a pet. By taking the time to help others, when they succeed, you feel rejuvenated yourself.

This can be as small as holding the door for someone or you could have a plant that you only need to water once a week.

12. Use Your Funny Bone

All you need to do is laugh. Even if you do not find anything particularly funny, laugh anyways. Laughing can improve your mood and it is also shown that people who laugh live longer. Even though it may feel unnatural to laugh when you do not find anything funny, your fake laugh will turn into a real laugh.

13. Paint Your Canvas

It is important to make sure you have the proper mindset on a daily basis. You have probably heard of some of the benefits of having a vision board. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to take some time to create a vision board.

However, I know how busy you are, so here is the next best thing:

Decorate your office with pictures of your friends and family. If you do not like your friends and family on this particular day, decorate your desk with pictures of your favorite places. These images are going to be a positive reminder of the things you enjoy in life.

Final Thoughts

You do not need to add all 13 self-care tips into your life. However, you can start by adding one and then working your way. Ideally, you will have a self-care plan that includes tips that address your physical, emotional, social and spiritual well-being.

Remember, you do not “have” time, you “make” time. So choose to prioritize yourself and set yourself up for long-term success.

More Self-Care Tips

Featured photo credit: Trent Szmolnik via unsplash.com

Reference

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Last Updated on November 4, 2020

42 Practical Ways To Improve Yourself

42 Practical Ways To Improve Yourself

Are you someone who likes to grow? Do you constantly seek to improve yourself and become better?

If you do, then we have something in common.

I’m very passionate about personal growth. It was just 4 years ago when I discovered my passion for growing and helping others grow. At that time, I was 22 and in my final year of university. As I thought about the meaning of life, I realized there was nothing more meaningful than to pursue a life of development and betterment. It is through improving ourselves that we get the most out of life.

After a year and a half of actively pursuing growth and helping others to grow through my personal development blog, I realize there is never an end to the journey of self improvement.

The more I grow, the more I realize there is so much out there I don’t know, so much that I have to learn.

For sure, there is always something about ourselves we can improve on. The human potential is limitless, so it’s impossible to reach a point of no growth.

Whenever we think we are good, we can be even better.

As a passionate advocate of growth, I’m continuously looking for ways to self-improve. I’ve compiled 42 of my best tips which might be helpful in your personal growth journey. Some of them are simple steps which you can engage in immediately. Some are bigger steps which takes conscious effort to act on. Here they are:

1. Read a book every day.

Books are concentrated sources of wisdom. The more books you read, the more wisdom you expose yourself to.

What are some books you can start reading to enrich yourself? Some books I’ve read and found useful are Think and Grow Rich, Who Moved My Cheese, 7 Habits, The Science of Getting Rich and Living the 80/20 Way.

When you’re reading a book every day, you will feed your brain with more and more knowledge.

Here’re 5 really good books to read for self-improvement:

2. Learn a new language.

As a Singaporean Chinese, my main languages are English, Mandarin and Hokkien (a Chinese dialect). Out of interest, I took up language courses in the past few years such as Japanese and Bahasa Indonesian.

I realized learning a language is a whole new skill altogether and the process of acquainting with a new language and culture is a totally a mind-opening experience.

3. Pick up a new hobby.

Beyond just your usual favorite hobbies, is there something new you can pick up? Any new sport you can learn?

Examples are fencing, golf, rock climbing, football, canoeing, or ice skating.

Your new hobby can also be a recreational hobby. For example, pottery, Italian cooking, dancing, wine appreciation, web design, etc.

Learning something new requires you to stretch yourself in different aspects, whether physically, mentally or emotionally.

Here’re 20 hobbies to get you some new ideas

20 Productive Hobbies That Will Make You Smarter and Happier

4. Take up a new course.

Is there any new course you can join? Courses are a great way to gain new knowledge and skills.

It doesn’t have to be a long-term course – seminars or workshops serve their purpose too.

I’ve been to a few workshops and they have helped me gain new insights which I had not considered before.

In fact, anyone who wants to be a smarter learner should take this 20-minute FREE class: Spark Your Learning Genius. It will help supercharge your learning ability and pick up any skill faster!

5. Create an inspirational room.

Your environment sets the mood and tone for you. If you are living in an inspirational environment, you are going to be inspired every day.

In the past, I didn’t like my room at all because I thought it was messy and dull. A few years ago, I decided this was the end of it – I started on a “Mega Room Revamp” project and overhauled my room.

The end result? A room I totally relish being in and inspires me to be at my peak every day.


    Photo credit: Source

    6. Overcome your fears.

    All of us have fears. Fear of uncertainty, fear of public speaking, fear of risk… All our fears keep us in the same position and prevent us from growing.

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    Recognize that your fears reflect areas where you can grow. I always think of fears as the compass for growth.

    If I have a fear about something, it represents something I’ve yet to address, and addressing it helps me to grow.

    Learn How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding).

    7. Level up your skills.

    If you have played video games before, especially RPGs, you’ll know the concept of leveling up – gaining experience so you can be better and stronger.

    As a blogger, I’m constantly leveling up my writing skills. As a speaker, I’m constantly leveling up my public engagement abilities. What skills can you level up?

    8. Wake up early.

    Waking up early (say, 5-6am) has been acknowledged by many (Anthony Robbins, Robin Sharma, among other self-help gurus) to improve your productivity and your quality of life.

    I feel it’s because when you wake up early, your mindset is already set to continue the momentum and proactively live out the day.

    Not sure how to wake up early and feel energetic? These ideas will help:

    How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

    9. Have a weekly exercise routine.

    A better you starts with being in better physical shape. I personally make it a point to jog at least 3 times a week, at least 30 minutes each time.

    You may want to mix it up with jogging, gym lessons and swimming for variation.

    Check out these 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).


      Photo credit: Source

      10. Start your life handbook.

      A life handbook is an idea I started 3 years ago.

      Basically, it’s a book which contains the essentials on how you can live your life to the fullest, such as your purpose, your values and goals. Sort of like your manual for your life.

      I started my life handbook since 2007 and it’s been a crucial enabler in my progress.

      11. Write a letter to your future self.

      What do you see yourself as 5 years from now? Will you be the same? Different? What kind of person will you be?

      Write a letter to your future self – 1 year from now will be a good start – and seal it.

      Make a date in your calendar to open it 1 year from now. Then start working to become the person you want to open that letter.

      12. Get out of your comfort zone.

      Real growth comes with hard work and sweat. Being too comfortable doesn’t help us grow, it makes us stagnate.

      What is your comfort zone? Do you stay in most of the time? Do you keep to your own space when out with other people?

      Shake your routine up. Do something different.

      By exposing yourself to a new context, you’re literally growing as you learn to act in new circumstances.

      13. Put someone up to a challenge.

      Competition is one of the best ways to grow. Set a challenge (weight loss, exercise, financial challenge, etc) and compete with an interested friend to see who achieves the target first.

      Through the process, both of you will gain more than if you were to set off on the target alone.

      14. Identify your blind spots.

      Scientifically, blind spots refer to areas our eyes are not capable of seeing. In personal development terms, blind spots are things about ourselves we are unaware of. Discovering our blind spots help us discover our areas of improvement.

      One exercise I use to discover my blind spots is to identify all the things/events/people that trigger me in a day — trigger meaning making me feel annoyed/weird/affected. These represent my blind spots.

      It’s always fun to do the exercise because I discover new things about myself, even if I may already think I know my own blind spots (but then they wouldn’t be blind spots would they?).

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      After that, I work on steps to address them.

      15. Ask for feedback.

      As much as we try to improve, we will always have blind spots. Asking for feedback gives us an additional perspective.

      Some people to approach will be friends, family, colleagues, boss, or even acquaintances, since they will have no preset bias and can give their feedback objectively.

      Learn more about how to ask for feedback and become a fast learner here!

      16. Stay focused with to-do lists.

      I start my day with a list of tasks I want to complete and this helps make me stay focused. In comparison, the days when I don’t do this end up being extremely unproductive.

      For example, part of my to-do list for today is to write a guest post at LifeHack.Org, and this is why I’m writing this now!

      Since my work requires me to use my computer all the time, I use Free Sticky Notes to manage my to-do lists. It’s really simple to use and it’s a freeware, so I recommend you check it out.

      17. Set Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs).

      I’m a big fan of setting BHAGs. BHAGs stretch you beyond your normal capacity since they are big and audacious – you wouldn’t think of attempting them normally.

      What are BHAGs you can embark on, which you’ll feel absolutely on top of the world once you complete them? Set them and start working on them.

      Learn How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life.

      18. Acknowledge your flaws.

      Everyone has flaws. What’s most important is to understand them, acknowledge them, and address them.

      What do you think are your flaws? What are the flaws you can work on now? How do you want to address them?

      19. Get into action.

      The best way to learn and improve is to take action.

      What is something you have been meaning to do? How can you take action on it immediately?

      Waiting doesn’t get anything done. Taking action gives you immediate results to learn from.

      20. Learn from people who inspire you.

      Think about people you admire. People who inspire you. These people reflect certain qualities you want to have for yourself too.

      What are the qualities in them you want to have for yourself? How can you acquire these qualities?

      21. Quit a bad habit.

      Are there any bad habits you can lose? Oversleeping? Not exercising? Being late? Slouching? Nail biting? Smoking?

      Here’s some great advice from Lifehack’s CEO on hacking your habit loop to break bad habits and build good ones:

      How to Break a Habit and Hack the Habit Loop

      22. Cultivate a new habit.

      Some good new habits to cultivate include reading books (#1), waking up early (#8), exercising (#9), reading a new personal development article a day (#40) and meditating.

      Is there any other new habit you can cultivate to improve yourself?

      If you’re wondering how to make good habits stick, check out these tips:

      18 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick

      23. Avoid negative people.

      As Jim Rohn says,

      “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”.

      Wherever we go, there are bound to be negative people. Don’t spend too much of your time around them if you feel they drag you down.

      Not sure who are the toxic people in life? This article can help you:

      10 Toxic Persons You Should Just Get Rid Of

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      24. Learn to deal with difficult people.

      There are times when there are difficult people you can’t avoid, such as at your workplace, or when the person is part of your inner circle of contacts.

      Learn how to deal with them. These people management skills will go a long way in working with people in the future:

      How To Deal With Negative People

      25. Learn from your friends.

      Everyone has amazing qualities in them. It’s up to how we want to tap into them.

      With all the friends who surround you, they are going to have things you can learn from.

      Try thinking of a good friend right now. Think about just one quality they have which you want to adopt. How can you learn from them and adopt this skill for yourself?

      Speak to them if you need to. For sure, they will be more than happy to help!

      26. Start a journal.

      Journaling is a great way to gain better self-awareness. It’s a self-reflection process.

      As you write, clarify your thought process and read what you wrote from a third person’s perspective, you gain more insights about yourself.

      Your journal can be private or an online blog. I use my personal development blog as a personal journal too and I’ve learned a lot about myself through the past year of blogging.

      27. Start a blog about personal development.

      To help others grow, you need to first be walking the talk. There are expectations of you, both from yourself and from others, which you have to uphold.

      I run The Personal Excellence Blog, where I share my personal journey and insights on how to live a better life. Readers look toward my articles to improve themselves, which enforces to me that I need to keep improving, for myself and for the people I’m reaching out to.

      28. Get a mentor or coach.

      There’s no faster way to improve than to have someone work with you on your goals.

      Many of my clients approach me to coach them in their goals and they achieve significantly more results than if they had worked alone.

      If you’re looking for a mentor, don’t miss these tips:

      What to Look for in a Good Mentor

      29. Reduce the time you spend on chat programs.

      I realized having chat programs open at default result in a lot of wasted time. This time can be much better spent on other activities.

      The days when I don’t get on chat, I get a lot more done. I usually disable the auto start-up option in the chat programs and launch them when I do want to chat and really have the time for it.

      30. Learn chess (or any strategy game).

      I found chess is a terrific game to learn strategy and hone your brainpower. Not only do you have fun, you also get to exercise your analytical skills.

      You can also learn strategy from other board games or computer games, such as Othello, Chinese Chess, WarCraft, and so on.

      31. Stop watching TV.

      I’ve not been watching TV for pretty much 4 years and it’s been a very liberating experience. (Here’re 10 Reasons To Turn Off Your TV)

      I realized most of the programs and advertisements on mainstream TV are usually of a lower consciousness and not very empowering.

      In return, the time I’ve freed up from not watching TV is now constructively used for other purposes, such as connecting with close friends, doing work I enjoy, exercising, etc.

      32. Start a 30-day challenge.

      Set a goal and give yourself 30 days to achieve this. Your goal can be to stick with a new habit or something you’ve always wanted to do but have not.

      30 days is just enough time to strategize, plan, get into action, review and nail the goal.

      33. Meditate.

      Meditation helps to calm you and be more conscious. I also realized that during the nights when I meditate (before I sleep), I need lesser sleep. The clutter clearing process is very liberating.

      Have a try with this 5-minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime.

      34. Join Toastmasters (Learn public speaking).

      Interestingly, public speaking is the #1 fear in the world, with #2 being death.

      After I started public speaking as a personal development speaker/trainer, I’ve learned a lot about how to communicate better, present myself and engage people.

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      Toastmasters is an international organization that trains people in public speaking. Check out the Toastmaster clubs nearest you here.

      35. Befriend top people in their fields.

      These people have achieved their results because they have the right attitudes, skill sets and know-how. How better to learn than from the people who have been there and done that?

      Gain new insights from them on how you can improve and achieve the same results for yourself.

      36. Let go of the past.

      Is there any grievance or unhappiness from the past which you have been holding on? If so, it’s time to let it go.

      Holding on to them prevents you from moving on and becoming a better person. Break away from the past, forgive yourself, and move on.

      Just recently, I finally moved on from a past heartbreak of 5 years ago. The effect was liberating and very empowering, and I have never been happier.

      37. Start a business venture.

      Is there anything you have an interest in? Why not turn it into a venture and make money while learning at the same time?

      Starting a new venture requires you to be learn business management skills, develop business acumen and have a competitive edge.

      The process of starting and developing my personal development business has equipped me with many skills, such as self-discipline, leadership, organization and management.

      38. Show kindness to people around you.

      You can never be too kind to someone. In fact, most of us don’t show enough kindness to people around us.

      Being kind helps us to cultivate other qualities such as compassion, patience, and love.

      As you get back to your day after reading this article later on, start exuding more kindness to the people around you, and see how they react.

      Not only that, notice how you feel as you behave kindly to others. Chances are, you will feel even better than yourself.

      39. Reach out to the people who hate you.

      If you ever stand for something, you are going to get haters.

      It’s easy to hate the people who hate us. It’s much more challenging to love them back.

      Being able to forgive, let go and show love to these people requires magnanimity and an open heart.

      Is there anyone who dislikes or hates you in your life? If so, reach out to them. Show them love.

      Seek a resolution and get closure on past grievances. Even if they refuses to reciprocate, love them all the same. It’s much more liberating than to hate them back.

      40. Take a break.

      Have you been working too hard? Self-improvement is also about recognizing our need to take a break to walk the longer mile ahead. You can’t be driving a car if it has no petrol.

      Scheduling down time for yourself is important. Take some time off for yourself every week. Relax, rejuvenate and charge yourself up for what’s up ahead.

      41. Read at least 1 personal development article a day.

      Some of my readers make it a point to read at least one personal development article every day, which I think is a great habit.

      There are many terrific personal development blogs out there, some of which you can check here.

      42. Commit to your personal growth.

      I can be writing list articles with 10 ways, 25 ways, 42 ways or even 1,000 ways to improve yourself, but if you have no intention to commit to your personal growth, it doesn’t matter what I write.

      Nothing is going to get through. We are responsible for our personal growth — not anyone else. Not your mom, your dad, your friend, me or Lifehack.

      Make the decision to commit to your personal growth and embrace yourself to a life-long journey of growth and change. Kick off your growth by picking a few of the steps above and working on them.

      The results may not be immediate, but I promise you that as long as you keep to it, you’ll start seeing positive changes in yourself and your life.

      So here you are, 43 solid ways for self improvement. Pick one or a few to start doing today.

      If you want to see yourself improving, you must take some actions.

      More Self-Improvement Tips

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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