Micro-dosing is a pretty popular concept these days, and so I got to think, how about we applied it to our self-care as well? After all, the reason why we don’t do a lot of things that are good for us is that we feel we don’t have the time, right? I know that’s a real issue for me when I get stressed out, which happens more often than I care to admit.
One point where I am micro-dosing right now is meditation. I am familiar with its enormous benefits, but right now I have a hard time sitting still and focusing on my breath for even five seconds. So that’s why, for the time being, I am doing five-minute meditations before having coffee and journaling. Science shows that even with short periods like this, done regularly, you achieve positive effects for your brain and equilibrium.
Make the time as it fits your schedule
While there are things that can definitely benefit everybody, I don’t believe in cookie-cutter solutions to include these habits into our everyday lives. Let’s say the idea of integrating anything more into your morning stresses you out, how about sitting down for a five-minute meditation when you go to bed? Or if you have a hard time finding a few minutes away from your kids, maybe you can do a mini-meditation behind the closed bathroom door? Nobody says you’ll need to sit on a special cushion; the rim of the bathtub can do just fine!
Get your family on-board to build a habit
Making everybody meditate is probably an ambitious endeavor, but how about introducing a mini-gratitude ritual? Let’s say you usually eat dinner with your entire family, how about asking everybody to say one thing they are grateful for today or that made them happy? There’s no elaboration required if you don’t feel like it. Just put it out there! It’s quicker and less of an effort than having a gratitude journal—plus extra points for connecting in a very personal way with your loved ones. This technique even works with small kids, and everybody benefits from focusing on gratitude.
Don’t beat yourself up for doing too little
Are you disappointed in yourself for not making it to the three yoga classes you put on your schedule every single week? How about turning down the pressure and being realistic? Maybe you can make it to one class a week or just do a couple of sun salutations at home? It’s all better than not doing it at all, and if you are back on track with a mini-routine, it’ll be much easier to build on it.
If you’re not succeeding with it at all, there may be something else at play. So at this point, it might be time to ask yourself if you really want to do what you set out to do. Maybe you don’t—and that’s okay too. Being honest with yourself that way makes room for the things that matter to you.
Pampering is not self-care
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for pampering, getting a mani-pedi or buying myself flowers, that type of thing. But especially if you feel stressed out and torn between too many obligations, you may want to prioritize real self-care over mere pampering or see if you can turn pampering into self-care. Let’s say you enjoy going to the sauna: How about taking a journal along and taking some time to be with your thoughts between rounds? Or what about that book that you’ve always meant to read but never got around to? And when you go back into the sauna, how about focusing on your breath for a bit?
Connection tops anything else
Last tip, and maybe the most important one: However busy you are, don’t sacrifice the time you spend with others in person (or at least on a phone call or video chat). Actual connection—as opposed to seeing on social media what your friends are up to—is the number one factor in our personal wellbeing. It becomes even more important if you live alone or work freelance all by yourself. May I suggest setting a goal of meeting one in-town friend and calling one out-of-town friend per week? If you catch up regularly, it doesn’t have to be hours either. Just touch base and remind yourself that you are connected.