How to Prioritise Self-Care When You're Non-Stop

Sunday 1 December 2019

I'm definitely someone who is non-stop most of the time. I have a lot of stuff I need to do day-to-day. My working day doesn't always end when I leave the office at 6pm, not to mention keeping up with my blog, and generally keep up with 'adulting' - cooking, keeping up with housework(ish) and everything else in between. Rare 'free' days get booked up so quickly with various things, whether it's helping my mum with her wedding planning, visiting Dan's family, seeing friends... the list goes on. The bottom line is that I seem to spend a good chunk of my life rushing around like a blue-arsed fly.

Which would be totally fine, except that I'm not very good at recognising when I need some time out. So I carry on in this fashion until it's too late and I'm totally frazzled, crying in a heap on the floor because I'm just so bloody tired and can't cope with living life at 100 miles per hour any more.

Sound like you?

In the last couple of months, I've been making a really conscious effort to make self-care more of a priority. And by bringing the idea of taking time out to the forefront of my mind, I've come up with a few ways to help work it into my routine so that I can still be 'non-stop'.

1. Little & often
I think little & often is one of the most valuable lessons I have taught myself about self-care recently. I often struggle to take an entire day off as I feel like I have to be productive all of the time, but by practicing some self-care in short bursts, I still feel like I'm giving myself a bit of a break. (Although don't get me wrong, sometimes a full day is necessary!) Even just taking a couple of hours off to watch a film with Dan during a work-from-home-day, or stopping off on the way home from the office for a Starbucks and a browse around TK Maxx works just as well!

2. Set yourself boundaries
For me, self-care isn't just about making time to do something relaxing. It's also about prioritising my basic needs rather than trying to get everything done, at any cost. Setting myself boundaries has been the most effective way to do that. So setting myself a deadline of 9pm to get everything done, and sticking to it. Whatever is left over can wait until the next day. I then have a good hour or so to wind down before bed, and I can actually relax properly, have a bath, read a book, whatever, without guilt that I should be trying to cram in as much as possible. Because let's face it, I'm no good to anyone deprived of sleep.

3. Setting aside a day for you
Let's see if anyone else can relate with this. I'm busy working all week. Weekends get booked up three or four weeks in advance with family, errands, plans with mates and general life rubbish. It gets to 8 or 9 weeks in, I've not had a day or even half a day to myself in that whole time, I'm on the brink of being totally burned out. I'm bloody knackered and crying out for a day to just chill.
So, I've started to set aside one day a month, where I take time out just for me. I try to plan this for a day where Dan's working so that the day is totally mine and I don't have to consider anyone else. Where I can stay in my pjs all day, have a nap, binge on everything on Netflix that I don't usually get time to watch. Just generally recharge my batteries. Yes, I may pick up my notebook or my laptop and do some writing, but that's because I'm feeling creative and generally want to, rather than feeling like I need to use my day productively. And I'll tell you, these days have become absolutely precious.

4. Check in with yourself regularly
When you're non-stop all the time, it's so easy to not realise how you're feeling. I do it so often where I run and run and run and run (not literally run because I wouldn't even run for the ice-cream van), working extra hours, spending hours and hours on my blog, meetings, babysitting, wedding planning, going, going, going... Then all of a sudden I'm on empty and I crash... and I had no idea I was even getting there.
I now make a conscious effort to check in with myself regularly, and by regularly I mean probably every other day. How am I feeling? How has my mood been? Am I getting enough sleep? Am I getting breakouts on my skin? Basically asking myself all of the questions that I know will give me an indicator of my stress levels and if/how urgently I need to take some remedial action. I've spoken before about taking up bullet journaling, and this has helped me so much with checking in with myself. Because I track things like mood, sleep, anxiety levels etc. every day, it's made me so much more aware of how I'm feeling.

What are your tips for making self-care a priority? Is it something you have nailed, or are you still a work in progress like me?

Sian xo


  1. Thank you so much for this beautiful, I really needed to read this today. I'm sending you so much love and festive wishes. 💜🎄

    With love, Alisha Valerie x |

  2. I've learnt to set aside a day for myself every 2-3 weeks and you just domt realise how much you need it!