Is your self-care to do list stressing you out?

I recently set myself a deadline for complete the paperwork for my Yoga Teacher Training. It was more work than I thought and instead of extending the deadline, I worked harder, to the point where I stopped regular self-care habits to fit it in.

How I work towards deadlines is one of the things I am exploring how to change this year. I am noticing more and more quickly when I am not looking after myself and I want to find a way to work that is more sympathetic with ageing well! Being your own boss is not always best for your self-care!

If you have a deadline due or perhaps just time poor, creating a list of the bare bones of your self-care can help to relieve the pressure and reduce feeling stressed about it. I often set deadlines for myself that can be a challenge, but I know it is a big motivator for me to complete tasks.

If your deadline is something that is planned or perhaps month end or quarter end, what planning can you do beforehand?

  • Food: having food that is quick and easy to cook is a priority here. What can you stock your cupboards with to help with that? I am a scrambled eggs for lunch girl, it doesn’t get much quicker than that!
  • Stress: how do you manage your stress? Do you need to pop an alarm on your phone to remind you to do some breathing exercises or just to take a break? Be able to spot when you are stressed and being able to quickly do something about it.

For your physical self-care, what do you need to do to keep things ticking over? Everyone will have something different here:

  • Sleep: it is first on my list for a reason and going to bed early is one of the things I would protect. Getting up early would be my preference as I am a morning person.
  • Water: keep a big bottle on my desk as a reminder to keep hydrated
  • Exercise: getting to the gym will probably be a struggle. Yoga at home may be reduced to sun salutations rather than an hour session or maybe some breathing.
  •  Activity: walking is high on my list as my brain works so much better when I am on my feet rather than sitting on my bum! It might not be 10,000 steps but anything is a bonus.

What else?

  • Company: if you are an extrovert, getting out and speaking to people is necessary to help you regenerate even if you are busy. If you are an introvert, company is still important but choosing wisely so they energise you and do not drain you!
  •  If you are an empath like myself or an energy worker then grounding your energy is non-negotiable. The short version takes less than 5 minutes.
  • Keep the kitchen tidy. There is nothing worse than having a quick lunch break only to find you need to spend it doing the dishes as you have used every dish. Tidy as you go, repetitive tasks are good for the brain too, and you’ll get some inspiration for your creative project.
  • Done List. Keeping note of what you have done as well as what you still have to do is important to help you feel you are making progress. It is easy to just focus on our to-do list without acknowledging what we have achieved in the day
  • Book into your usual classes for next week. You are more likely to go if you have booked in, and you will be annoyed if there isn’t a space!
  • Verbal gratitude list at the end of the day if you don’t have time for a written one

What else would you add to this list, I would love to hear?


Samantha Valand is the author of “The Menopause Diaries: A practical guide to healthy eating and exercising in your menopausal years”.
You can find out more about her book here.


Save for later: