Everyone speaks about ‘self-care’ like it’s this grandiose, rebellious act. In a world that often prioritizes a busy schedule, a constant go-go-go mindset, or an image on social media, practicing self-care can either seem like a much-needed break or (unfortunately) something worthy of praise because we’re just not used to it.

Truthfully, though, self-care is simple—it’s about making time for you.

And maybe that’s heading to the gym or going on a solo walk, maybe it’s spending time with friends or loved ones, maybe it’s laying by the beach for a few hours with a book in hand—there’s no right or wrong. But it’s important to learn practical ways to add self-care to your schedule.

Here’s what we at Synergy recommend:

person practicing self-care

1. Think small.

When you think self-care, don’t think about bubble baths and cheat days. Think small. Where, in the rush of your day-to-day routine, can you fit in five minutes of meditation? A 15-minute yoga routine? A 10-minute creating or brainstorm session?

Thinking small can not only make self-care less complicated, but it shows you how much time you do have for yourself.

2. Map out your times.

How many times have you said you’d go to the 5:30AM workout class, but overslept because you didn’t ‘officially’ sign up online? How often do you hit the snooze when you haven’t committed to anyone else—including yourself?

One of the easiest ways to push and prioritize yourself is to schedule your time and write (on your calendar, in an app, etc.) what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it. This can be classes, time for your creative work, or even something as simple as ’15 minutes of reading.’ When you write it and see it, it becomes something you can commit to.

3. Make one small investment each week.

Maybe you’ve had your eye on that Apple watch for months but you never purchased because you prioritized other things. Maybe you really want those new running shoes but they’re not quite in the budget right now.

Self-care isn’t about abandoning your priorities or obligations, but it is about learning to say yes to yourself sometimes. A positive way to do this is by setting aside money each week for the one thing that you’re looking forward to. This not only helps your budget, but it gives you incentive to keep saving and looking ahead.

It’s investing in yourself without the after-the-fact stress from making an impulse purchase.

4. Evaluate your ‘yes’ and ‘no’.

Self-care is a lot of saying ‘yes’ to the right things, and saying ‘no’ to the wrong ones.

‘Yes’ to putting yourself first sometimes. ‘Yes’ to things that you need or that bring you joy. ‘No’ to people, situations, and experiences that make you uncomfortable, unhappy, or unloved. ‘No’ to what doesn’t support you or align to your vision.

As you learn to get comfortable standing firm in your perspectives, this will only get easier.

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a full-time freelance writer, editor, and fitness enthusiast located in Ocean Beach, San Diego. She is the author of the poetry collection, Somewhere On A Highway and founder of Be A Light LLC, a remote writing coaching/tutoring/editing services company.


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