003. How to self-care when you don’t have time at all

Your calendar is jam-packed. At the end of the day, you feel tired, drained, and exhausted. Self-care has become a luxury instead of a necessity. You’d love to take time for self-care, but when you’re finally back home, you’re just too tired. You already notice the first signs of your missing self-care routine but don’t […]

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Your calendar is jam-packed. At the end of the day, you feel tired, drained, and exhausted. Self-care has become a luxury instead of a necessity.

You’d love to take time for self-care, but when you’re finally back home, you’re just too tired. You already notice the first signs of your missing self-care routine but don’t know how to squeeze in any time for self-care. 

I’ve good news for you! In today’s episode, I share tips and tricks on living and breathing self-care even in the busiest times. The shortest self-care tip takes less than 2 minutes. 

If you’d love some self-care inspiration (including 10 quickies for less than 10 minutes and two 5-minute bonus meditations), grab my 50 Self-Care Rituals for Ambitious Women.

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Full Episode Transcript:

Nadja Hagen [00:00:14]:
Are you ready to go from am I good enough to is this good for me? Welcome to the self love sessions podcast. I’m your hostess, Natje Hagen, and I’m the self love coach for ambitious women recovering from people pleasing and starting to love the heck out of themselves. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. It sets the tone for all other relationships in your life and your overall quality of life. It’s worth cultivating. In the self love sessions podcast, I share nuggets of wisdom on setting healthy boundaries, prioritizing your needs without shame and guilt, and building relationships that enrich your whole dang life, starting with the one you have with yourself. Let’s dive into today’s episode. Welcome to the 3rd episode of the self love sessions podcast.

Nadja Hagen [00:01:17]:
Today, I want to share with you some tips and tricks for how to self care when you don’t have time at all, and I mean, at all. We all know these days where our schedule is jam packed and we need to carve out a couple of minutes just to go to the restroom. We have all been there. It happens. It’s unavoidable. And it’s okay if it’s only a day or 2. But if it’s a week or 2 weeks or even 4 weeks or even longer, then it shows. And it doesn’t show in a good way.

Nadja Hagen [00:01:53]:
So it’s important that we find ways to self care even with the busiest schedule. And that is exactly what I want to talk about in today’s episode. So let’s dive into it. In today’s episode, I want to share with you some actionable steps that allow you to include a little bit, a tiny piece of self care even between 2 meetings. So the first thing is breath work. When you’re in between meetings and you only have 1 or 2 minutes, Pause for a minute or 2 and breathe consciously. Breathe in deeply. Hold your breath and breathe out.

Nadja Hagen [00:02:41]:
There is a breathing technique called 4, 7, 8 breathing. And it’s super simple. You breathe in for 4 seconds. You hold your breath for 7 seconds. And you slowly and deeply breathe out for 8 seconds. Repeat this for 4 to 6 times. This way of breathing instantly calms down your nervous system, helps you to focus better and clears your mind. So if you’re limited on time, this is a perfect way to bring back a little bit of calmness and centeredness into your busy day.

Nadja Hagen [00:03:23]:
That’s the first tip. The next tip is when you have a little bit more time, let’s talk about 5 to 10 minutes. Then I advise you to grab your favorite hot drink. This can be a cup of tea, a cup of coffee, or a hot chocolate, or whatever else you have in terms of favorite hot drink. Take your drink and step outside. If it’s cold, just put on your jacket. But step out and enjoy a couple of deep breaths of fresh air and consciously sip your hot drink and enjoy it. Don’t think about the next meeting or all the other to do’s that you still have on your list.

Nadja Hagen [00:04:08]:
These 5 to 10 minutes are yours. They are there to help you calm down, clear your mind, self care, be present in the present moment and in your body to enjoy the fresh air you are breathing, to consciously enjoy the sips you are drinking from your hot drink. This is a real refresher. It sounds so simple but it’s still so powerful. And you are drinking a hot drink probably anyway. So why not do it in a way of a positive self care ritual? Okay. Are you ready for the 3rd tip? I’m gonna bombard you with so many tips in this episode. Maybe you need a pen and paper to take notes or you just listen to the episode again.

Nadja Hagen [00:04:57]:
So, tip number 3. If you don’t have time for a full blown yoga session, then you can do only one single pose. This can be a pose like the tree, if you want to ground yourself and open yourself up to the white sky, to the white universe, to God and all the life energy. It can also be a forward bend if you feel some tension and pain in the lower back. Believe me, I love these forward bends and I do them every single day. And I do them regularly in between. Between preparing my daughter and making her ready for bedtime. And me joining her to read out loud a story, that’s my favorite time for a forward bend.

Nadja Hagen [00:05:47]:
And it is so relaxing. I love these short moments of me time and self care. And they truly make a difference even if the time spans are super short. The short time span of self care can make a huge difference. Are you still with me? I hope so. Because now I have a self care tip that takes a little bit of more time. Maybe that is something for the after work hours or for the weekend to recharge your battery and nourish your soul. My tip is: involve yourself in some creative expression.

Nadja Hagen [00:06:24]:
What do I mean by this? This can be painting, cooking, dancing, wildly moving around to some good dance music. There are unlimited ways to express your creativity. And it’s mighty, mighty powerful because our creativity is directly aligned to our emotions. Being created does not only reconnect us to our creative forest within, but it also connects us to the greater of all things around us. And expressing our emotions creativity is healing. Creative therapy doesn’t exist for nothing. It truly makes a difference. And you know, the good thing here is you can choose your favorite way of creative expression.

Nadja Hagen [00:07:20]:
Maybe you love cooking and haven’t done it in a longer time because you didn’t have the time. Maybe you love going out for a walk and picking up the fallen leaves in autumn and then become creative with these. Or you like to sew or whatever it is, there are thousands of ways to express your unique creativity. This will not only bring back playfulness into your life, but it will also make you happy. Promise. Believe me. I’ve tried it out so many times and it works magic. The last four examples were really practical examples that you can put into practice right away.

Nadja Hagen [00:08:04]:
There is another way of self care and it is very often overlooked or directly pushed away. It’s the art of processing your emotions. What do I mean by processing your emotions? Let me explain. Processing your emotions means that you do not run away from your feelings, that you do not hide them, that you do not numb them with whatever you use to normally numb your feelings. Processing your emotions means that you are present with how you feel. And these can be emotions like sadness, overwhelm.

Maybe if you look at your full schedule and you realize for how long you are in the hamster wheel and you still need to continue for a certain while, this may arise emotions like sadness, maybe anger, resentment. But you can also feel a deeply rooted fury for stuffing down your own feelings for so long. And it’s just amazing if you have a lot of time to process your emotions and take a whole Sunday to roll up in your blanket on your couch and cry, scream, cuddle yourself, whatever it is that you need.

Nadja Hagen [00:09:28]:
But you can also do this in shorter time spans. I share a little secret with you. I used to take the time on the toilet in between meetings seriously. I’m not lying. It sounds so ridiculous, but I know pretty well how it is to operate on constant high performing standards and having a schedule that is so full you can’t even squeeze in the tiniest thing. So I use the time on the toilet to process my emotions. That meant that sometimes when I was sure I was alone in the restroom, that I cried some sad tears or that I really felt my anger and my resentment, or that I allowed to feel depressed for 2 minutes. This helps because the moment we feel our emotions, we process them through our body and that means they are released.

Nadja Hagen [00:10:28]:
When you want to release emotions, running away from them and hiding them, stuffing them won’t help you at all. Because they are still there even though you don’t feel them right away in this moment. The only way to get rid of emotions at all is to feel them. This is what they were supposed to be. This is what emotions are designed to do. We need to feel our emotions. They are indicators and they are precious and valuable indicators. So when you feel an emotion arising, this can be an emotion like happiness, lightness, joyfulness, that’s a clear indicator that you are currently doing something that is doing you good and serving you well.

Nadja Hagen [00:11:19]:
Whereas, when you are feeling negative emotions, this can be a clear indicator that you are working against yourself. And we cannot always accommodate our emotions and we cannot always do what is the best for us in this moment. Sometimes there are things that just need to be done and that’s okay. But it’s important that we keep a balance.

As soon as we lose our balance for a longer period of time, we will be affected in negative ways. And believe me, it takes more time and energy to heal from this state of exhaustion and tiredness than it does to find 1 or 2 minutes during a day to process your emotions and to listen to what they have to tell you. When you feel an emotion like loneliness, that’s a clear sign that it’s time to strive for connection. When was the last time you’ve called a dear friend of yours? Did you spend some time with your girlfriends in the last time, you went out to dinner and you had a good laugh? Maybe it’s some time ago.

Nadja Hagen [00:12:29]:
Then this is the clear sign to make this a higher priority in the next time. When you feel emotions like resentment, where have you stepped on your own toes? Where have you not taken yourself seriously? Where have you violated your own boundaries by not setting proper boundaries or by accepting that your boundaries are constantly being stepped over. This normally creates resentment. And that is a very clear sign to closely look at your boundaries.

Check if you have set them or not. Did you enforce them with a consequence or did you allow people to step all over them without any consequences at all? Or are you in a place where you don’t allow yourself to set boundaries at all, Where you feel ashamed and guilty when you set a boundary? Then it’s time to learn about your own needs and learn about how you can communicate boundaries in a way that brings you closer to other people instead of building walls. When you feel anger, this can be a sign that you haven’t mentioned things that annoy you or disturb you. You avoided these conversations that are often labeled as difficult or challenging conversations, to telling somebody, hey, you actually have hurt my feelings.

Nadja Hagen [00:13:54]:
If you accept this behavior for too long of a time, it can lead to anger. And if this anger is not expressed in a healthy way, by that I mean, either it is addressed by a clear and kind communication with a person who is involved in building up of the anger. I actually say not it’s this person’s fault because it’s not. People do what people want to do, and it is our responsibility to react accordingly. So you can either have a conversation or you express your anger in a different healthy way. This can be dancing wild, screaming, or punching a pillar. Whatever it is that feels right and aligned for you. There are again so many different ways to process anger in a healthy way.

Nadja Hagen [00:14:48]:
And with that, avoiding that the anger is geared towards yourself. These were already a couple of examples I could go on for hours and hours with this. It’s such an interesting topic and there is so much depth to this. But I hope that you got a good insight on how our emotions are aligned to certain circumstances in our life and how valuable the information is that our emotions are bringing with them.

The only problem we have is when our emotions take over the steering wheel of our life. Then we are in trouble, big trouble actually. But as long as they’re a wise counselor and an indicator, then they are so, so useful, no matter if they are labeled as positive or negative emotions. I sincerely hope that you took away some practical steps for self care during busy times and that you have learned some deeper insights about emotions and the healthy processing of emotions.

Nadja Hagen [00:15:59]:
Thank you so much for tuning in today, and I talk to you in the next episode. Thank you for listening to today’s episode. If you found this valuable, please give a 5 star rating and tell other women that this show is worth listening to. I talk to you in the next episode.

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I'm Nadja, your new self-love friend.

As a recovered people-pleaser, I know how frustrated you feel when you care for everyone else but yourself. I've learned to set healthy boundaries and prioritize myself to create the life I want to live (not one where I comply with other people's guidelines). I'll show you exactly how to build YOUR life - the way you want to live it (and yes, boundaries play a huge role in that!) Start living unapologetically and totally YOU.

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