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Self-Care Ideas For Busy Professionals

Updated: Jan 3

Hey there, fellow BUSY people! I get it – your calendar is jam-packed, your inbox is overflowing, and your to-do list never gets cleared. But let's not forget one essential thing: YOU! Self-care isn't a luxury; it's a necessity, especially when you're juggling work, meetings, and deadlines like a pro.

Let's first quickly review what self-care is and is not. Self-care is taking care of yourself so that you can be your best self and show up where you're needed. Self-care is also not a coping skill. Coping skills are reactive, while self-care is proactive. Sometimes, self-care is unpleasant. That's because setting yourself up for success does not always feel good.

Example: I am an impulsive gal at times. I see a silly thing on Etsy, and I think I need it. Some might say "treat yo'self" (Hello, Parks n Rec fans), but I really do need to save my money... Doesn't feel as good right away, but saving money does help me in the long run.

Self-care is essential no matter how busy you are. Some of these recommendations with require you to make time. Others are designed to require little to no extra time. Regardless, remember that if you had an emergency with work or your home, you would likely make the time. So, make time for yourself also. Now, let's dive into 15 self-care ideas that'll help you recharge, restart, and rock your busy professional life.

1. Mindful Eating

Mindfulness is just paying attention. Allow yourself to focus on your food. Taste and smell it all! No more working lunches. At the very least, take one mindful bite to enjoy your food.

2. Tech-Free Time

Put down your phone, laptop, and TV! Schedule an hour or two each day to unplug and disconnect from the digital world. It's amazing how liberating this can be.

3. Exercise However You Can

I am no doctor, but I do know that research tells us movement is good for us. That said, know your limits (talk to your doctor) and and fit the movement where you can. For example, when I know I haven't moved a lot throughout my day, I will take a one-minute talk, do push ups at my desk, or do body-weight squats. One minute of movement still gets the blood flowing!

If you are going to schedule a workout, consider the following: Instead of dreading your workout, choose an activity you love. Whether it's yoga, dancing, or hitting the gym, make exercise a joyous part of your day.

4. Lunch Break Escape

Use your lunch break to escape your office. Head to a nearby park, café, or even your car for a change of scenery and some well-deserved relaxation. Bonus points if you can incorporate something that soothes you (ex. cooling A/C essential oils, music).

5. Quality "Me" Time

Curl up with a good book or listen to your favorite podcast. Reading or listening to something that interests you is a fun escape.

6. Buy Some Time Back

This may require some budgeting, which is self-care in and of itself, but sometimes you can buy time back. For example, cleaning services, meal prep services, scheduled meal-delivery, or even laundry services can buy back time by eliminating items that you would otherwise do yourself!

This can be done as a one-time thing or something you regularly schedule for yourself.

7. Artistic Expression

Explore your creative side with art or crafts. Whether it's painting, drawing, or crafting, creating something beautiful can be incredibly therapeutic.

8. Add a Pop of Fun

Environmental self care can look like adding a plant, a pop of color, a vase of flowers, or a holiday-themed decoration to your work space or home. It can even mean complete redecoration. Example: Back in 2020, I decorated for Christmas and did all my sessions in the living room so that I could see my tree behind my laptop.

9. Get Outdoors

Nature is a natural stress-buster. Take a hike, go for a bike ride, or simply take a leisurely stroll in the park to clear your mind. Open a window, at the very least.

10. Connect with Loved Ones

Don't forget about your support network. Call a friend, have a family video chat, or plan a date night with your significant other.

11. Set Boundaries

Learn to say no when needed. Setting boundaries at work and in your personal life ensures you have time for yourself. Example: No working after a certain time.


I KNOW. I know... I just said set boundaries. However, if catching up on late work is the thing that would make you feel relaxed, that can be self-care, too. There is a time for relaxing and a time for getting business done, both are self-care.

13. Declutter and Simplify

A tidy space can lead to a tidy mind. It is another type of environmental self-care. Spend some time decluttering your home or workspace, and you'll feel a sense of accomplishment.

14. Learn Something New

Feed your curiosity. Sign up for an online course, learn a new language, or explore a subject you've always been interested in. It doesn't have to be work-related.

15. Plan Mini Getaways

Even if you can't take a long vacation, plan mini getaways or day trips to break the routine and explore new places. Trying a new restaurant or watching a movie at a movie theater counts.

This may also require that you take some vacation time. You would be surprised how a three-day-weekend once-a-month can be so refreshing.

Remember, self-care isn't selfish; it's self-preservation. These 15 ideas are your toolkit to ensure you're at your best, both personally and professionally. So go ahead, take care of yourself, and let that busy professional in you shine even brighter!


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