6 Beautifully Simple Ways to Prioritize Self-Care This Year

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Scheduling time for yourself#3: Turning conflict into harmony

Let’s face it, you will always run into situations in which your self-care seems to come at odds with something else that is important to you.  Your kids are begging for attention.  Your partner needs your help.  You have a deadline at work.  Anytime you want two different things at the same time, or want one thing and feel like you should do something else, you have an internal conflict.

Mostly, people simply overpower one side or the other when they have one of these conflicts.  Instead, when you know a process to work through these conflicts, you can connect more fully to yourself and find a way to make sure that you get all of your needs met.  Applying the process becomes another form of self-care, bringing harmony to your choices and actions.  To learn a basic structure to work through these internal conflicts, see this conversation on my podcast.

#4: Scheduling you into your calendar

I wrote above how I used to do my schedule.  A friend challenged me to schedule in my self-care first and then fill in the rest.  Once I got over my panic, I accepted her challenge.  Self-care went in first—meditate, journal, meals, grocery shopping, exercise, creativity—and then I put in all work-related activities.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought!  (Ok, maybe I hedged a little bit.)

But making sure to include those activities on my calendar keeps them front and center instead of back-of-the-mind thoughts such as, “Oh, I’d like to do some art sometime” or “Gosh, I haven’t exercised yet today,” where it’s easy to push them aside.

Of course, the schedule doesn’t always happen as I planned, but it is still a step in the right direction to at least include myself on my schedule.

#5: Stick with it until it’s no longer optional

When beginning a new self-care activity, it might be difficult initially to notice how it affects you.  Stick with it long enough and you might find that you can get to the point where you feel the difference.  Katie Cleary, the founder of this website, talked about this in my recent conversation with her; she notices when she has not meditated and sees the negative impact on her well-being and how she relates to others.  When you reach this point then self-care becomes a necessity and less negotiable.

Two keys to getting to that point: the sticking with it, and the noticing.  If you’re anything like me, you might need to make some effort with both.  Plan in your time to do your exercise, artwork, or meditation, and then begin to take note both right after you do it, and also check in through the day on days when you do it and on days when you don’t.  What do you notice?

#6 (last but not least): Fierce love, gentle love

In her book Mind Over Medicine, Lissa Rankin suggests to ask this question: “Am I willing to fiercely love and accept myself during my healing journey?”  When I first read this question I thought, “Yeah, whatever.”  Not long after, however, fierce love became more than an idea.  I began to feel like the lioness protecting her cub—I started to grok the fierce love it takes to show up enough, to care enough, to act enough to ensure that this precious being (me) is safe from harm and has what she needs to grow.

Then I realized that it takes more than fierce love, it also requires gentle love, the kind that knows what is needed, that wraps you up in a blanket and presses warm tea into your hands and then sits with you for hours, just being there.

What will it take for you to bring your fierce and gentle love to yourself, regardless of whether you feel like you deserve it?  When will you begin to treat yourself as a precious being?

People fear that if they make self-care a priority, they will be selfish.  Instead, I suggest it’s the most un-selfish thing you can do.  Think about it—when you are depleted, how much do you have to give to others?  When you move your own health and self-care up your priority list, you build in regular sources of renewal and create the conditions to be able to offer your gifts to the world.

The more you can take care of yourself, the more you have to give to others.

Add a comment below and let us know: how are you making your health and self-care a priority, and what gifts of yours are made possible through your efforts?


About the Author
Julie Stiles is a Health and Transformation Coach, ThetaHealing® Practitioner, writer and speaker committed to empowering people to fully live their healing journey and radically alter their relationship to healing and wholeness through taking back their power.  She is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and has a master’s in Consciousness Studies from John F. Kennedy University.  Julie offers private and group coaching, workshops, and webinars, and works with people in person and worldwide via phone and the Internet.  You can find her online at and

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  1. When you say you choose work over self-care when on autopilot I feel like you’re talking about me. OMG> I love this article especially as a mother of 5 with autoimmune diseases. Thanks

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