Be honest. Know what’s actually restorative for you, as opposed to what’s supposed to be relaxing. Make a list and keep it in an easily accessible location, like in your phone or planner. Refer to it as needed.
Make the most of downtime. While you may not have lots of open space in your calendar, maximize the smaller pockets of time that you do have. Keep a book in the car or download it to your phone. Put a small notebook or sketchbook in your purse or the diaper bag for journaling or drawing.
Look ahead. If you have a particularly stressful day or hairy week coming up, create a buffer zone. Schedule downtime beforehand for exercise, mediation or just chilling. Then plan something fun for the weekend.
Co-op self-care. Find a jogging buddy, join a book club or form a writing group. Not only will you be connecting with others, but you’ll also have accountability.
Mandate it. It can be a hard truth, but the only person responsible for taking care of you is you. Give yourself the gift of time.