The Ultimate Self Care Guide for Busy People Who Suck at Chilling

Self-Care has become a major hype phrase. You can bet you’ll see it pop up on your daily IG scroll. Perhaps self care is something you aspire to practice regularly but you’re struggling to just, like, ‘get it’? Maybe you’ve tried the gram-worthy gold face masks, you’re struggling to commit to an hour of daily yoga or you’re finding rainbow coloured bath bombs just aren’t preventing the burn out? 

I feel you. Self care trends might look great on the ‘gram, but they’re not really making you feel ‘cared for’ in a tangible way, am I right? Now, I’m not slamming face masks (I’m a sucker for them) but I’m here to remind you that self care doesn’t necessarily look like scented candles, it’s about wellness; emotionally, mentally and physically. ‘Self care’ deserves all of the hype, but it’s about finding what’s right for you.

It’s about putting energy into nourishing yourself and carving time out of your hectic schedule to let your mind and body relax. If you’re anything like me, being a busy empire-building freelancer, you find it hard to ‘turn off’. But taking a step back to breath will, actually, make you more creative and productive. As well as, prevent overwhelm, make you feel more fulfilled and generally just put you in a happier, higher vibrancy.

Practicing self care should feel kind of like a mini-break that lets your mind reset and it can be as simple as a 15 minute act. For some inspo, here are 11 of my practical self-care ideas for busy people, who suck at chilling:

Take a swig every time you read the words ‘self care’ in this post

Just kidding, but do stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water takes zero time out of your schedule and is good for your cognitive functioning, your mood, flushing toxins out of your body, improving your skin complexion and sleeping schedule, your energy levels and just being generally healthy. 

Digital Detox (For at least 30 minutes)

It’s mad how much easier this is said than done. In our modern day world, we are consumed by tech. Unplugging has so many benefits because it brings us back to the present moment. We are more connected than ever because of technology which is incredible, but the more time we spend in the digital world, the less we connect with ourselves and loved ones IRL.

We are constantly stockpiling notifications and can sometimes feel bombarded by messages on social media, emails, TV, podcasts, radio, and then some. While these can be epic sources of inspo and amusement, a lot of consumption can start to feel a little noisy.

Whether you choose to disconnect for 30 mins per day or unplug for a whole day or two, a digital detox is a great form of self care because it allows you the space and quiet to think, de-stress and build more conscious connections and conversations IRL (where the real good times and memories are made).

Take a Self Care Stroll

Yeeesssss, self care can be as simple as taking a short walk! You can’t top the simplicity of fresh air, noticing the little things and enjoying the sunshine (or splashing around in puddles… there is a Brit behind this blog).

Call a friend, take the doggo or lone-wolf it. I guarantee you’ll feel re-energised after moving your body and taking some deep breaths.

Journal for 10 Minutes Per Day

If it was good enough for Einstein, it’s good enough for us! Journaling is such a great way to connect with yourself and boost productivity and positivity. The best part about it? It’s up to you how you do it. You don’t need to spend all morning journaling, 10 minutes a day is enough.

To give you some ideas of how you can start, there’s a number of ways I like to journal. I don’t do them all every day, I mix it up but the habit of journaling daily, for me, is pretty consistent and really helpful.

Some journaling methods are:

To me, journaling is an easy, practical and accessible way to connect with your inner self, your body, your dreams and your purpose in life - a great self care tool.

Self Care for Busy People by Rachel BowlerSelf Care for Busy People by Rachel Bowler

Prep Healthy Food

Self employed hustlers schedules can sometimes get pretty frantic. Like running around the city for meetings, picking up calls and emails, jumping from location to location creating content, editing while travelling and finalising the next client deadline all while trying to squeeze writing an IG caption in between.

Sometimes our days chaotically unfold in front of us and we find ourselves eating whatever is easiest to grab *inhales a Baby-bell and Mars Bar*. OR we completely forget to eat, until we’re so hungry we pour cornflakes into a bowl at 8pm quicker than we can say the word ‘nutritious’. 

Scope your schedule at the start of the week and meal prep ahead of time to make sure you’re feeding your body much-needed nutritious food. Whether you’re on the go or working from home, creating those little habits makes for massive non-negotiable self care that will keep you functioning as your best self. 

Create A Solid Sleeping Pattern

Sporadic lifestyles and work might make it tricky to create a solid sleep schedule, but it’s really powerful. Sleep is crucial to functioning and feeling better about yourself and well, life.

One of the most important parts of self care is setting boundaries, and that includes those with yourself. For example, putting your phone down after 10.30pm to ensure you get a good night of sleep.

Just a couple of nights of poor sleep can make you irritable, distracted, tired, demotivated and anti social. Sleep improves your immunity, mood, and cognitive performance. It makes you kinder, more fun and even better looking! Who doesn’t love an extra hour in bed? ;)


There’s a quote that says “If you say you don’t have time to meditate once a day, then you’re the one who probably needs it twice a day”. Worrrrddd! As I mentioned earlier, self care is about carving time out of your hectic schedule to let your mind and body relax. Practicing meditation can be such a foundational part of that. 

You don’t need to book on to an hour long Bikram yoga and meditation class. Meditating for 5 minutes can easily become a part of your routine and still have impact.

Start small to build the habit. Perhaps try in the morning or at night while your head is on the pillow, or when you make a cup of tea, sit down and meditate for 5 while the kettle boils.

Close your eyes, relax your face, focus on your breath, and notice thoughts but don’t tackle them. Let thoughts float by like clouds and return to focusing on your breath. Meditation is a small but mighty act of self care to quieten your mind, notice your thoughts and de-stress. 

Have a You-Date

Nothing says self-love quite like wining and dining yourself! How delicious does dancing in the kitchen, cooking yourself pesto-mozzarella gnocchi with a glass (or three) of wine sound? I love it! Or watching the sunset on the beach with coconut water and book? Or even that empowering feeling of “A table for one please,” at your favourite restaurant, planning your next big moves?

The busier life gets, the less we make time to treat ourselves. I don’t mean a quick-click-ASOS-delivery, that’s fun for 15 minutes, but it’s not soul filling. I’m talking about a real YOU date, to enjoy your own company and indulge in your life pleasures. You deserve it.

Next time you plan to get your almond-cap-to-go, don’t rush out as soon as it’s in your hand. Sit down and enjoy your coffee in the vibrant cafe buzz for 15 minutes. Better still? 30 with a book. Self care means making time amongst your ‘go-go-go’ to slow down, be present and enjoy the little things. So why not shift some day-to-day habits into slower little self-care rituals?

Remember, these are just ideas for you to pull from. Self-care looks different for everyone. So if you’re an extrovert and a seat in a restaurant on your own sounds more daunting than self-indulging, then call for a dinner date with your friends, or your family or your love (always just as special). 

Learn To Say No To Things That Derail You

Saying no might feel selfish to begin with, but it’s not. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Fill yourself up, then let the good vibes overflow.

Saying ‘no’ to things that derail you, don’t align with you or you simply just don’t have the space for right now opens up more time to focus on things you want to work with. It will propel you into the person and life you want to lead, rather than draining you and stressing you out.

This can be hard for people pleasers, but when you have the energy to be your best self, you can better serve others. 

Say Yes to Things That Light You Up & Level You Up

Contrary to that last tip, saying yes is amazing too, and a lot of fun! So say yes to things that light you up, whether that’s a gig with friends, a collaborative opportunity that excites you or an adventure. Say yes to things that level you up (even if they might feel scary) like, learning a new skill or speaking at an event - that’s like self care for your future self. 

It’s about being self aware and finding balance. Sometimes, we can over commit to too many things and when they don’t fill you up, you feel overwhelmed. Understand what is actually essential to you, what works for you and then be selective with what you say yes and no to.

Remember, self-care is not selfish.

Book a Pamper Sesh

Okay okay, let’s dismiss what I said about face masks, bubble baths and being bougie not cutting it for a hot second. Spa sessions have to be one of the ultimate ways to treat yo’self, right?

It might feel kind of self indulgent, but isn’t that the point? These are the treats that don’t happen very often. Going for a facial is one of my biggest self care treats. It forces me to disconnect, relax and leave with glowy skin. Yey!

What’s something that makes you feel GOOD, relaxed, kinda spoilt and beautiful? Perhaps it’s getting your hair done, a massage or a manicure. Pamper sessions sound super clique, but it counts because when you feel good in yourself, you feel confident and happy. And when you feel confident you crush bigger goals.

You don’t even have to hit the spa, you can DIY! Run a bubble bath and pretend it’s a jacuzzi, or make some time to double cleanse, tone and moisturise. Or, if you already have a hardcore skin care regime, (me too) then pop on some chilled music, make a cup of ginger tea and find a tutorial for a lymphatic drainage facial you can do yourself on Youtube.

The true power of self care comes from making time, setting up rituals and sticking to them. Whether it’s a one hour facial at the end of the month, a 20 minute walk through your neighbourhood, or a daily 5 minute meditation, you deserve time to take care of yourself, guilt-free!

Your health and wellness is the foundation to EVERYTHING, so start making self care a priority. Well, where in your action-packed-planner are you going to block out some time for you this week? 

Self Care for Busy People by Rachel BowlerSelf Care for Busy People by Rachel Bowler


If you’re struggling to carve time in for self care or commit to a routine, try a monthly self care challenge. The repetition and discipline will help you to create habits. You could even encourage friends to join you for some added accountability.

I created a 28 day feel-good self care challenge for myself, which I invite you to join. It involves developing 5 little habits that make up 90 minutes of non-negotiable self care each day. They are:

1. 30 mins of exercise

2. 10 mins journaling ⁣

3. 30 mins of doing something I love

4. 10 mins mediating⁣

5. A 10 mins ‘feeling’ check-in each day.

Fancy giving it a go with me? Or create your own! I promise you’ll feel amazing, let me know how you go?

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Self Care for Busy People by Rachel BowlerSelf Care for Busy People by Rachel Bowler


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