These days, self-care is a buzzword. Chances are that you have read about its benefits and potential impact on your life. However, knowing that self-care is important and actually implementing it into your life are two different things. If you’re wondering how to incorporate a healthy self-care routine into your everyday life, then this post is for you! Read on for some simple tips on how to establish your own self-care regimen.
Determine what self-care is most effective for you.
The first thing to do is figure out what counts as self-care for you. For some people, gardening is an effective form of self-care while for others it may be just one more thing to do and cause more stress than relaxation! That’s why you need to start by determining what brings you peace, health, and rejuvenation in your life.
There are many different forms that self-care can take, and that’s exactly why it is important to discover what works best for you by exploring different types of self-care habits. For some ideas to get you started, check out some of our previous posts on Summer Self-Care, Relationship Self-Care, and Stay-at-Home Self-Care.
Once you have found a few self-care habits or activities that you enjoy, you can begin creating your self-care routine. Of course, some parts of a self-care regimen are more focused on your health rather than your enjoyment at first, such as getting more sleep and drinking more water (although who doesn’t enjoy getting a bit more sleep?) Make sure to give these habits their due as well even though they might not be as glamorous as taking that bubble bath or going to the spa.
It can be overwhelming to begin a new commitment in your life. To avoid making self-care into just ‘one more thing’ to keep up with, start small! Perhaps your first step is to commit to consistently taking a 20-30 minute walk around your neighborhood each evening to soak in some nature, get some exercise, and spend time with loved ones either on the phone or in-person. Begin with just that simple change and remember that you can always add more on later.
Create a daily routine.
Now, of course, some self-care habits won’t be done everyday. That mountain getaway retreat or the detox from social media won’t be happening on a daily, or even weekly, basis most likely. However, you can create a daily routine for self-care that helps you to add healthy and fulfilling habits into your day in order to keep you centered and refreshed. The best thing about self-care is that you can do it anywhere, at any time! The best way, however, in my opinion, is to incorporate it throughout your day rather than merely at the end when you are already exhausted. To start, think about having a self-care routine that includes the morning, mid-day, and evening. Perhaps you begin the day with a shower with a Self-Care Shower eucalyptus bundle brightening up your early morning. Then, at mid-day, you eat lunch outside each day rather than in your office or around your kitchen table. And finally, at night, you make it a habit to journal about what went well (and perhaps, what didn’t) throughout that day. Forming a routine like this will help you to form healthy habits that will become ingrained before you know it, leading to a happier, healthier life!
It isn’t enough to just visualize this lovely self-care routine in your head though. You actually have to do it. That’s where setting goals and holding yourself accountable comes in. According to this study (and many others), writing things down helps them to feel more permanent and means you’re more likely to achieve them. Personally, I use a habit tracker that lists out all of the habits I’m trying to practice during each month (drinking enough water, working out, limiting my social media use, etc.). I get to fill in the box for each habit that I complete, and for a Type A personality like me, getting a string of filled-in boxes is enough to motivate me to continue the next day even when I may not feel like it. A habit tracker might be something to consider, or, if you’re a more informal type, just writing down your routine might do the trick. No matter what, it’s important to get your self-care goals down on paper.
Check in with yourself.
The final step to establishing sustainable self-care habits is to accept that they will need to adapt to your growth and life changes over time. Tracking your habits is an excellent and necessary first step, but it’s also important to evaluate how effective those very habits are in your life. One of the reasons that I like tracking my habits on a monthly basis is that it affords me the time to reflect on their efficacy each month. A large part of self-care is determining what works for you and modifying your habits to help yourself be the best person you can be, so don’t be afraid to make changes to your self-care habits in order to make them best serve you!