How to Start a Self-Care Routine
A self-care routine can be the easiest to overlook in your day to day life. But where do you start? You've been running yourself ragged for so long, it's tough to know what you need to help! We'll go over some easy, start-this-now type of steps to get you on your way to self-care mastery!
If you’re on your first leg of your journey to slower, intentional living, the first steps are difficult since we’ve been at the races for a long, long time. You can do it though, because you set that goal for yourself and you know that your health needs it.
Self-care should be the first new routine you implement in your day to day live. There’s the adage of “if you don’t take care of yourself, who will?” and it took me years to truly understand what that meant for me.
I was running myself ragged: stressed all of the time, depressed because I kept running but never crossed the finish-line, all of these things led me to take a look inward. And I realized that I would be burned out if I didn’t start doing preventive care and putting the breaks on the rat-race.
Today, we’re going to go through a quick, easy guide that can fit into anyone’s and everyone’s routine. Best of all, most of them cost little to no money, so your budget can breathe a sigh of relief too!
Once you hammer out the fundamentals in this article, check out the Self-Care tag. Here you will find activities and guidance to add to your routine as you become more comfortable in your wellness journey.
Self-care may be completely different from your normal routine, but this new routine will give you immediate benefits! Mentally and physically, self-care has been proven time and time again as to how influential a simple change in routine can be.
Schedule “Me”-Time, Everyday
This type of “me-time” is a little more feasible and doesn’t have to take up the entire day like the all-day-spa-days that are portrayed in movies. My time is set aside in the early morning where it’s just me, the dog, and my coffee. I take this time to meditate, think about what I want to accomplish today, and how far I’ve come.
Me-Time is made of a quiet, or close to quiet as you can get, time allotment in your day. This time can be 10 minutes, 20 minutes, an hour, however much you can pencil in for yourself the better.
Take this time to reflect on your successes, no matter how big or how small they may seem. Meditation, prayer, these can be added to your me-time. If you’re just getting started, even a short yin yoga practice to get yourself connected and grounded during the day.
The goal of your me-time is to unburden yourself from mental baggage, using your own inner-strength to overcome what is inhibiting you. This can
It’s tough to get into this mindset, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Doing this during your me-time will help you build confidence and keep you motivated even during the toughest of times.
Make Rituals for Yourself
Having rituals set out for yourself is important if you’re looking to tackle some hefty goals. As we talked about in How to Fully Optimize Your Day, the Easy Way, scheduling your day by the hour is the best way to be successful.
In your hour-by-hour, don’t forget to schedule yourself your necessities: meals, family time, down-time, me-time, et cetera. Once those have a place in your daily schedule, you can start building a ritual for yourself.
For me, meal time: both prep and eating, are things that I find joy in doing every day. Clean eating and healthy habits make me feel good about myself, so I set aside time to be able to do that each day.
Setting aside time to enjoy, not just do, what you find joy in will make even the most stressful days not seem so bad. Giving yourself permission to focus your energy into these activities, allows for a more balanced life and gives stability each and every day. No matter how chaotic some of them may be!
Unplug, unplug, unplug
I don’t think I can stress this enough. Unplug!
Social media can be extremely taxing and time-consuming with little to no growth added to your personal life. It’s great to stay in touch, but limiting yourself and planning time to do it for only a few minutes out of the day is best for keeping a self-care regiment.
If you’re a Feeler on the Meyer-Briggs personality test, constant emotional baggage from friends and family can cause more harm then good. Set a side a quick scroll or two before putting it away for the day.
The same goes for email, especially work email. Don’t check your email through out the day. It’s exhausting and can lead to unnecessary worrying. I once read that nothing was ever sent in an email that was an emergency, and I can assure you: it’s true.
Each day, I have my phone set to go on Do Not Disturb from 5:00pm to 9:00am. Even on weekends!
This lets me focus on what I want to accomplish. And let’s me spend time with my family without getting interrupted by everything wanting a piece of time-pie!
Not only is our physical health important, but our mental health can be the underlying cause for many of our physical ailments.
Our stress, our worry, all of these negative emotions can begin to manifest as physical symptoms. Headaches, insomnia, you name it and there’s a fair chance that it’s caused by an emotional ailment first.
What is probably the most gratifying aspect of self-care is working on your thought process. When you first start a self-care routine, incorporate this question into your day:
“What am I grateful for today?”
This single question could have many answers or maybe just one. The goal is to keep your mind positive, and not have it sink down into a negative tailspin.
I needed help to remind myself to do this each day, so I picked up the One Minute Gratitude Journal and it made a huge difference in how I felt throughout the day.
And it’s not like a normal journal where it takes a lot of time out of your day. No joke, it takes one minute.
(Less than that if you’re a fast writer! I’m kind of a slow scrawler.)
One Reward A Day
If you’re looking for just one self-care activity to begin with, start with this one. It is by-far the easiest to implement and can lay the foundation for a self-care routine.
We’re so hard-wired to look for gratification that you can use this to your advantage when you’re just starting your self-care routine. Or any routine for that matter! Disguising self-care as a reward can help you stick to it.
Anything that you can do to make yourself feel good is the true definition of self-care. Setting it up as a reward for yourself can help ease it into your routine without it feeling brand new.
This can look like a healthy snack after dinner, or maybe some quiet time with your favorite book!
I love to snuggle up with a good book at the end of the night and recently started getting into audiobooks before bed.
After looking at a screen for the majority of my days, reading can be a strain on my eyes. I tried out out an audiobook after a recommendation from a friend and it’s definitely a game changer!
When you start a self-care routine, it’s easy to get lost in what everyone else is doing and focusing on putting everything into your schedule. Take it back to basics and look at what makes you feel good. That’s what self-care is all about is just making you feel good about yourself and the world around you.
What really makes me love self-care is that improving and taking care of myself lets me become a better, more grounded person to take care of others. When you’re happy and healthy, you’re able to spread that happiness far more easily to others.
What’s your favorite self-care tip that you do for yourself? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!
If you haven’t had a chance yet, come join our community this month! We are celebrating, learning, and sharing all things self-care to REALLY kick off this year!
Right now, we have The Ultimate Guide to Self Care in 2019 which is 10-pages of prioritizing a self-care routine that works for YOU! It’s completely free to everyone in our community and you’re invited to join too!
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