7 Step Guide to Establishing a Self-Care Routine
Updated: May 13, 2020
Self-Care is essential but getting to the point of having a routine can be challenging. For people like me who have trouble saying no, we can easily become over committed. Thus, having a self-care routine is essential to keeping me grounded and balanced. Here are the ways I began to take my own self-care seriously:
#1: Understand your why.
ff You've decided to read this blog post so at some level you may be thinking you want to start incorporating self care or want to be more consistent. However, why do you feel this way? What is drawing you to take care of yourself besides the obvious trope that "you can't pour from an empty cup". Why is self care important to you? Take some time to write this down. This is a great way to start building affirmations and you can use these to remind yourself why you are practicing self care.
2: Envision your life with self-care.
This is where I want you to dream big. Envision a well designed and/or balanced life. What stands out to you? How would you like to be taking care of yourself? This is the moment to think about what your life would be like if you implemented your own self care routine. Write this down too!
#3: Start with the basics.
Check in with yourself and see if you're hitting the basics- showering regularly, sleeping well, eating when you're hungry or are you skipping meals, missing showers, struggling to get enough sleep? If you're struggling with the basics, you might want to start here and get these into your daily routine. I have noticed that my life functions much better when I make a plan, set aside meal times and also give myself a bed time.
#4: Pick 3 things.
Now that the basics are in order, let's start adding things that bring you joy. I say pick three things because I want you to be successful and change doesn't happen overnight. If three feels overwhelming, start with one thing. It's important to be realistic and think through what you can easily or seamlessly commit to in your current routine. Perhaps this is a 5 mInute guided meditation, or 1 hour social media free, or even 10 minute walks during your work day. Pick something tangible that you enjoy and incorporate it into your day!
#5: Schedule it.
You've decided you want to make a commitment to your self-care now let's take it seriously! Schedule it! Block that time off on your calendar. You can call it "Me time", "My time" or whatever you desire! Just make sure you treat it as a meeting with yourself and don't blow it off! By scheduling your self-care time, you are starting to focus on consistency and ensuring that you are developing a habit of self-care. This will also be particularly helpful as you add in longer amounts of self-care time like vacations, massages, trips to the grocery store, and game night just to name a few.
#6: Self-Care Buddies.
This isn't required but can be helpful. Having someone hold you accountable, can help you achieve your goals. Perhaps, you have a friend that has an amazing self-care routine, maybe you can join forces and do something together? This doesn't mean forcing yourself to go to Zumba if that's not your thing, but rather joining them on an activity you also enjoy. On the other hand, you may have a friend who is in the same boat as you and is trying to build a routine. Consider a self-care challenge like my 30 Day Self-Love Challenge or my 30 Day Mental Detox Challenge. These are great ways to see the kinds of things you like or don't like and can give ideas for jumpstarting your own routine!
#7: Be flexible.
So this may throw you off a little because I just told you to take your self-care seriously and schedule it but now I'm telling you be flexible but hear me out. Life happens. We can make all the plans we want but sometimes things just don't go that way so it's important to be open to change and not get too stuck in the rigidity of a routine. What I hope you takeaway is that you need to be gentle with yourself. Recognize that you may need to change things and adapt to different environments, different weather patterns etc as you're going about your routine. Just remember your self-care routine should work for you and not against you.
Overall, I hope this helpful for you when starting your own routine. Remember to be gentle with yourself, go at your own pace and keep trying until you've got a routine that works for you! No two routines are the same! If you need other resources, you can also check out My *NEW* Self-Care Planning Guide, consider signing up for a 1-on-1 session with me or do both if you need too!