Self care is such a personal thing. The clue is in the name…it’s about your SELF. Which is why, as much as I love getting inspiration and ideas from others, it should be unique and tailored to meet you and your needs.
So here you go…how to build a self care routine that’s unique to you, in 3 simple steps!
First up, let’s clarify…What is self care?
“The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own wellbeing and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.”
This is my favourite definition (thanks Google) because I love that it stresses wellbeing and happiness. There are so many areas that self care can come in.
However, my approach varies to the second part. Whilst yes, we definitely need to up the self care practices in times of stress. The thing with self care (and most things in life) is prevention is better than cure.
This stuff should be a practice. That you come back to day after day.
Which is why this post is all about building a routine that works for you, your schedule, your needs, your life.
Think about your daily schedule.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Are there particular moments in your day where self care could fit?
For many, it’s first thing in the morning, before their family wakes up or they need to head to work.
It could be your lunch break, commute home, after work, before bed. Figure out the pocket(s) of time in your day. Get specific on the amount of time you can commit to spending on yourself. Whether it’s an hour, 30 minutes or 5.
My advice? Be realistic. If you’re not a morning person, don’t force yourself to get up at 6am. If you feel sluggish at 6pm, don’t schedule in an hour at the gym. Focus on the time of day that you’ll enjoy the most. Sustainable habits are key to keeping up this routine
Now you’ve figured out where in your day it’s gonna fit, the fun bit begins!
What do you feel is missing from your day?
Is there anything you’re craving more of in your life?
Write down 1-2 things you feel could benefit you the most
If you’re stuck, think about something that’s going to benefit your physical health as well as your mental/emotional health. It could even be a hobby you’ve wanted to try for ages but haven’t made time for yet.
Then, go back to those pockets of time you found before. Put what you need to in place so that you have that self care moment locked down. Set your gym kit aside, buy your craft supplies, order that book on Amazon. Most importantly, get it in the calendar/diary so you don’t skip it or let something else take over!
Trial and Error
I wish I could promise that your life will change overnight once you start your new self-care routine.
If it was that easy…we’d all be floating on cloud 9 24/7!
Self care is a practice. And with daily practice, comes a lot of trial and error.
This is where research and ideas can be fun.
If you follow someone and trust their advice, you might want to try out the self care routines and rituals they like and recommend.
You never know what might stick and become your new go-to habit!
Sometimes, you might benefit from a switch up of your routine too. e.g. Try one new thing every week or every month. If you need variety, this approach might work even better.
But remember, this is about you.
It’s all well and good me telling you to meditate, but if you’d rather walk the dog instead, that’s your self-care.
You might follow tons of fitness accounts on Instagram telling you to lift weights, but if your Saturday morning yoga class is something you enjoy way more, that’s your self care.
No matter how many times an expert tells you that the world’s most successful people get up at 5am (yawn) – if you’re not energised in the morning, no amount of research or ‘motivation’ will get you out of bed at that time.
In a few weeks, I’ll share some of my self care routines to give you some ideas and inspiration. That way if you’re getting started and like the sound of 1 or 2 things, you can try them in your week.
As always, do what works for you. You’re the master of your own growth and you don’t need an internet guru telling you what to do!