We all know that self-care is important, but do you really take the time to focus on yourself & prioritize developing a self care routine? I truly have a passion for living a healthy, balanced lifestyle and getting the most out of life, but I know this is one thing that a lot of people neglect. We all get caught up in day-to-day tasks and activities that sometimes we forget one important thing: self-care & making ourselves a priority.
Often, self care is the very first thing to be put on the back burner when we need it most. It is seen as something that isn’t as important as other tasks. We come up with a long list of excuses for why we aren’t prioritizing ourselves.
Related: 8 ways you are probably holding yourself back without even realizing it, How slowing down & taking time off can change everything / Signs you need to take a break, 9 things to stop doing to get the most out of life
So, it gets neglected & eventually, you are going to start feeling really stressed, overwhelmed, burnt out, tired, on edge, etc etc etc. The very thing that you thought wasn’t necessary just might be the thing that is keeping you from being productive & doing the things you need to get done.
Before I started really prioritizing my self care, things seemed all out of control and I couldn’t figure out how to get myself back on track. I was stressed, exhausted, overwhelmed, unsure and pretty unhappy with just about everything. I had started seeing my healthy habits disappearing. I was unmotivated to go to the gym & I even got lazy when it came to washing my face at night.
My point is, you NEED self care in your daily routine. You literally NEED it in order to be productive & maintain mental sanity. If you don’t take care of yourself & prioritize yourself, you will be forced to deal with the consequences later.
For that reason, I think it’s incredibly important that every single person dedicates time to self care every.single.day. When I say self care, I don’t necessarily mean blocking out big chunks of time.
Self-care also looks different for everybody because we are all different and need different things. When I talk about self care, that doesn’t always have to be face masks and bubble baths if that’s not for you- it’s about figuring out what works for you and your schedule!
Do I have you convinced yet?!
I really want you to start prioritizing your self care & develop a self care routine, so I’ve dedicated this post to helping you develop a routine that works for you!
DETERMINE YOUR NONNEGOTIABLES.
We all have nonnegotiables that need to be present in our daily routine because when they aren’t present, things seem to get out of control. By “non-negotiable”, I mean, the things that you need present for your sanity.
For me, my nonnegotiables are working out & having some alone time. Once I figured this out and got myself on a consistent routine to incorporate my nonnegotiables, things really started falling into place.
First, I want you to think about the things that you need on a daily basis to maintain mental sanity. Really think about what works to you!
If you would like any guidance, I have a free Self Care Planning Worksheet that includes a checklist of self care items & a guide to help you develop your routine!
>> Click here to download the Self Care Planning Worksheet
Some ideas for self-care:
Take a bubble bath
This is one of my favorite things and used to be something I did every Sunday night. Dimming the lights or just letting candles provide the light and putting on relaxing music. I also looove putting some essential oils in the bathtub to make it even more relaxing!
The oil that I like to use is Pure Aroma because it comes in a package that contains allll of the oils that I like to use on a daily basis. I usually always have one package in my amazon cart because I know that I’m going to need a refill!
The apartment I just recently moved into doesn’t have a bath tub, which I’m really sad about but I try to take a long hot shower with lavender essential oils. Not the same, but you have to work with what ya got!
Face scrubs & face masks.
This is one thing that I have been really bad about but I love doing. I was getting lazy with even washing my face. But, there’s something relaxing and refreshing about giving your face (& body!) some extra TLC, especially right before bed!
I get a lot of mine from my FabFitFun boxes and I absolutely love them!
Journaling can be one of the most therapeutic activities! I have recently re-incorporated journaling back into my morning and night routine and I have seen tremendous results. I actually wrote an entire post on The Power of Journaling! Journaling allows you to get all of your stressors and anything bothering you out of your subconscious mind so it’s not stuck there. Our natural tendency is to suppress hard or stressful things, but the subconscious doesn’t forget that it’s there. So, journaling is a great technique to use to talk about what’s going on in your life.
Some questions to write about: What’s going well? What’s stressing you out? What’s holding you back? What are you feeling? What would make the day great? How did the day go? What went well? What could be improved?
I have a love/hate relationship with meditation, but there are SO many benefits from it! Meditation is difficult at first, at least it is for me. It’s difficult to turn off your thoughts for some time. But, if that’s an issue for you, then maybe this is something that you need to help you calm your mind. I’ve found adding in mediation into my morning and night routine has been very helpful in decreasing my stress and anxiety. I personally enjoy the mediations in this app called Sanvello.
Tip: Start with 2-3 minutes once a day. If you try to start longer and more often, you might find that you get frustrated and end up not seeing mediation to be helpful for you.
Have you noticed that you have very negative self-talk? Like “I’m so stupid”, “I’m a failure.”, “Why can’t I do anything right?” I noticed that too for a while. How we talk about ourselves and how we think about ourselves correlates with how we feel and how we show up for ourselves. If you keep telling yourself “I’m a failure” all the time, you can’t expect yourself to feel all that great about yourself. If you go into a situation thinking “I’m a failure”, you’re going to treat yourself and the situation like you’re a failure.
It’s all about perception. Instead of constantly telling yourself “I’m a failure”,try saying “I am strong & capable of success”, “I am powerful”, “I will be successful”. Repeat affirmations everyday, write them on sticky notes, give yourself reminders. Trust me, it works wonders! Positive self-talk is incredibly important!
Take a break.
It is very easy to get caught up in daily tasks and being busy that we forget to slow down throughout the day. I find it helpful to take small breaks throughout the day to give my mind a rest. Take this time to do something that you enjoy and find refreshing and helpful. Maybe you take a break to read, journal, watch tv, get outside, etc. Especially if it’s a nice day, I’ve been trying to take 10 minutes to walk around outside to get some fresh air.
Related: Tips For When You’re Not Feeling Motivated, 5 Steps For Getting Back On Track & Shifting Your Mindset, Getting Over Extreme Burnout
As we all know, there are SO many positive benefits to exercise. There are of course physical benefits to working out, but more importantly, mental benefits as well. Try to make it a priority to get out and go on a walk/run, get to the gym a couple times a week, go on a bike ride, take a class, anything! Get your body moving!
Reading is a great way to calm your mind and relax. I’m not much of a reader, but when I do, I like to right before I go to bed. It makes me tired and calms my mind. Maybe reading can be a perfect addition to your night time routine!
Some of my favorite books:
Do something you love.
This seems like an obvious, but sometimes when we are too stressed, we neglect the things we love. Life gets in the way and you just forget about that hobby that makes you so happy. This can be anything. Maybe it drawing, painting, coloring, ceramics, building things, etc.
Sometimes simply just being outside and getting fresh air can be incredibly refreshing. If you are someone that tends to stay inside in your office all day, maybe getting outside for even just a 10-15 minute break might be helpful and refreshing!
Get a Massage.
Massages can be a bit pricey, so this might be a every-once-in-a-while splurge on your self-care. But, if it’s in your budget, don’t be afraid to take it the extra mile and treat yo self- you deserve it!
Treat Yourself to a Mani/pedi
Similar to getting a massage, don’t be afraid to treat yo self! I very rarely go to a salon to get my nails done. But, sometimes it’s nice to splurge a little bit and get a little pampered!
Go to Therapy.
As someone with a psychology background, I whole-heartedly believe in the benefits of talk therapy. Of course, this is something that not everyone has access to. Even just talking about what’s going on to family/friends if you are feeling stressed out. I find talk therapy to be helpful because it gets everything off of your chest so you’re not keeping everything bottled up inside. This can bring up lots of emotions, which can be hard and uncomfortable to deal with in the moment. But, the end result makes you feel so much more relieved to have all of the extra weight off of your shoulders!
Make plans with a friend.
Again, being overly busy can make it hard to make friendships a priority. But, it always feels good to catch up with a friend that you haven’t seen in a while. I encourage you to contact a couple friends you haven’t seen in a while and make plans throughout the month or in the near future!
OK retail therapy is not for me. Shopping tends to stress me out more than it makes me feel refreshed. Although, there is something to say about buying yourself a new outfit to wear that you feel real good in!
Take yourself to see a movie.
Again, movies aren’t really my thing. While I enjoy them, I don’t ever think to do this. But, if you are someone that really enjoys movies, then this is a great one for you! Take yourself to see that movie that you’ve been wanting to see! Or spend a Friday/Saturday night in for a movie night (this is what I would be more likely to do!). Make yourself a bowl of popcorn, grab a glass of wine and a comfy blanket and you are good to go! Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?!
The list is endless! I hope this helped provide some insight into the importance of developing a self care routine, as well as ideas for how to develop a routine that works for you! If you would like more guidance, check out the links below & I do offer 1:1 coaching and invite you to check out my opportunities if that is something that you would be interested in. Click here for more information on my 1:1 coaching opportunities! <3