Self-care has become quite the buzzword over the past few years. You hear it on the news, from influencers and celebrities, from your doctor, and even in your workplace. With the drastic shift that has happened in the world over the past 12 months, self-care is becoming more and more important, but what does it even mean?
To put it simply, self-care is something you enjoy doing that makes you feel better in the long run. For example while drinking half a bottle of wine may be enjoyable in short-term, you are not going to feel the greatest the next day, whereas practicing meditation every day can lead to lasting beneficial impacts to your overall health and well-being.
Self-care can be such a broad term that it can be difficult (and daunting) to approach it, which can lead to people avoiding it altogether. I’ve been there, and I want to make this as easy as possible for you, so I put together a few tips to help you begin your very own self-care routine:
Think of something you want to improve
If you’re completely lost, the first step you can take is to pinpoint something you want to improve. This can be something physical, mental, spiritual, or anything in between. Make sure it’s something you want to improve 100% for yourself. After all, it is called SELF-care.
Personally, my self-care routine is centered around maintaining a positive mindset. I tend to be a worry wart who can worry myself into fits of anxiety. This is something that really only negatively impacts myself, and I know that if I make this improvement it will positively impact my life in many ways.
Pick things you truly enjoy
Self-care is all about doing things that benefit you, so the simplest way to begin this is to start by doing things you truly enjoy. (Emphasis on the truly because that’s really important.) This needs to be something that you do because you love it, not because you feel like you need to do it. It can be anything – getting a massage, going on a walk, reading a book, or applying your favorite face mask. Just small things that bring a little light to your life.
You can choose one thing to start, or dive in head first with a few things you enjoy. A few things I chose to maintain a positive mindset are:
- Walking my dog
- Spending time outside
Explore other things
While it’s great to start out with things that you already know and love, it’s even better to branch out into other tools to help with your self-care routine. You can turn to the handy dandy internet for ideas, or even ask around for ways your friends and family take care of themselves.
I decided to dabble in yoga and mediation simply because I know how impactful it can be for people who want to relax and de-stress. So far, it’s been great! (Although I have found that I am not as flexible as I once was.)
Make an effort to plan it in your day
This is the tough part. It’s easy to say you are going to start doing things to better yourself, but it’s another thing to actually make time and do it. Life is so fast paced – especially in today’s world – and it can be easy for self-care to fall by the wayside. So, use whatever tools you have to plan it in your day.
Whether it’s setting an alarm on your phone, blocking time on your work calendar, or physically writing it down in a planner, do whatever you need to do to force yourself to make the time. (Even if it’s just 5 minutes of deep breathing exercises!)
Change and evolve as time goes
Sometimes things just don’t work out, and that’s 100% okay. That just means you need to try something else. As you start to do these things you selected for your self-care routine, remind yourself that it’s okay to stop. Always remember that you need to truly enjoy what you’re doing for this to work. Just move on to the next thing!
You may also find that you want to improve on something else, too, which is completely fine. Keep adding more and more tools to your self-care routine and understand that this is a living, changing process because you are a living, changing being.
I hope that these tips will help you either begin or improve on your self-care routine, because putting effort into your self-care can positively impact you in so many ways. If you currently have an established self-care routine or have tools you would like to share, let me know in the comments! I’m always looking for ways to improve 😊