I never knew how important self care was until my mental health was at stake and I was at the lowest point of my life. My world seemed to be crumbling down and everything seemed to be going against my expectations. I kept putting other people first before myself. This had a negative impact on me such as having toxic relationships and self sabotage. I realized that I deserved better and so I embarked on a journey to love and care for myself. It has not been an easy road. Some days I do not stick to my routine while others I am energized to the brim. However,I keep pushing myself until I get better at it.Taking care of myself doesn't mean 'me first.' It means 'me too.'Click To Tweet
In this blog, I will be defining self care,sharing the benefits and my personal self care routine and ways that you can create your own. It will help you get a rough idea of how you can create yours. As a bonus, I have created for you a list of 70 self care activities that you can add to your self care routine that you can download here for FREE! Of course, I have to give a disclaimer; my self care routine may not work for you and I strongly recommend that you pick what suits you . Remember that consistency is the key for success. For more information, please read my disclaimer.
Here are more posts you might want to read,too:
- How To Be The Most Confident Person in The World.
- How to Practice Self Love in 4 Simple Ways.
- 13 Self Care Night Routine Things To Do Before Bed.
- 7 Healthy Self Care Habits To Do Every Morning.
- How To Create a Meaningful Life For Yourself.
- How To Journal For mental Health.
- 13 Benefits of Journaling Daily.
What is self care?
Self care is not all about bubble baths and spa dates. Its about taking care of your body, mind and soul and ensuring that they are at a good state. It entails knowing what is good for you and not compromising on choosing yourself first when necessary. The journey may not be easy but waking up everyday feeling good about yourself and knowing that you have your back every time is what you should aim for.
It also entails putting your well being first before anything or anyone else. A big part of it is knowing when and how to say no. It is a struggle that I have had for a while but I have been working on it. One thing that I have had to learn is saying no to something is saying yes to everything else while saying yes to something is saying no to everything else. So before you say yes to something, make sure that it doesn’t sabotage your mental,physical,spiritual and emotional well-being.
I know how busy one can get but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t create snippets of time to check on you. Listen, you are going to spend the rest of your life with yourself. You might as well take care of you.
What are the five key areas of self care?
- Spiritual self care. It involves prayer, meditation,visualizing, practicing gratitude, affirmations and spending time around nature.
- Mental self care. It includes both professional and personal development. One aspect of practicing mental self care is letting go of things that you cannot change and working on what you can. Cultivating self awareness is also crucial as it helps you know what you need to improve or need to keep working on. Reading, journaling, writing and being in touch with who you are is part of mental self care.
- Physical self care. It involves taking care of your health by eating healthy food, getting enough rest,exercising,taking enough water and basking.
- Social self care. It involves surrounding yourself with positive people and building healthy relationships with people around you.
- Emotional self care. It involves setting boundaries,giving and receiving love, kindness and support and taking care of your emotional needs. Also, ensuring that you addressing any issues you face before it gets out of hand is part of emotional self care.
Are there benefits of practicing self care?
Yes. There are a lot of benefits of practicing self care. Below are some of them:
- Self care makes you more productive.
- It will help boost your immune system.
- Your self-compassion improves.
- Self care makes you more aware.
- You are able to give more to others because your cup is full.
- It increases positive thinking.
- Self care makes us less susceptible to stress, depression, anxiety and other emotional health issues.
Showing you how my morning routine looks like would be a great way to help you have a rough idea of what you can do with yours. It all depends on you.
My personal self care routine
I prefer to carry out my self care routine early in the morning. It helps me begin my day on a good note and gives me the strength to handle any difficulty without sabotaging my mental and physical being. It takes me an hour or more depending on what I choose to do.
This is how my self care routine looks like:
- Meditate and pray( 20 minutes)
- Put on my exercising outfit(5 minutes)
- Exercise( 20-30 minutes)
- Take a shower and breakfast( 30 minutes)
- Read(20 minutes)
- Journal(10 minutes)
Its that simple. Some days I omit doing somethings because of time or to just spice things up with whatever I feel like doing. It all depends on your own personal preference.
Well, there are things that you have to consider when you are creating your own routine. I want to help you make a self care routine that works for you.
First things first
Before I show you how to create your own personal self care routine, you have to understand that self care encompasses your body,mind and soul. There is no way you can care for one and ignore another. When your mental health is taken care of, you will be prompted to care for your physical, emotional and spiritual health too. They are connected and so you have to take care of all three of them without favoring any side.
With that said, lets head into learning how to create your own personal self care routine.
How to create your own self care routine
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1.Brainstorm activities that you want to be doing to practice self care.
You obviously need to come up with things to do for your self care routine. It should include things that you enjoy doing or you are interested to learn. Feel free to explore your options and see what suits you.Do not just decide to do anything without thinking thoroughly through it.
The best way to come up with different set of activities to do is to do a brain pump. What this means is, you go to a quiet place with a notebook and pen, set your stop watch to stop after twenty or more minutes and start jotting down ideas of what you want to be doing for your self care during those minutes when your stop watch is on. A quiet place is suitable since it creates a conducive environment for your mind to come up with ideas.
2. Create a list of the activities in the order that you want to be doing them.
My dad always tells me that if I do not write down my goals, then I am wishing to achieve whatever I am aiming for. Writing down the list of activities that you want to be doing in order is a way of organizing your mind which will help you save a lot of time when starting your self care routine. It also makes your self care activities tangible.
3. Decide on the number of minutes you want to allocate each activity and for the self care routine.
This will be affected by the type and number of activities that you have decided to incorporate into your self care routine. Also, put into consideration your daily activities and how busy you will get. It would be impractical to slot a 10 mile run for twenty minutes yet you have an early meeting in your office. Make sure that your self care routine does not collide with your day.
4. Create time for your self care routine.
It is not enough to brainstorm and write the activities you want to be doing. Ever heard of the saying that actions speak louder than words? It works the same way. You are not limited to having your self care in the morning or evening. What matters is that your routine does not interfere with the rest of your day’s activities. You can decide to wake up earlier so that you can slot time for your routine or forgo watching television when you get home from work. Also, let your self care time be flexible because sometimes life gets in the way.
5. Be realistic
Its good to have big goals for your self care routine but you also need to be realistic. I won’t expect you to plan to jog for 5 miles per day when you have barely run for the past one year. Start small and gradually increase your goal expectations as time goes by which brings me to my next point;
6. Let the self care habits trigger each other and switch them up frequently.
Small habits gradually trigger other habits that eventually become big habits. For instance, when you have gotten used to reading one page in your favorite book every day, you gradually start reading two pages until you are able to read a chapter. Let the habits trigger each other and don’t stress yourself when you are not able to be as great as you anticipate. Rome was not built in one day. Every good thing takes time. Be patient.
Also, break the monotony of your self care routine once in a while. switch things up frequently.
7. Be consistent
Self care is most effective if you are consistent. So do not expect to practice self care today and then postpone it for a month and expect it to bring you all the benefits. You will be starting from scratch every time which will slow down your growth.
8. Have an accountability partner.
This is not mandatory but it is effective for some people. Having an accountability partner who is in the same mission of having an effective self care routine would help you be more consistent. This is because you will frequently be checking up and reminding each other to follow through with the self care routine.
9. Reward yourself after every successful self care month routine.
Rewarding yourself is an effective strategy to being consistent with your self care. This is because we all perform better when appreciated. According to B.F. Skinner, the world-famous psychologist,an animal rewarded for good behavior will learn more rapidly and retain what is learnt far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behavior. This also applies to human beings. You can reinforce your self care routine by buying yourself a gift, going for vacation or treating yourself with your favorite cuisine. You are free to reward yourself however way you like.
10. Frequently pause and reflect.
Taking time to pause and reflect is a powerful method of understanding where you need to improve your performance and your mistakes. You can start by asking yourself the following questions.
- What mistakes did I make in my self care routine?
- Did I do anything right and what way can I improve my performance?
- What lessons can I learn from my self care routine in the past month?
Your monthly review will probably make you unhappy because you will have to face the reality that you are not perfect. You will realize that you make a lot of blunders but the more you reflect, the more you reduce the frequency of your blunders. With time, you will realize that your self care routine will become more productive and your ability to make decisions will improve.
11. Keep spicing it up.
Exposing yourself to books, courses or people with authority in self care would help you have more ideas on how you can spice up your self care routine. Self care does not have to be boring and monotonous. You can keep spicing things up by trying new self care activities or changing the location that you do certain activities. for instance, if you meditate in your room, you can try doing it outdoors. This will make you want to experiment on new things in the process making your self care routine fun. You will always look forward to do your self care routine which will make you more consistent and learn what works and doesn’t work for you.
Practicing self care is as important as breathing. It not only affects your life but the people around you. Do yourself a favor and make time for you.
Want to find activities for your self care routine? Download the FREE list of 70 self care ideas you can add to your self care routine down below!
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