Adding a self-care routine to your day can feel like just one more thing you don’t have time for. But you do. Let me show how to start a self-care routine you can stick to.
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How Do I Start a Self Care Routine?
Developing a self-care routine takes time, trial and error. You may even fall off the wagon a few times, but the point is to implement change and make progress.
9 Tips for Beginning Your Self-Care Routine
I know there’s not a lot of time in the day. But I also know the consequences of thinking we can ignore self care.
I got up on a Monday morning to get ready for work. Instead, I sat frozen on the toilet, just staring at the shower, watching the water run down.
I knew I needed to get in if I was going to get to work on time. But, I literally could not move from that toilet. When I did get up, I walked into the living room, opened my laptop, filled out an official resignation form and pressed send.
That was the beginning of my wellness journey.
I spent the next few years unraveling the events that led to that day. What I discovered is I had been ignoring all the warning signs: overwhelm at work, sleepless nights, using up all ten of my sick days, a flailing marriage, high anxiety and extreme stress, all blaring sirens of distress.
I’m sharing my story because I want you believe it when I say you cannot serve your family, contribute to your household, or be a good employee, friend, neighbor, daughter, sister…anything, when you’re running on empty.
So, I’m asking you to take these steps and join me.
- Consider how you neglect yourself and make a list of the changes you’d like to make.
- Think about what brings you joy and fills your cup and make room for those activities on your schedule. ex. hobbies, outings, activities
- Take it slowly. A big overhaul all at once almost always results in failure. (Think New Year’s Resolutions.) So, add one change at a time until it becomes habit. Then introduce another change into your routine.
- Have everything you need to implement change on hand. ex. exercise equipment, skin care products
- By the same token, identify and get rid of anything that is keeping you from making a change. ex. junk food, excuses, poor habits
- Let your family in on your plans, explaining how important this change is to you and offering ideas for how they can help.
- Protect your time. If you get asked to do something or be somewhere when you’re planning on going for a jog, getting a haircut, meeting a friend for lunch, taking a long bath, or going on a Netflix binge, say no.
- Get over the guilt. Taking care of yourself is the most selfless thing you can do.
- Make self-care non negotiable. Schedule your self-care time into your week just like you would any other plans so you’ll prioritize it.
What is a Good Self-Care Routine?
There’s a misconception that self-care is synonymous with pampering. Self-care can include pampering, but a good self care routine includes anything that nurtures your soul, renews your mind and fills your cup. And, it takes advantage of your natural habits so you can easily incorporate self-care into your existing routines.
If you need some ideas, I created a self care challenge with a list of 31 simple self-care routine ideas, many of which take just a few minutes and are easy to incorporate into your day. When you sign up you’ll also receive a blank calendar to help you create a daily self-care routine.
Self Care Essentials
Keeping self-care products and essentials handy will create the right environment for your self care practice and serve as visual reminders to keep up the routine.
A wellness and self care subscription box is a great way to keep yourself accountable to your self care routine.
Or you can keep it budget-friendly and create your own self care kit with things you have around the house. It could include candles, affirmation cards, scripture cards, a journal, stationary, meaningful memorabilia, or anything that fills your cup.
For more self-care tips, read:
- How to Create an at Home Spa Day
- The Truth About Self Care for Women
- 5 Self Care Ideas for Stress Relief
You deserve it!
Becky Regenold says
This message is way more important than housekeeping tips. Thanks for this reminder. I keep thinking about trying to take a month to concentrate on improving my health, but keep letting everyday responsibilities and guilt get in my way.
I would bathe my youngest child each night and be jealous as to how I knew she felt…comfy, clean, relaxed, smelling precious, nurtured…one night after wishing I were her, I went to my master bath and actually took a hot bath…the words I kept saying to myself were, “I’m allowed”. I’m allowed to do for myself all the loving things I do for my children to help them feel loved. Even if it means a $5.00 pumpkin spice latte from the trendy coffee shop when needed, so be it! We are our biggest neglect~ Gotta stop that~ thanks for your reminder today~
Great article Sharon!
You are so right! I try to block out even just one week to concentrate on my health and it is easily sabotaged every time. I know how you feel!
Mrs. Hines says
Thank you, Jodi. I really appreciate the feedback. Hope you’re doing well!
Mrs. Hines says
You’re so right, Becky. I hope that guilt goes away…at least enough to allow you to focus on your health.
Mrs. Hines says
“I’m allowed.” I LOVE it! And I’m so glad you give yourself permission to treat yourself.
Design Chic says
Such a wonderful post, Sharon. Hope you’re having a great start to your week!