Did you know that 8 in 10 Americans feel stressed sometimes or frequently each day?
While stress may feel like it’s just a natural part of life, too much stress can be seriously detrimental to our health. Being overstressed can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, depression, drug abuse, fatigue, and anger.
Clearly, stress is something that should be taken lightly.
But, what are you supposed to do about all of the stress bubbling up inside you?
You should develop a self-care routine.
Yes, self-care may just feel like a trendy buzzword. But, it’s so much more than that.
Establishing a self-care routine can seriously change your life for the better.
But, how are you supposed to get in the habit of sticking to a routine?
Check out this guide to learn how to implement a self-care routine that motivates you.
1. Pick Things You Actually Enjoy
Many people have trouble sticking to a self-care routine because they pick activities that they don’t actually want to do.
Just because yoga and meditation are the “hot” self-care activities of the moment, doesn’t mean you have to do them.
When establishing a self-care routine, it’s best to try a number of different activities and then focus on doing a few each week that you actually enjoy.
When trying to decide what things to do, ask yourself these questions:
- What activities make me feel energized?
- What activities make me feel peaceful?
- What activities make me feel like the best version of myself?
- What activities make me feel whole?
Once you’ve chosen some activities, look at ways you can fit them into your everyday routine.
It’s often best to integrate these activities for short periods of time. Even just 10 to 15 minutes of self-care daily can make a huge difference.
If you’re struggling to come up with self-care activities, here are some ideas to get you started:
- Coloring or drawing
- Doing yoga
- Going for a walk
- Taking a bath
- Calling a friend
- Grabbing a coffee with a friend
- Playing with your pet
- Playing an instrument
- Beautifying yourself (for example, a massage, eyebrow waxing, manicure, pedicure, or facial)
- Listening to a podcast
- Doing a puzzle
- Growing a garden
As you can see, these are all rather simple activities that are easy to incorporate into your daily routine. And remember, you don’t have to do all of them. Just pick a few that entice you and go from there.
2. Don’t Forget the Basics
Before you dive into a self-care routine, you’ll first want to make sure you have the basics down.
When we say the basics, we’re talking about getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating well.
If you don’t have these things down pat, any self-care routine you try to establish will fall apart.
So, start by focusing on getting eight hours of sleep each night, eating healthy meals throughout the day, and exercising 3 to 5 times a week.
3. Be Present
When partaking in self-care activities, it’s very important that you are mindful.
Whether you’re reading a book or taking a yoga class, you need to make sure you are living in the moment.
Otherwise, your worries will hijack the moment and you won’t be able to reap the benefits of self-care.
If you aren’t reaping the benefits of self-care, it’ll be too easy to drop your routine altogether.
So, if you feel your mind drifting during a self-care activity, gently remind yourself to bring your mind back to the present and focus on what’s happening now, instead of worrying about what will happen later.
4. Find an Accountability Friend
Chances are, you also have a friend who is trying to develop a self-care routine.
To help both of you get in the groove of self-care, establish a way of checking in on each other.
This could be something as simple as taking a picture of yourself engaging in your self-care routine and sending it to your friend.
When you know someone else is expecting something of you, it can really motivate you to stick to your goals.
5. Plan Ahead and Schedule It
If you don’t make time for self-care, you likely won’t find time for self-care.
Think of self-care as a non-reschedulable appointment with yourself. Buy a planner (if you don’t already have one) and mark off time for self-care each week. Set reminders too if you need it.
For example, let’s say your two self-care activities are reading and yoga. You can block off 30 minutes a few times a week to do yoga, and 30 minutes a few nights a week to read. Then, make sure your friends and family members know that you won’t be available during these times.
The more official you can make it, the better.
6. Adjust Your Mindset
When trying to establish a self-care routine, you need to go into it with the right attitude.
If you see your self-care routine as “just another thing on your plate” then you are never going to look forward to it or stick to it.
Therefore, it’s important to adjust your thinking. Instead of thinking of self-care as an extra thing on your to-do list, think of it as a necessary part of your life.
By doing this, you’ll go from feeling guilty and stressed about it to actually looking forward to it.
And remember, it doesn’t have to be anything lengthy or costly. Just spending 10 to 15 minutes a day engaging in an activity you enjoy can work wonders.
If you need help accelerating the changes you’d like to make in your life, then you can read more here.
Are You Ready to Rock Your Self-Care Routine?
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a self-care routine that you love.
Pretty soon, your self-care routine will become apart of your everyday life that you do without even thinking.
If you have questions about establishing your routine, let us know in the comments below.
Also, once you have your self-care routine down, it’s time to work on self-love. Check out this article to learn the secrets of self-love.