When the to-do list is piling up, and you've got work, family and the hustle and bustle of daily life to worry about, self-care sounds like an impossible dream. But more medical and mental health experts are encouraging people to reevaluate their priorities to work a self-care routine into the rhythm of their day to day life.
Self-care looks different to each individual. For some, it means slicing out some time for a bubble bath and a good book. For another, it may be getting a solid workout in every morning. Whatever you choose, self-care involves a short amount of time each day dedicated to activities that help you recharge and feel good.
Those who treat self-care as a priority and dedicate even just 15 minutes a day to these kinds of activities experience huge benefits to their physical, mental and emotional health. They're not only likely to feel less stressed, but it also fills them with a deep satisfaction and fulfillment. If you're feeling overwhelmed by stress or like you need a little more self-love in your life, then it's time to implement a daily self-care routine.
Tips for Developing a Self-Care Routine You Can Actually Stick To
It sounds great — doing things that make you happy as a means of caring for yourself — but many find it difficult to carve out even small amounts of time for self-care. However, the benefits of these activities have long-lasting results, giving you improved overall health both now and in the future.
Whether you've attempted to implement a self-care routine before or this is your first try, here are some tips on how you can actually get these habits to be apart of your daily schedule and stick with it.
1. Schedule Your Time Wisely
If you find it difficult to prioritize self-care into your schedule, then you need to pencil in a time just for you. Whether it be 15-20 minutes in the morning to exercise and stretch or a half hour at night to watch the sun set, it's important to treat your self-care time with the same importance you would any other scheduled appointment. Even if you have to adjust when things get hectic, working self-care into your daily routine will help you make it a habit.
2. Do Things You Actually Enjoy
Exercise, making kale smoothies and reading are all great self-care activities, but if you don't like to do them, then they may be more of a burden than a relief. Also, if you don't like something, chances are your new self-care time won't stick. The goal of self-care is to find things that give you a sense of peace and help you feel energized.
There are tons of activities to choose from, such as:
- Get outdoors and take a walk
- Keep a journal
- Color or paint
- Play an instrument or listen to music
- Give yourself a manicure, facial or implement some other personal hygiene routine
- Plan time with friends
- Anything else that sounds relaxing and fun to you
3. Begin With the Basics
Self-care is intended to preserve your overall health and well-being. So the best way to start is by making sure you are practicing basic self-care, which includes a full night's rest and a proper eating schedule.
When you're deprived of the proper amount of sleep, you are more prone to both mental and physical ailments. Give yourself a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule so that you receive the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. In the same vein, eating healthy is great, but you also need to space your meals properly, so your body feels nourished and energized. Try eating small, healthy snacks in between meals to help keep yourself from getting too hungry.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Many people lose the pleasure of their self-care routine because they're too busy stressing about what's coming next in their day. Focus on the present and allowing all other thoughts and worries to pass by without giving them attention. A great way to practice mindfulness is to incorporate gratitude and consciously acknowledge the things you're thankful for
5. Put Away Distractions
In our tech-savvy world, it's easy to squander our free time by checking our phones or computers. But it's recommended that your self-care activity include something other than staring at a screen. Be sure to focus your valuable time on an activity that will give you a sense of pleasure and accomplishment.
6. Keep It Simple
The last thing you need is another thing you have to do. When you view self-care in this way, it becomes a burden, and you may feel guilty when you don't have time for it. Focus on the pleasurable feelings that self-care is supposed to provide as opposed to the activities themselves. They don't have to be lengthy, costly or complicated to give positive benefits to your life.
7. Keep Yourself Accountable
You may feel that practicing self-care is selfish, but it's actually the best thing you can do for your family and friends. When you are revitalized, you can better take care of those around you. For that reason, it's important to hold yourself accountable. And if you find it difficult to prioritize your self-care, find a friend who can help keep you accountable. You can even find an activity you enjoy doing together.
Make Your Mental Health a Part of Your Self-Care Routine
Many people think self-care should focus only on their physical bodies, but your mental and emotional well-being is just as important as your physical health. The best self-care activities provide benefits on multiple fronts. They not only help us physically, but they also push us to improve our mental wellbeing.
Incorporating activities that promote positive mental health has other benefits such as improved immunity, increased productivity and even longer lifespans. Some self-care activities known for their mental health benefits include:
- Social time with family and friends
- Time in the outdoors
- Volunteering and good deeds for other people
- Learning new things
Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If anxiety, depression or another mental health issue is causing you to lose sight of your own self-care, then it may be time to reach out for help. Many people feel that they need to handle these issues on their own, but asking for help when you need it may be the first step to establishing a healthier outlook on life. Brookhaven Retreat provides women with the treatment and skills they need to overcome and manage a number of different mental health disorders. Contact us today to learn more!