What is a self-care routine?
Self-care is about taking care of yourself. It’s about being mindful of your body and mind, making time for yourself, and doing things that make you feel good.
We all have different wants and needs when it comes to self-care, but some common themes include the following:
- Taking a break from technology
- Eating well or exercising regularly (or both!)
- Practising mindfulness or meditation
- Spending time with friends or family
Having a self-care routine allows us space away from stressors so we can come back refreshed and ready for whatever challenges await us next week when it comes again.
How to create a self-care routine
Write down your ideas and make a list of things that you would like to do regularly.
Plan how long each activity will take and when it will happen in your week or month.
Finally, get started!
The most important thing is consistency; once something becomes part of your routine, it will become easier over time as long as you stick with it.
Self-Care Routine Workbook
The self-care routine workbook includes activities and exercises to help you create your self-care routine.
You can use this workbook to:
Create a list of things you enjoy doing for yourself, then choose the ones that feel right for your body and mind now.
Plan to incorporate these activities regularly (at least once or twice weekly).
Self-Care Routine Examples
Make Sleep a Priority
Sleep is a crucial part of your self-care routine, and it’s one of the easiest things to start immediately. Your body needs sleep to function at its best.
Sleep deprivation has been shown to have adverse effects on your health, including making you more likely to get sick or have accidents; decreasing productivity; causing mood swings and irritability; increasing the risk of depression; contributing to weight gain by boosting appetite hormones like ghrelin (which stimulates hunger) and decreasing leptin (which suppresses appetite).
The British Heart Foundation recommends adults get between six and eight hours per night for optimal heart health.
But many people don’t get enough shut-eye regularly because they’re busy with work or family obligations or just being active during daylight hours.
You might think that if you get enough rest each night, any extra time spent sleeping won’t matter much. Still, studies show otherwise: people who sleep less than six hours per night are likelier than those who sleep longer durations at night (seven hours+) to develop heart disease over time!
Think about activities that relax you.
The first thing on my list is a bath with Epsom salt. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. It is excellent for the skin because it helps muscles relax. When I take an Epsom salt bath, I feel like a brand new person, like I’ve shed all the bad things that have happened throughout the day. It’s so lovely to take a little time to relax and enjoy myself in a beautiful, warm bath.
After my bath, I like watching some Netflix show, movie, or YouTube video with no sound and just enjoying the visuals. This helps me get in touch with my creative side while also letting go of stress from the day.
You can do something similar by playing calming music or a calm game.
The second part of your self-care routine should be to eat right. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet and getting enough nutrients by consuming plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, avoiding junk food and alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks (or other sugary foods).
This is one area where it can be challenging for me because I love food so much! But if I’m tired or stressed, eating well will help me feel better, so it’s worth trying.
Exercise is an integral part of a self-care routine. The numerous benefits can be felt immediately.
Here are some tips for making sure you’re getting enough exercise in your life:
- Schedule it into your calendar. If you don’t schedule time for it, then it won’t happen! Make time for exercise every day or every other day at least–even if it’s just 15 minutes of walking around the block with your dog or taking a brisk walk through the park on lunch break.
- Find something that works for YOU! There are many ways to get fit without going to the gym (think Zumba classes at community centres), so take advantage of these opportunities if they’re available near you.
Create A Space Just For You
It’s time to create a space just for you. Whether that means a new room in your home or a whole new home altogether, it’s time to make the space that you need to feel comfortable and happy.
This can be a room in your house or even just a corner of a room. It doesn’t have to be big—make sure it’s yours, and no one else is using it simultaneously.
Consider how the space can help you relax and unwind, whether that means using calming colours or installing aromatherapy diffusers. Get comfortable furniture that makes you feel good when you sit in it or lie on it. Make sure there are many pillows and blankets so you can be cosy. Add artwork or other decorations that make you smile when you look at them—they don’t have to be expensive! Just find things that make you feel good when you see them daily!
You want your house to be where you can go after a long day at work or when you feel stressed out.
The development of a self-care routine can be beneficial to everyone at all stages of life. Self-care isn’t just for millennials and Gen Z—it’s vital to any successful lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t involve expensive equipment or spa treatments. There are many free self-care activities that you can perform in your own home.
 Mitchell, J. (2018). Getting a good night’s sleep improves heart health. [online] Bhf.org.uk. Available at: https://www.bhf.org.uk/what-we-do/news-from-the-bhf/news-archive/2018/august/getting-a-good-nights-sleep-improves-heart-health.
Photo by Madison Inouye: https://www.pexels.com/photo/self-care-isn-t-selfish-signage-2821823/
Photo by Natasha Fernandez: https://www.pexels.com/photo/love-your-life-clipboard-decor-811575/
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-person-laying-on-grass-field-3760526/