The word on the street is that 2020 will be the year of self-care, and I am here for it. I felt inspired to write this post and help you create a self-care routine that works for you.
A busy lifestyle can make it easy to forget about your personal needs. Especially if you have a family to care for, your own wellness might take the backseat. Sometimes, that’s OK. It comes with being a parent and a caregiver. However, it’s also important to make time for yourself. It will help you feel happier, which will improve your interpersonal relationships. Self-care isn’t selfish because even a little “me time” every day will benefit your relationships with family, friends, and even coworkers.
What is self-care?
One misconception about self-care is that it’s fueled entirely by consumerism. Bath bombs and spa days are great, but there are also many free or inexpensive ways to practice self-care. At its core, self-care means caring for yourself to improve your mental and physical health and wellness. Because the concept is so broad, it encompasses a range of activities, including basic necessities.
Self-care means different things to different people. Even if you have never consciously practiced self-care, you still take care of yourself in some way every day. Cleaning your house is self-care. Brushing your teeth is self-care. Paying all your bills on time is self-care.
Although these things might seem commonplace to you, everyone’s lifestyle is different. In my past depressive episodes, I let my health fall through the cracks. Cooking a nutritious breakfast or going for a walk would have been a miraculous form of self-care for me at the time. Because everyone’s routine is unique, it’s important to assess your current state of self-care and how you can improve it. (More on that later!)
Why self-care is important
Self-care has many mental and physical benefits, including the following:
1. It reduces stress.
When you feel like you just can’t catch a break, everyday stressors become more overwhelming. A little self-care time in your day will give you something to look forward to, and it will give you a chance to unwind.
2. It helps you regulate your sleep schedule.
Things like getting up and going to bed at the same time every day, limiting screen time, or cutting down on alcohol consumption will improve your sleep schedule. I don’t know about you, but I feel like a whole new person in the morning if I’ve had adequate sleep. If you don’t have a regular sleep schedule, you should try to improve it. I guarantee you will notice a difference in your mood.
3. It will help your body and mind feel healthier.
After I started actively practicing self-care, I noticed that my mind became clearer. I didn’t feel as tired in the morning. I had a newfound sense of wellbeing and happiness. I found the motivation to achieve my goals. I felt more resilient and able to tackle negative thoughts that popped into my head. Everyone has a different experience with self-care, but the benefits are TOTALLY worth it.
4. It improves productivity.
This benefit might surprise you! Although some people mistakenly view self-care as “slacking off” or “being lazy,” it will actually make you more productive when you’re working. When you don’t feel as stressed out, you will be able to focus on the task at hand. When I experience stress, my mind starts racing with anxious thoughts, and I can’t get any work done at all. If you’re the same way, I think you will notice a significant improvement in your productivity after you implement a solid self-care routine.
Types of self-care
Self-care comes in many forms. When you create your routine, you will want to consider how you can better practice self-care based on each area of your life.
Here are five different forms of self-care:
Physical: Diet, exercise, sleep, overall health, etc.
Emotional: Stress management, compassion, kindness, gratitude, emotional maturity, etc.
Spiritual: Alone time, meditation, religion (if you are religious), spirituality, journaling, etc.
Intellectual: Learning, education, knowledge, open-mindedness, etc.
Social: Time with friends and family, support systems, communication skills, romantic relationships, positive social media practices, etc.
As you can see, there are several factors to consider when you build your new self-care routine. Don’t be overwhelmed! We’re about to break it down into simple steps.
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How to build your self-care routine
1. Get a piece of paper and a pen. We’re about to do some reflecting.
Writing this stuff down will help you think more deeply. And by recording your thoughts on paper, you will have the time and space to reflect upon your ideas.
2. Think about what you’re missing in your current lifestyle.
What do you wish you had more of in your life? It could be alone time, time with friends, energy for work, passion for your creative projects, etc. You might want some material things, and that’s fine. But try to focus your thoughts on things that will be fulfilling for you, whatever that may be. Remember that there is a BIG difference between being temporarily happy and feeling completely fulfilled.
3. Make two categories: big things and little things.
Fold your paper in half to create two columns. In the first column, write “Big Things,” and in the second column, write “Little Things.” Now, you are going to write down your thoughts from the last step.
In the “Big Things” category, you are going to write down the things you are missing in your life that are absolutely essential for you to be happy and healthy. Basic health practices go in the “Big Things” category.
In the “Little Things” category, write down ideas that are not 100 percent necessary, but will improve your overall happiness and wellness a little bit. For example, scheduling a spa day or taking a day trip somewhere would be in the “Little Things” category.
4. Now that you’ve figured out what’s missing, brainstorm some ways you can practice self-care to fill those voids in your life.
Write down your ideas. You might want to organize them into categories like “Daily Basics,” “Weekly Priorities,” and “Bonuses.” By getting organized, you will have a better idea of how you’re going to implement self-care into your busy schedule.
5. Download the FREE worksheet below to help you stick to your new self-care routine!
I created a free worksheet to help you. It is a printable worksheet that is also a fillable PDF, so you can type your ideas onto the worksheet in Adobe Acrobat and print out as many copies as you need!
Build your self-care routine with this FREE worksheet!
This printable worksheet will help you finalize your self-care routine and implement it!
Here’s what you get:
- 8.5×11 (letter size) PDF file. It is a fillable PDF that is also optimized for printing.
- Instructions for best use
- Digital download that you keep forever. You can print as many copies as you need!
Enter your email in the box below to get your FREE self-care planning worksheet:
How to keep your routine consistent
Especially if you have a hectic life, it might seem difficult to maintain a routine. However, consistent habits are the only way you will make real lifestyle changes. Here are a couple of posts that will help you form good habits:
- How to Turn New Year’s Resolutions into Habits That Stick in 2020
- Achieve your goals with these FREE gorgeous habit tracker printables!
Thanks for reading!
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful. If you want access to more personal development printables like the self-care worksheet I created for this post, enter your email in the box below.