The Power of Self-Care Routines
Morning, evening, daily: How to create self-care routines that stick!
Creating a routine is one of the best and most fulfilling ways to take care of ourselves. Routines can breed success and creativity and can take the reins when it comes to stress! It takes as little as 21 days for something to become a habit – just think, in three weeks’ time you could be living like a routine queen (or king)!
Why should we create self-care routines?
Routines are beneficial on so many levels. Creating routines allows us to take control of the mundane business that sucks up space in our brains and more importantly, our time. When we do this, we can take the pressure off and take charge of our health.
Now, if the word ‘routine’ has you scared or you just can’t relate to a static structure, then substitute another word, like creating ‘ceremony’ or putting new and supportive behaviors into place. Or you can even use the word ‘ritual’. Use the word that lights you up the most to create something meaningful for you to practice regularly. Find a word or phrase that helps you find a new pathway in your life that feels more empowering, supportive, and even energizing. For this writing, ‘routine’ is being used, but feel free to substitute ‘your’ word!
Why are creating routines so good for us?
Routines and rituals can enhance both our physical and mental health. By creating routines, we can actually free up that precious headspace to become more creative! Rituals and routines are centering. When we have practices in place for our everyday tasks, we are able to open ourselves up to focus on more difficult and interesting work. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?
Having a better work-life balance can also allow us to become happier. Wait, what?! Yes, productivity leads to happiness. It also leads to more free time! Imagine having extra time for all the fun stuff?? Who’s in?
How to create a self-care plan that isn’t overwhelming!
It can be overwhelming to think about all the things that we want to do in a day. Here are a few short reminders to get started: Set small goals. Make a plan and be consistent. Routines can take time. Don’t beat yourself up. Reassess your goals as needed. It’s okay to fall off! YOU can do this!
Creating a morning routine for success!
Here are some helpful habits to add to your morning routine:
- Sit for 5-10 minutes of meditation to prepare the mind for the day. Work up to longer over time. Remember that it is a practice.
- Start your day with 15 minutes of yoga/stretching to wake the body and the mind.
- Write down three (3) things you are grateful for in a journal. Or stick them on the mirror to read while you get ready!
- Hydrate! Drink a full glass of water first thing. Take supplements.
- Make the bed. Clear the clutter and prepare for your nightly routine early!
- Eat a healthy breakfast and have a favorite cup of tea or coffee.
- Plan out the day – check your to-do list from the night before to jump right into the day!
Creating a daily routine for ease of mind!
Here are some helpful habits to add to your daily routine:
- Get 30 minutes of fresh air/sunshine each day to stretch the muscles, invigorate the mind, and get that vitamin D!
- Take care of a living thing. Water and talk to the plants! Cuddle the kitty. Walk the dog. A little dopamine for the soul…
- Tidy up your space each day to keep things from getting out of control!
- Create a playlist to keep the mind flowing.
- Listen to podcasts to catch up on news while doing other tasks.
- Set aside a small break to read/do puzzles. Keep that mind active!
- Set aside time for a nap. Need 20 minutes to recharge? Build it into the schedule!
- Always block time for a healthy lunch!
- Hydrate! (Always a good reminder…)
- Don’t forget to have a snack! Keeping blood sugar levels even will keep that afternoon slump at bay. Always have nuts and fruit accessible.
Creating an evening routine for better sleep!
Here are some helpful habits to add to your evening routine:
- Shut off the blue light of devices well in advance of bedtime and try 30 minutes of reading.
- Make a calming cup of tea.
- Plan for tomorrow by setting an alarm and writing out a to-do list to make the morning easier!
- Take a shower or bath to relax the body and gain a few extra minutes in the morning.
- Write in a journal at the end of the day to rid the mind of worry.
- Brush teeth and wash face to prepare for rest.
- Take nightly supplements and drink water.
- Dim the lights and sit for 5-10 minutes of meditation to quiet the mind. Work up to longer over time. (Again, remember that it’s a practice.)
- Diffuse essential oils like lavender for a more restful sleep.
- Prime and calm your body for rest with 15 minutes of yoga/stretching.
- Get eight (8) hours of sleep! You can do it!
Even more ways to practice self-care!
Self-care practices can include quick and simple acts as well as dedicated rituals or routines. Try incorporating some of these ideas as you go about your day. In no time you will be a well-oiled self-care god or goddess!
Quick ways to give yourself a hit of dopamine!
- Light candles.
- Make a cup of tea.
- Turn off your phone.
- Hug someone.
- Color or draw!
Need a kick in the routine?
- Take a dance break!
- Swim a few laps or take a walk!
- Clean or organize a drawer or cabinet.
Need to shake things up a bit?
- Learn a new skill.
- Try an online class.
- Take on a DIY project.
How to create a self-care routine that sticks!
Put yourself first! The only way to create a routine and stick with it is keep yourself in mind before everyone else. Sounds difficult? Between family and work and friends and social obligations, we often fall to the bottom of the list. By putting yourself first, you’ll be able to give more to the responsibilities in your life. Try repeating that to yourself when you feel yourself slipping from your routine. It won’t take very long for you to realize that by caring for yourself, you’re caring for the others in your life. You can do it!