Create a Realistic Self-Care Routine From These 17 Simple Practices
Self-care practices are essential for our wellbeing, but everyone's approach to practicing self-care is different and can be tailored to the individual.
Establishing a solid self-care routine is key to living a healthy, balanced, and happy life. It includes taking care of our physical, mental, and emotional health. Practicing self-care isn't selfish, but rather a way of knowing your worth and taking time to make sure you are at your best.
In our hectic and over committed lives, self-care is often one of the first things we drop off of our to-do lists.
Practicing self-care isn't selfish, but rather a way of knowing your worth and taking time to make sure you are at your best.
But not taking care of yourself can result in stressful relationships, poor work performance, anxiety, negativity, fatigue, and an inability to care for loved ones such as children or aging parents.
When it comes to creating a self-care routine, intention is important. Don't just do something to say you've done it. Be conscious about why you are doing it, and slow down for a moment to let the effects sink in.
Self-care practices can look different from person to person. It's important to find ones that work for you.
Read on for a list of realistic suggestions for self-care that you can practice daily, weekly, and monthly to create a realistic self-care routine and help you start taking care of YOU.
Start With These 6 Simple Self-Care Practices You Can Do Daily:
Do these things DAILY to set yourself up with a positive, healthy and empowering self-care routine.
1. Take Care of Your Body
This first self-care practice may seem like a no-brainer, but taking care of your body is the first - and therefore most important - step in self-care.
Getting adequate sleep, drinking enough water (more on that below), exercising, and eating healthy are all vital to taking care of you. Change your attitude towards these essential self-care practices and you'll start to see them as activities of self-love rather than burdens that you don't have time for.
If you're not getting enough sleep, start small by going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night. Eventually work your way up to 30 or even 60 minutes earlier. It will make a big difference in how you feel upon waking up.
Commit to eating healthy and exercising regularly, but remember - this doesn't mean you have to eat only raw broccoli or do something you don't love for exercise.
When it comes to self-care practices, it's crucial to find what works for you so that you're motivated to keep doing it!
2. Limit Your Time on Electronic Devices
Give yourself 30 minutes to wake up in the morning before grabbing your phone to check emails, texts, or social media.
Likewise, put your phone or other electronics away for 1 hour before bedtime to help you fall asleep faster and with more peace. Set your phone to do-not-disturb or airplane mode overnight to help you get uninterrupted sleep.
Take This 30-Day Self-Care Challenge to Reduce Screen Time (It May Actually Improve Your Life)
3. Shake Up Your Water Consumption
Hydration is an easy addition to any self-care routine! Health experts recommend staying hydrated throughout the day. An easy rule of thumb is to drink half your bodyweight in ounces (so if you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 fluid ounces).
Read: These 8 Tips Will Trick You Into Drinking More Water Every Day
Shake up your water routine by creating a mid-day mocktail with any fresh fruit, herbs, or vegetables you have on hand. Slice up your choice of ingredients and either let them float freely in your glass or use an infusion water bottle to help make the process a bit easier.
Let the water soak up the flavors for about two hours, or store in your fridge overnight. One of my favorite recipes uses a few slices of fresh ginger, half an orange, and a handful of muddled blackberries.
4. Laugh Out Loud
It's said that laughter heals the soul, and it's essential for daily self-care as well. Take time to laugh every day, hopefully to the point where you get belly stitches and must catch your breath.
It doesn't matter what you laugh at; funny pet videos on YouTube, the old inside joke you have with your best friend, or something outrageous your kid did. Just make sure you find a few minutes to laugh every day.
5. Diffuse Essential Oils
Aromatherapy doesn't have the word "therapy" in it for nothing! Diffusing essential oils in your home or workspace can help you find a moment of calm and grounding.
Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to your diffuser and take 2-5 minutes to sit still and inhale the goodness.
Popular essential oils for diffusing include: Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Wild Orange, Rosemary, Peppermint, Basil, and Cinnamon.
Want to learn more about the health benefits of essential oils? Read This Fact-Based Guide to Essential Oils
6. Sing or Dance (Or Both!)
You can sing an old favorite song or a new popular hit. It doesn't matter if you have a great singing voice or if you sound like a howling coyote. Crank up the volume and let it out.
Not a fan of singing? Dancing can give you the same self-care benefits. Dance like no one is watching and feel the rush of endorphins flood through your body. Movement is medicine and dance can be a fun and transformative self-care practice.
Add Onto Your Self-Care Routine With These 3 Weekly Self-Care Practices:
Now that you've established a healthy daily routine of self-care, you're ready to add these three self-care practices to your week.
By practicing them once a week, you'll discover a new layer of peace and wellness both mind and body.
1. Schedule YOU Time
Prioritize self-care by blocking out at least an hour in your schedule for it each week. What you do with the time is entirely up to you!
It can be anything from taking a bath or a nap, watching a movie, going to bed early, sleeping in, journaling, participating in a hobby, or anything else that speaks self-care to you.
If you chose taking a bath . . . Here Are 5 DIY Bath Soak Recipes You've Gotta Try
Pro Tip: Make your self-care practices a lasting part of your routine by doing them around the same time each week if possible.
2. Take Care of Your Feet
Our feet take a lot of abuse from our daily activities, particularly if you wear heels. Spend 5 or 10 minutes every week giving yourself a mini foot massage to make sure your feet stay in tip-top shape.
Try it! Grab your foot with both hands and either press your thumbs in or make small circles firmly along the bottom of your foot from your heel through your arch. Then move onto the ball of your foot massaging from the center out.
Establishing a self-care routine is something that helps us obtain and maintain an overall sense of wellbeing.
Don't forget about your toes! Rub the pad of each toe or try sliding your fingers between each toe to spread them out and relieve tension. Or you can try using toe separators for added relief.
Not only does this feel so good, there are also many pressure points on the bottom of your feet, so activating these is a form of acupressure that correspond to different parts of your body.
3. Watch a Sunrise or Sunset
It's almost impossible to watch the beauty of a sunrise or sunset and not come away feeling rejuvenated. Plan ahead to make sure you have a nice view, and spend some time enjoying mother nature at her best.
Just watch the sun arrive or depart, don't photograph it or post about it on social media. Enjoy the majesty of the moment and feel alive.
Once a Month, Take Time to Dive Deeper With These 4 Self-Care Practices:
These self-care practices are the cherry on top of your regular self-care routine! By sprinkling these throughout your month, you are now optimizing the benefits of consistent self-care. Pat yourself on the back for that!
1. Nature Walk
Once a month (or more if you can!), put on your hiking shoes and get away from the city and into nature. You don't have to hike up a mountain to get the benefits of being in nature. Nature does wonders for the soul.
Find a park, lake, bird sanctuary, forest, or anything else close to you that gets you outdoors. Leave your electronics at home, or put them on silent mode, and enjoy some time in nature soaking up some sunshine and fresh air.
What a great way to celebrate your self-care routine - in nature!
2. Organize Something In Your House
Tackle something in your home that needs to be organized. It can be your closet, that junk drawer that you can't shove anything else into, or anywhere else that's looking a bit messy or overcrowded.
Cleaning may seem like the opposite of self-care at first, but studies show that cluttered homes have a direct - and negative - effect on our overall well-being.
Feeling inspired? Get Rid of These 25 Things to Declutter Your Life
3. Detox From Social Media and News
One weekend a month, challenge yourself to take a break from all social media and news. Turn off your notifications or even temporarily uninstall the apps if you can't resist the urge to use them.
While detoxing, notice how often you reach for your phone on autopilot and use the opportunity to focus on yourself instead. If you notice a positive shift in your mindset from doing this, consider adding this detox as a more frequent part of your self-care routine.
4. Draw Or Color a Mandala
Drawing or coloring a mandala can help you to feel peaceful, calm, creative, and relaxed. All things that are great for self-care.
Not an artist and prefer to stick to coloring? There are plenty of mindful coloring books or free mandala designs online that you can print so you don't have to start from scratch.
Bonus! 4 Self-Care Practices When You Need an Extra Boost of Self-Love
You've established a self-care routine, and you have your practices that you do daily, weekly, and monthly.
In this final section, you will find four bonus self-care practices for when you're ready to splurge on yourself or when you need an extra dose of TLC. Enjoy!
Plan a staycation when you're in need of some major self-care. Your staycation can look like whatever says well-being to you. It may mean you don't leave the couch and have all your meals delivered. Or you might pamper yourself with several at-home spa treatments.
Follow These 12 Steps to Create a DIY At-Home Wellness Retreat for Yourself
If you want something more active then you can check out those local tourist activities that you've never done. Whatever you plan for your staycation, make your choice intentional to separate if from your daily life. Start each staycation day with meditation and an at-home yoga session to really set the mood.
Try These Online Yoga Classes for the Perfect Start to Your Staycation
Explore these yoga and meditation classes (and all of our classes!) on YA Classes.
2. Read a Motivational Book
We can all use a little motivation and guidance to help us reflect and grow. Books can help us shake things up, particularly in the motivational, personal growth, and self-help genres. Subjects can range from general wellbeing to specific needs such as anxiety or financial management.
Looking for an approachable self-care book that weaves personal growth with simple yoga practices, affirmations, and other techniques to help you live your best life? Check out Learn. Grow. Shift. 30 Days of Personal Growth by YouAligned founder Ashton August.
3. Get Yourself a Treat
Every once in a while, indulge and treat yourself to something special. Whether that's your favorite dessert, a latte, or maybe a massage (see #4 below!) or that bath/beauty product you've been eyeing for months.
Looking for a little bath and beauty inspo? These Are the Top Selling Natural Self-Care and Beauty Products On Amazon Prime
Whatever you decide to treat yourself to, once you have it, now is the time to slow down and enjoy the moment! Invite yourself to add a layer of mindfulness by fully experiencing it with all of your senses and complete presence.
4. Get a Massage
Nothing quite says self-care like getting a massage. Massages help to relieve stress, reduce pain, ease muscle tension, and are great for overall well-being.
Looking for more reasons to treat yourself to a massage? Here Are 7 Lesser Known Benefits of Massage Therapy
Be sure to tell the therapist if you have any specific spots of tension or tenderness to work on. Follow your massage up by drinking lots of water and take a luxurious bath if you have time.
The Importance of Self-Care Practices for Your Overall Wellbeing
It's important to incorporate self-care practices like these into your routine to support a healthy and balanced life. And not just when times are tough or you're not feeling your best. Establishing a self-care routine is something that helps us obtain and maintain an overall sense of wellbeing.
It's also equally important to know and acknowledge when you need more than just self-care.
Self-care practices don't have to be fancy or expensive to be effective.
Sometimes we need more than what self-care alone can provide. If this is ever the case for you, reach out to a friend, counselor, or mental health professional to get the help you need.
Interested in learning more? Here Are 4 Questions to Ask If You Think You're Practicing Unhealthy Self-Care
Self-care practices don't have to be fancy or expensive to be effective. It's about starting simple everyday habits to nurture yourself inside and out. Use these self-care suggestions to start a realistic wellness routine that you can actually stick with.