Start Your Self-Care Routine With These Easy Steps
When working with clients on self-care, the most common obstacle identified has been time constraint. Work and life responsibilities have made it difficult to find the time for self-care when they feel exhausted by the end of the day. So, it’s unrealistic to think that these women will be able to commit to time-consuming personal care activities when they are already crunched for time. But the truth is taking time to care for yourself is essential.
The good news is that starting a self-care regimen doesn’t have take a huge amount of time. Here are some terrific hacks you can use now that can put caring for yourself on auto-pilot.
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Automate Your Self-care
1- Make It Plain and Simple
First and foremost, keep your personal care activities simple. There are some practices can be time-consuming, but there are ways you can simplify the process so it can fit your schedule. For instance, meditation can be a fantastic way to help your mental, emotional and spiritual health. But maybe you don’t have a hour or two to meditate or attend a yoga class to reap the full benefits.
Well you don’t have to. Just because there are lengthy, complicated versions of self-care activities, doesn’t mean that you have to do them. You can modify them to suit your personal needs.
Also, there apps on your phone and streaming devices that can simplify your session. Here a just a few:
Many of these apps offer meditation sessions as short as 5 minutes.
The other thing to keep in mind is that you have options. It’s so much easier to make things a habit when you feel they are easy to complete.
2- The More Things You Enjoy, The Merrier
Candidly, self-care is not always roses and lollipops (you may have to work through unpleasant issues that can be painful). However, you will need to make sure you are participating in personal care practices that you mostly enjoy. There are activities that may find delightful. For instance, you may like keeping a gratitude journal.
Gratitude journaling is exactly how it sounds. It’s simply expressing gratitude for what you already have. This form of journaling acts as a shortcut to elevating your mood and shifting your mindset. If you don’t like writing, you may find creating a video diary ideal. Or you could use positive affirmations to express gratitude. You could also try uploading photos of things in your life that bring you joy. Or journaling in any form may not be your cup of tea. And that’s okay.
The point is that you don’t have to do things you don’t like because everyone says it works for them. Tailor your self-care practice to suit your unique desires, and you will be more likely to make it a part of your routine.
3- Make Self-Care A Ritual
It can take some time to make actions a habit. But once you establish an action as a habit, it’s hard to break.
So how do you create a ritual?
Following the principles of simplicity previously described, crafting a sequence of events that you consistently perform daily is an excellent way to practice self-care on autopilot.
An example of a simple morning self-care ritual that I perform is meditating on a bible passage and then using a meditation app to prepare mentally and emotionally for the day.
Simple, pleasant and over time, habitual!
4- Incorporate Self-Care With Other Tasks
Another way to make your self-care routine a habit is to combine personal wellness with necessary tasks. For instance, during my commute to work, I created a play-list of motivating music to help me get into a positive and productive mindset.
You could also use your lunch break to listen to an audio-book on a new topic. Learn something new and jump-start your productivity! Awe-some!
By the way, you cantry audio-books for free. Here are some of my favorite.
Another way of combining tasks would be incorporating exercise. When running errands, I park at the back of the parking lot or I take the stairs instead of elevators. (It may not seem like much, but you can add 200 or more extra steps each way.) These days I also take a walk during my breaks. It helps me feel refreshed.
A final example would be to try creative visualization while taking a shower. Since you have to bathe regularly anyway, imagine the water coming down over you is charged with positive energy and is not only cleansing your physical body, but your emotional energy as well.
Anybody can benefit from spending a couple minutes imagining something positive or uplifting like this.
5- Invite Others to Practice Self-Care With You
Having a partner practice self-care with you can be fun. Getting those you care about to care for themselves as well. It’s a win for everyone!
For example, having a special brunch with your significant other (or hold a virtual brunch with a friend or other loved one who lives away). You could look up fresh, exciting, delicious, healthy recipes and prepare the meal together. This checks multiple self-care boxes:
• Eating healthier (physical self-care)
• Quality time together (social self-care)
• Saving money (financial self-care)
• Creativity (intellectual self-care)
Be creative. Find ways to make a game from practicing self-care.
Do It Now
While it may appear that you haven’t the time to make your well-being a priority, you may be pleasantly surprised of the positive change you will experience by adding small habit forming self-care changes to your lifestyle.
I challenge you to try just one of these simple tips to elevate your self-care game, so you can experience the the peace and positivity you deserve.