5 Ways to Establish a Self-Care Routine

“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”

Eleanor Brownn

Self-care is a term that I have been hearing and seeing more of in the wellness community. There is even a popular tag on Instagram and Twitter of #selfcaresunday! I think it is so great that it is becoming so widespread, and more people are implementing self-care into their daily lives.

Often we spend so much of our time caring for others or running from one thing to the next, rarely stopping to give ourselves a moment to breathe. This pace of life can quickly burn you out and deplete all of your reserves. A self-care routine can easily be incorporated into your own life, allowing you to be the best version of yourself.

Here are my top 5 ways to easily establish your very own self-care routine:

1. Spend time alone

This one can be quite difficult for many people, either because you have little ones at home and you rarely can even find time to use the bathroom by yourself, or maybe the act of being alone causes you to feel uncomfortable in some way. But taking time for yourself is absolutely imperative for your well-being and should be an essential part of your self-care routine. It doesn’t have to be for long periods of time, even just 5 minutes of time spent by yourself can make you feel a bit rejuvenated! However, if your partner or parents are willing to take the kiddos for an hour or two or even run the errands that you need to do that day, even better! During these pockets of time, truly do the things that you WANT to do, not what you NEED to do. So maybe for you that is simply sipping a hot cup of coffee or tea in complete silence, from start to finish without having to reheat in the microwave. It could even mean taking your time to meander the aisles of Target, without the companionship of your littles asking for every toy you walk by. Or maybe just curling up in bed with a good book is all that you want to do. Whatever it may be, find a way to incorporate this alone time into your day or at the very least your week.

2. Treat yourself

Many people feel uncomfortable treating themselves because it makes them feel selfish in some way. But treating yourself should be an integral part of your self-care routine. Now this doesn’t have to be anything big. It could be as small as buying yourself some fresh flowers, picking out a new nail polish color you have been eyeing, or even taking a long, hot bath while reading your favorite book. However, if so inclined and you are able to do so, you could make these treats a bit bigger by treating yourself to a massage, pedicure, or even having your hair done. Anything that makes you feel pampered, even in a small way, can be how you choose to treat yourself.

3. Journal

By taking time to jot your thoughts down, you have the ability to connect to how you are truly feeling. It is far too easy to lose sight of how you are feeling, as you spend much of your time prioritizing everyone else’s feelings and trying to help others in whatever way you can. This requires you to put your own feelings on the backburner until you have the time to deal with them. But the reality is, you will likely never have this time to connect to your own feelings unless you create it yourself.  The great thing about journaling is you can approach it anyway you want and choose a format that suites you best. That may mean you simply write out bullet points or a couple of quick thoughts regarding your day, or you simply take time to write out a list of things you felt grateful for throughout the day. You may even choose to eloquently describe each aspect of your day and feelings over multiple pages. Whatever it is that works for you, great! Just give yourself the opportunity to connect to the person looking back at you in the mirror, allowing you to explore any feelings that may arise.

4. Spend a night in

Even as a high-school student, I would stay in one night a week, rather than making plans to go out. Throughout the week, I always had games or practices and during the time I wasn’t playing sports after school, I was studying or completing my homework. So, by the end of a full week, I often craved a night where I stayed home. Often, I would invite friends over to watch Saturday Night Live and order pizza. Other times, I would watch a romantic comedy, while wearing a deep conditioning mask on my hair and painting my nails. This need for the comfort and serenity of my home environment following a long week hasn’t changed. Most Friday nights I can be found in my pajamas, ordering Thai food, while watching shows or a movie. When the weekend comes around, most people feel the need to make plans to go out to dinner or to get drinks, but after a long week consumed by a busy schedule, that may simply deplete you even more. So, take one night each week that you stay in, enjoying the coziness of your own home. Wearing pajamas is definitely encouraged on these nights!

5. Schedule nourishing activities

Find activities that nourish your body, mind, and spirit, and incorporate these activities into your self-care routine. For me this includes; gentle or restorative yoga, browsing the farmer’s market and cooking a delicious, wholesome meal, walking along the ocean, or writing in the calming atmosphere of a coffee shop, while drinking a delicious warm beverage. I do my best to add these activities into each week, treating them as though they are an appointment or commitment that must be upheld. So whatever the activity may be that fills you up, take time to do it and treat them as a commitment, because they truly are a commitment to yourself.

 What steps are you taking to build a better self-care routine?