Quick, when you think of a self-care routine, what comes to mind? Perhaps you imagine sitting in a luxurious bubble bath, with scented candles burning all around, a high-end facemask spread on, and a glass of wine in hand. Am I right?
If this is what comes to mind when you think of a self-care routine, I want to urge you to reconsider how you think of this very essential daily practice. Because, although often marketed as such, the aforementioned scenario isn’t actually a self-care routine at all. Rather, it’s more of a relaxing self-maintenance routine or a luxurious beauty routine.
So if fancy facemasks and bubble baths aren’t actually self-care, then what is? And how do you create a self-care routine that actually serves your well-being and mental health (that’s supposed to be the whole point after all, right?)
Fear not, my lovely — in this article on how to create a self-care routine, I’m going to help guide you through creating a daily self-care practice that serves you.
Let’s take a closer look at how to create a self-care routine — the right way. And yes, as far as I’m concerned (a cheeky lifestyle blogger with a passion for self-care), you can bring that glass of wine.
What Does Self-Care Mean?
Recently, I stumbled upon this TedTalk lecture by Susannah Winters. Susannah has an interesting perspective on what self-care really is.
In her presentation, Susannah speaks about self-care as “deliberately taking care of your well-being through restorative activities.” In simpler terms, self-care means the deliberate actions you take to realign your whole self back into balance.
When self-care is defined this way, it’s quite insightful, don’t you think? Defining self-care in this holistic way can help start an inner dialogue about which of your self-care practices actually help restore your physical health, mental health, and emotional well-being. And which of your “self-care” practices are simply a beauty routine in disguise.
On True Self Care vs A Beauty Routine…
Now, what’s the difference between a proper self-care routine and a self-maintenance beauty routine?
Simply put, a self-maintenance, although relaxing, luxurious, and all of the feel-good things, is more concerned with upkeeping your physical self.
- An expensive high-end face mask
- A luxury bubble bath
- A fabulous mani-pedi combo
These all are really great ways to elevate ourselves. But does getting your nails painted in beautiful designs restore your well-being? Around the holidays, for example, as cute as it may be to have Santa and all his reindeer painted on each finger, this is not truly an authentic practice of self-care.
Self-care means incorporating all parts of the self, ensuring equal attention, and restoring total balance in the body, mind, and soul.
With some help from another beautifully insightful TedTalk, this one by Portia Jackon-Preston, listed below are the six parts of the self.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and thinking, “wtf is this girl talking about? I can barely take care of one aspect of myself. Now you’re telling me that there’s six?!” Hear me out, friends; I’ve got some self-care ideas that will make your daily practice a lot simpler than you may think.
Why Is Self-Care So Important?
Take a moment to inventory what your daily routine currently looks like. Now ask yourself, do I feel cared for?
If your answer is a defining no or a shrug of the shoulders, this guide is especially for you.
The truth is, we’re all guilty of neglecting ourselves at one point or another. We often do it to focus on tasks that are seemingly more important at that moment. But taking care of ourselves is just as important as any other task in our lives — and should be prioritized as such.
Self-care is important because we live in a society that doesn’t prioritize mental wellness. Because of this, many of us can start to feel overwhelmed with life.
Self-care is empowering. And in today’s society, self-care is a revolutionary act.
Practicing self-care strengthens your well-being by reducing anxiety, depression, and stress. Self-care helps you nurture your inner power and worthiness. Self-care is an act of love for yourself, and woman, you deserve it!
No matter what’s going on in your life, every woman (men too of course), can take steps towards being your best self by developing grounded daily self-care tips for yourself.
For The Ladies…
Practicing self-care is essential for men and women alike. But I want to take a moment to address the ladies specifically.
Because as women, we can be particularly vulnerable to putting everyone before ourselves and not practicing effective self-care.
Does this sound like you? Let’s play a little Tik Tok game called “put a finger up”.
Put a finger up if:
- You work more than 40hrs a week (it doesn’t have to be a 9-5 job).
- You have kids.
- You are in a relationship.
- Your to-do list is longer than your refrigerator magnet to-do list board will allow (and perhaps you’ve added post-it notes to suffice).
- You can’t remember the last time you exercised (and it felt good).
- You’ve wanted to or have cried at least once this week (bonus finger if you have no idea why).
- Your last meal consisted of take-out, something frozen, or leftovers from your kid’s plate. Or you felt no enjoyment or fulfillment from the last meal you ate.
- You went to bed only after scrolling social media for so long your brain had no other option but to shut down (bonus finger if you were still wearing your clothes and makeup from the day).
- You can’t remember the last time you were actually outside, for no other reason than, well, to be outside.
- You don’t didn’t notice when the seasons changed, you just realized because now it’s cold.
- How many fingers do you have left?
As women, we at times play so many more characters than we were ever meant to. By nature, we are givers, fixers, creators, listeners, menders, over-extenders — and oh how the list could go on and on.
The Divine Feminine too, needs to be nurtured and cared for. A holistic daily self-care routine is not only important for women to flourish in all aspects of self, it’s absolutely essential.
How To Create A Sound Self-Care Routine — The Fundamentals
And finally, the meat and potatoes of this guide, creating a routine to practice self-care daily.
It’s important to note that creating a self-care routine is not about the things we use but rather our actions and intentions. And once you have a good idea of the self-care goals you desire to accomplish daily, implementation is next.
Referring back to our girl Susannah Winters, recall there are three components to a sound self-care routine. Implement simple restorative actions in these categories to curate a sound self-care routine.
It’s important for everyone to take time out of their day and give themselves this calming peace. But what does it actually mean?
Some people like to meditate, some like to go for walks in nature, others may exercise or practice yoga. For others, stillness may come from spending time with loved ones or reading a good book.
The importance of daily exercise cannot be overstated. It’s important to note that exercise does not have to be long and rigorous in order for it to be beneficial. Doing some light, such as yoga or even taking a short walk can do wonders for your body and mind.
Some of the benefits of exercise include increased socialization, weight loss, improved mood, and lower risk of anxiety and depression.
It’s no secret that humans are designed to live in nature, and it’s a crucial part of self-care. The environment has a profound impact on our minds, moods, and overall health.
And the more time we spend in nature, the more this is true. That’s because natural environments are not just aesthetically pleasing; they also provide many physical benefits that positively affect our mental and emotional states of being.
Self Care Routine Ideas
Here’s a chart, or self-care checklist of sorts, that I created to help inspire your daily self-care practice. The chart lists small 10-minute self-care activities that you can easily practice daily.
|10 minutes of guided meditation.
|10 minutes walk.
|Hug a tree. Yes, seriously.
|10 minutes of journaling.
|10 minutes run.
|Smell the flowers outside.
|10 minutes of no technology.
|10 minutes yoga.
|Walk barefoot in the grass.
|10 minutes of people watching.
|10 minutes chasing your dog.
|Sit by a body of water.
|10 minutes of laying down.
|10 minutes dancing.
|Watch the sun (this is a thing, it’s called sun gazing). Watch the moon.
|10 minutes of conscious breathing.
|10 minutes moving anything.
|Collect stones outside.
In addition to the self-care activities outlined above, you may choose to also incorporate the following self-care ideas.
- Eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet.
- Do 10 minutes of exercise every day.
- Be conscious of your thoughts and choices.
- Get enough sleep.
An Example of A Self Care Routine That Addresses The Whole Self
All of the aforementioned aspects of one’s whole self can be nurtured all in one 30 minute increment of your day. Here’s an outlined example.
Physical and Emotional Self
Just imagine, you are at our job, and it’s about 11:30 PM — lunch is coming up.
Instead of skipping lunch or DoorDashing your meal, you decided to take a 10-minute walk down to the fantastic whole foods bodega to grab a green juice and a turkey sandwich — made from whole grain bread, sprouts, organic everything, and a side of yummy.
Feeling good, you decide to activate your apple watch and count those steps.
Psychological and Professional Self
As you walk down the street, instead of blocking out the world with your AirPods, you decide to stay present in the moment as you watch and listen to life pass by.
With the chaos of the day behind you (for now), that work project you just can’t seem to pin down the right solution for, crosses your mind. And then like divine guidance, the ideas start to flow.
Spiritual and Relational Self
You pick up your lunch and decide to sit under a tree. As you lean against this magnificent giant and slowly chew your delicious sandwich, your breath quiets.
Your mind is clear, your body relaxed — and everything is right with the world.
This peaceful moment inspires you to call up a friend, and chit-chat about life’s latest happenings.
And so you see, practicing a daily self-care routine, doesn’t need to be complicated. Just like that, you’ve just hit all six aspects of self — all in the matter of a 30-minute lunch break.
No amount of essential oils, candles, facemasks, or bath bombs can take the place of a well-rounded self-care routine for the whole self.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” – Audre Lorde
As always, stay fabulous and practice self-care daily (the holistic version) — you deserve it!