Self Care is a popular buzzword these days. Everyone is talking about it and how they aren’t getting enough of it.
So what is it? Self care is unique to each individual. Meditation, baths with candles and mani/pedis often come to mind. In fact, self care is anything that makes you feel like you are investing in yourself. If meditation sounds like the worst thing in the world to you, no fear- you can still have a self care routine.
You are most likely suffering from a lack of self care if you aren’t taking the time to rejuvenate yourself throughout the day/week/month/year. Working excessive hours to the point of burnout, caring for family members without much help, or being in a general situation that exhausts you emotionally or spiritually are all signs that you are in desperate need of self care.
Self care is something that I struggle with in all aspects of my life. Last year, I was working 12 hour shifts, sometimes up to 55 hours a week at an emotionally taxing job. I would then come home and try to deal with my over tired, mother deprived children who needed every second of my attention. Sleep, shower, repeat. It was a miserable situation. One thing that would have made it better was being able to implement some sort of self care routine. I always felt like I was too busy to do this.
Cue a year later and although I am on maternity leave, my work load is entirely different. I have three young children, two of whom are almost entirely dependent on me for their every need. Although I have help in the evenings for bath time and bed time, it is still taxing to manage a family and home. Self care once again was not a priority.
It became increasingly apparent to me as I was constantly on the verge of a tearful emotional breakdown in both of these situations that I needed to carve out time for myself. A self care routine was of the upmost importance. You cannot give to others if your cup is empty. Burnout hurts and it is necessary to do whatever it takes before you get to that point.
My Self Care Routine
The first thing I did when I started implementing self-care is to carve out a specific time of day for this. I decided to choose evening because that was really the only time I could relax and focus. It is important that you schedule this in to your day. Writing it in your planner is a great idea. It’s an appointment with yourself.
I decided what I was going to do. For me, reading and writing is therapeutic so I began downloading tons of books and made a habit of reading. Writing and planning is also something I really enjoy, so I added those in there as well.
Water is great for calming and relaxing so I try to fit in a “therapy shower” every night. It’s nice to wash the day off.
Last in my evening self care routine is stretching. I don’t do an entire yoga routine (although this is a great idea if you enjoy it) but I do like to do a few stretches before heading to bed.
I’m working on implementing more self care through the day, but that is something I need to do over time.
How To Make A Self Care Plan
- Carve out your time.
- Choose your therapy.
It’s necessary to make time for weekly self care as well. This may include something that takes more time, like a hike or a weekend adventure. Self care doesn’t just have to be done alone, either. Bring your partner as a way to work on your relationship at the same time. As long as you get to take a break from life, you’re golden.
Since I know how difficult it can be to fit self care into your day, I’ve designed a Weekly Self Care Plan to help keep us on track. Sign up below to download!