Take These 5 Steps to Revive Your Self-Care Routine

I think one of the biggest things that the year 2020 has taught us is that our health and well-being is of utmost importance. Self-care is more important than ever. And it’s also something that so many people struggle to do regularly.

We tend to get so caught up in our day-to-day lives and the rush of our busy world that we forget to take care of ourselves. For a lot of people, it’s extra challenging to take care of ourselves because we are responsible for taking care of other people. Sometimes we spend our whole days taking care of children, customers, co-workers, spouses or partners, family members, friends, and then there’s no energy left at the end of the day to take care of ourselves.

It’s important to know that when you take care of yourself first, this is not selfish. It’s cliche, but you can’t pour from an empty cup. When you leave your self-care last on your list, you are operating at a reduced capacity throughout your day. This means that when you are taking care of everyone else, you can’t do it as well as you could if you had your own cup filled first. When you pour from an empty cup, there is very little available for the people you are giving to and nothing left for you. When you fill up your cup first, you have everything that you need and the overflow can go to the people that you are taking care of. This means more for you, and more for the people you take care of.

Just think about it. How well do you parent your kids or do your job at work when you are exhausted and neglecting your well-being? Not very well. When you prioritize your own self-care and well-being, you are able to give more. Put yourself first on your list and the people you love and are responsible for will not get less but more than before.

Have you dropped your self-care habits or fallen out of your routine? Take these five steps to revive your self-care routine:

  1. Get clear on your needs. If you want to take care of yourself well, you first have to know what you actually need the most. What do you really need right now? Do you need more energy, better quality sleep, alone time, or maybe even to feel more inspired? How do you want to feel? Write it down.
  2. Pick only one thing to start with. I know this is hard if you feel like your self-care routine has totally gone down the drain, but pick only one thing to start with. If you pick 5 things, you’ll give up and end up right back where you started. Pick just one thing that you will do everyday that goes towards meeting your needs. You can pick the easiest thing to implement or the thing that you think will make the biggest difference towards meeting your needs.
  3. Make it easy.  Set yourself up for success by planning how you will incorporate this self-care habit into your routine. Maybe set an alarm on your phone, set your gym clothes out the night before, or ask a friend to text you to remind you. Write down when you will do this self-care habit and what you need in order to be able to do it. Create the plan for how you will incorporate this self-care habit to make sure that you actually do it.
  4. Keep track. Keep yourself accountable by keeping track of every time you remember to do your self-care habit. This is how something new becomes something that is part of your everyday routine. You can use a journal or notes on your phone or a tracking app to track your success.
  5. Do it for 10 days before adding the next habit.  Do your new self-care habit for 10 days in a row before adding something else. Doing it for 10 days allows it to go from being something you have to consciously remember, to something that is more and more on autopilot. Once your self-care habit is pretty much on autopilot, then you are ready to add the next one.

Need some ideas? Check out our list of 50 Easy Self-Care Ideas.

Contributed by Melanie Maxwell, R.H.N.