Self-care is a term that’s used so often, but the common misconception we hear is that all self-care needs to look the same for everyone. We’re here to tell you differently. A self-care routine needs to be unique to each person because we all have different needs, wants, and goals when it comes to our well-being. For example, some may define their ideal self-care routine as going for a daily nature hike, while others may prefer to stay at home watching their favourite movie. It’s essential that you determine what self-care looks like for you, and it’s okay if it looks different to someone else’s ideal routine. In fact, it should look different!
Don’t allow yourself to slip into the mindset that your self-care routine needs to look a certain way in order for it to be successful, or even worse, that you don’t actually need to prioritize your health at all. The reality is that you do need to prioritize your well-being, and that involves finding a self-care routine that provides you with the comfort and support you require.
Pinpointing your ideal self-care routine can bring you happiness, put you back into alignment, and help you overcome feeling mentally and physically exhausted. Even the most “overboard” or seemingly “simple” self-care activities can end up being the most beneficial to you. All that matters is that you’re catering to your own needs and wants, and that your self-care routine makes you feel like the best version of yourself.
But how can you determine what self-care routine is best for you? Through some self-discovery, we can figure out what it is that our minds and bodies truly need in order to heal and perform at their best. Continue through this guide for tips on how to create the perfect self-care routine for yourself!
Discovering your perfect self-care routine
Self-care is much more than taking a short break from your responsibilities to relax. For your self-care journey to actually be beneficial to you, it must be derived from big-picture goals. In other words, there must be reasoning behind why you’re doing what you’re doing.
These goals can come in many different forms, but it should be something that requires long-term effort, like reducing the amount of stress you suffer from, or wanting to be more organized in your life. These goals will take time, but that’s okay! Self-care is more about the quality of your progress, rather than how long it takes you to get to the end.
If you’re finding it difficult to identify what your ideal self-care routine looks like, follow these step-by-step instructions on how to create the perfect routine for you!
STEP ONE – FIGURE OUT YOUR SELF-CARE GOALS
In order to determine what your perfect self-care routine should look like, you must first define your self-care goals. Goals pertaining to your well-being should focus on big-picture goals that require a long-term commitment. After all, your mental and physical health aren’t things you can heal overnight. It takes time to maintain a balanced and happy lifestyle, and this starts with prioritizing self-care.
Big-picture goals can be anything that is classified as a lifestyle change. These goals focus on all aspects of a situation, not just one specific detail, so they may require a long-term commitment. These goals can be daunting to take on because of the amount of consistency, effort, and commitment they need in order to be successful, so be sure you’re ready for that! For example, a big-picture goal could be wanting to be more organized. That’s an overarching goal because in order to accomplish this, you must make multiple small changes.
When deciding what your goals are, remember that they should revolve around what you want. Don’t focus on the needs and wants of others because for this process to truly be beneficial for you, it must be tailored to what you require to live a happier and healthier life, no matter what that is.
Having self-care goals is important for your general well-being. These goals are what provides you with the motivation to become a better version of yourself by prioritizing your needs, and finding ways to continuously self-reflect. They are also good to keep with you as a reminder about why you’re on this journey.
Write down your goals on a sheet of paper, laptop, or phone. Keep them somewhere where you can easily revisit them over the course of your self-care journey.
STEP TWO – FIND ACTIVITIES YOU WOULD ENJOY DOING
Now that you’ve identified your goals, it’s time to find activities you would enjoy doing to help you achieve them. Try starting with the ones you would really have fun doing to motivate you through this next step. Figure out what activities bring you the most joy and excitement when thinking about them, and write those down first. You’re more likely to commit to these activities if you’re excited about them!
For example, if your goal is to reduce stress in your life, and you enjoy physical movement, an activity you can do to reach that goal is taking a calming walk around your neighborhood to clear your mind. It plays on your interests, while still helping you achieve your overall goal.
STEP THREE – FIND ACTIVITIES YOU SHOULD DO BUT MAY NOT LOVE
This process is also about finding a balance between what you want and what you need. Since you’ve figured out what activities you want to be doing, it’s time to figure out what activities you should be doing in addition to those. These activities may not be the most fun, and you may struggle to do them, but that’s okay. The road to wellness is not always the easiest, but it’s absolutely worth it.
The perfect self-care routine should push us a tiny bit out of our comfort zones, while still keeping that balance between things that come easy to us, and things that require more work. With the right mindset, you may even find yourself enjoying activities you don’t love in your self-care routine once you see how helpful they can be to your mental and physical health.
For example, if your goal is to reduce stress, this activity could be folding your laundry as soon as it’s dry to avoid buildup and the stress that comes from that. Sure, folding your laundry may not be the most exciting activity to add to your self-care routine, but it will ultimately help you to reach your big-picture goal.
STEP FOUR – ASSESS AND ADJUST YOUR CURRENT SELF-CARE ROUTINE
Look at your calendar and schedule in your activities to better reach your goals. There’s no need to remove your other responsibilities from your schedule, but be sure to prioritize your self-care wherever you can. The most important thing is to be realistic when it comes to scheduling your self-care activities. Sit down and ask yourself these questions:
- How many activities are you able to do?
- Will that amount overwhelm you?
- How much time do you have in your schedule to do these things?
For your self-care routine to be the most beneficial, you need to work with your schedule’s natural flow. If you know that doing a self-care activity every day is unrealistic for you, aim for 3 times a week if that’s more manageable. This way you’re still prioritizing your self-care, without compromising your other commitments.
Evaluate what you currently do in your self-care routine and cut unnecessary things that no longer align with the goals you made for yourself at the beginning of this guide. Adjusting your activities is important to ensure you have the most beneficial and up-to-date routine, especially as you continually change your goals.
STEP FIVE – IMPLEMENT YOUR NEW SELF-CARE ROUTINE
Go ahead and implement your changes, but be flexible as you do it. Going too far in the beginning can discourage you from continuing this journey. Start small and gradually build up your habits. Once you feel more comfortable, you can add more to your routine.
Self-care never looks the same. As we change, so should our self-care routine. Always be ready to adjust your routine because your needs and wants may look different 6 months from you starting this journey. Change is normal and inevitable, but that doesn’t mean it should be stressful. Having a solid self-care routine can help us manage stress, and provide us with a happier outlook on life.
Loti-approved ideas to add to your self-care routine:
CREATE A “YAY” LIST
This is an end-of-day routine where you spend 5 minutes writing down every event of the day that made you say YAY. Focus only on the positive as this is the last thing you’re doing before bed. This will set you up for a pleasant sleep and morning!
DRINK YOUR MORNING COFFEE OUTSIDE
This is an early morning routine where you spend at least a few minutes outside for some peace before the day gets hectic. Oftentimes, we start our day off badly by running around and not enjoying life. This gives you the opportunity to sit outside, clear your mind, and have a few moments to truly appreciate what you have. Want to bring this to a higher level? Try using this as a time for movement with a walk around the block before you start your day. Set the tone for the day!
MAKE THE ULTIMATE “HAPPY MUSIC” PLAYLIST
Music can really improve your mood, especially if it’s an entire playlist of all your favourite songs and artists. Take the time to create a playlist on your phone with songs that instantly boost your mood. You can then use the playlist in the car as you drive to work or to complete errands, or even play it around the house as you do housework. It can turn an unpleasant or mundane activity into a fun time, and put you in a great mood so you’re ready for the rest of your day!
Get excited to prioritize yourself
Self-care means something different to everyone, so it’s important to define what it means for you, and then prioritize it in your routine. It doesn’t have to be boring or considered a chore. Self-care can be whatever you need it to be. Making time for your self-care needs is essential to your well-being, and it must be prioritized, because taking care of yourself is not selfish. We all deserve to be happy and healthy, so get excited about this process because the time to put yourself first is now!
We hope this guide helps you along your self-care journey. Now that you have the recipe for the perfect self-care routine, we know you’ll do great! Be sure to follow us on Instagram @lotiwellness for more self-care tips, and check out the rest of our blogs to further help you along your wellness journey.