Updated: Feb 26
Knowing how to start a self-care routine can become an unnecessary obstacle keeping us from taking the first, next, or even final steps to putting our health and wellbeing first. Interestingly enough, self-care is what you make it as long as you strive for balance.
Anytime you're ready is a good time to start
Figure out when you want to start your self-care activity. Your needs and wants are bound to change based on seasons, moon phases, times of the month, and accessibility so figuring out when you'd like to start is one of the best places to begin narrowing things down.
I plan for shorter activities in the morning and evenings when I know time is precious and really don't have the time available to get into anything longer than an hour during those times of the day.
Try this: Use a paper or digital calendar (I use the calendar app on my phone) to begin blocking 15 minutes to 1 hour of self-care time twice daily. Start with 3 days a week if daily time blocks seem out of reach.
Plan activities that are designed for you
Your self-care activities should be designed for you and center around that theme. Self-care. The same way time is devoted to j.o.b. work, errands, and family is the same way it needs to be devoted to you.
How do you want to feel in the morning before you fully step into your day?
What's the thing you need most before your head hits the pillow at night?
Most mornings I'm up by 6:30 am and my go-to is a cup of herbal tea (on rare occasions I have coffee) and my gratitude journal at a bare minimum. Honestly, there are days where I've skipped the tea until later in the morning just so I can get to my gratitude journal and start my day if I'm pressed for time. Some days I bring out my yoga mat for a nice stretch and light workout and others I watch the birds from my balcony. I go with what I feel is needed because I don't like it feeling rigid or rehearsed.
Don't get discouraged
Things don't always go as planned but don't let that get you discouraged. Adjust and re-adjust if you need to so you can make time for the important stuff.
What are things that can or can't wait?
Where can your time be better spent or managed?
Part of meeting self-care goals is being honest with how you're going to get there and identifying blockers along the way. This includes pathways to self-care. This takes time and some light planning at the very least. If I need to get the laundry done or run errands so it doesn't interrupt my self-care time later in the day then I'm most likely going to get those things taken care of so I can be fully present during exclusive me time.
Developing a self-care habit is one of the best ways to begin bringing your life into balance. It leads to living your best life and showing others they can do the same. Love for ourselves extends to lover for others.