Everyone raves on about the importance of self-care, but when you take a look into your daily routine, are you actually practising what you preach?
Self-care is deeply personal and looks different for each person, which is why it can become overwhelming when there are so many different ways we can choose to practice it.
What works for some people might not be enjoyable for you, which is why it’s important to recognise what makes YOU happy and content, and understand what you need to be able to wake up every morning feeling your best.
Self-care is an art of balance, and comes down to five elements that work together to create harmony.
The 5 key areas of self-care are your physical, social, mental, spiritual and emotional wellbeing.
If your current routine is lacking a few of these elements, you might be feeling the signs of fatigue, irritability or stress.
Let’s take a minute to check in with your current self-care habits. Be honest and be free of judgement when you're answering these questions to yourself, and take time to reflect on the areas where you may be lacking.
- Are you moving your body each day in some form or another?
- Are you getting enough sleep each night?
- Are you fuelling your body with nutritious foods that make you feel good? Are you eating enough food to energise you, or do you tend to overeat and feel sluggish?
- Are you drinking enough water to make you glow from the inside out?
- Are you taking enough time to nurture your relationships?
- Do the people you surround yourself with leave you feeling positive, uplifted and energised?
- Do you let yourself be honest and vulnerable with the people closest to you, and allow them to listen and support you in return?
- Do you create healthy boundaries for yourself, and give yourself the power to say no when you want to?
- Do you set yourself goals and regularly challenge yourself to grow and learn?
- Do you take time to switch off your devices for a period of time each day?
- Can you pin point the causes of your stress, and recognise your negative coping strategies when these feelings arise?
- Do you take time to be present and sit with yourself, to reflect on your emotions and physical feelings.
- Do you practice a form of meditation or breathwork?
- Do you recognise and express your sense of gratitude each day?
- Do you ground yourself by connecting with nature regularly?
- Do you visualise and manifest your desires?
- Can you recognise your real emotions and allow yourself to feel them without judgement?
- Do you check in with your thoughts and feelings throughout the day, and notice when negative emotions arise?
- Do you have positive self talk, and tell yourself affirmations and words of encouragement?
- Do you take a break when you're feeling overwhelmed?
No need to fear if there's some big blanks and you're not currently fulfilling a lot of the practices above. Even if you've said yes to the majority, there's always room for improvement.
But it’s not about ticking off all the check-boxes and doing all these things at once. Not every day of your self-care routine will look the same either, unless a strict routine is what works best in your life.
Understand that just like nature, we humans live seasonally, and our needs will change depending on the phase we're going through. We will go through energetic phases of growth and building, and sometimes we require more rest to regenerate and refresh ourselves.
Self-care is ultimately about giving ourselves the time to slow down to tune into our bodies and minds to understand where we’re at, and honour ourselves with what we truly need.
To get more in-touch with true yourself, we highly recommend making a self-care plan and creating a routine that works for you and you'll look forward to.
How to make a self-care plan
We make plans for our social life, work schedules, holidays and exercise regimes, but often fail to plan time for something as simple, yet essential as self-care. Before you can step into other aspects of your life as your best self, you need to take care of your own needs first.
You don’t need to worry about mastering all 5 aspects at once, this will come by building upon smaller habits bit-by-bit to create your perfect routine with time.
Each week, you can work on implementing one new self-care habit, and eventually create a complete self-care routine that will leave you feeling and being your best.
Here are 5 important ingredients to help you build the perfect self-care routine.
- Take time to do something you love, every. single. day. Destroy the idea that ‘me-time’ is selfish. Let yourself be 100% guilt-free for doing something that makes you happy. The people in your life will also benefit from you feeling refreshed and content, because you'll be able to show up as your best self in all situations.
- It’s so important to be able to sit with yourself and be present with your thoughts. Whether that’s through guided meditation, sitting in stillness, or through breathwork - take the time to develop a deeper sense of purpose, connection, and alignment with your true self. Finding the time for just 2 minutes of mindful meditation each day will have an immense effect on your mindset.
- Moving your body is another form of meditation for some, and is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your wellbeing. Exercise releases positive endorphins, increases your energy levels, sleep quality and boosts your mental and sexual health. It’s also so important to tune in to how your body is feeling, and know when to rest.
- Never underestimate the power of manifestation! The thoughts and words you put out into the universe will be reflected back to you, so it’s important to only speak words that you wish to come true and avoid negative self talk. Use visualisation techniques to express your true desires and intentions, and start to embody how it would feel to have these things come true. “If you can see it in your mind, you will hold it in your hands”.
Maintain your sense of you
- Always remember to put your own needs first. Learn to recognise when you need to give yourself more attention, and make the effort to fulfil these personal needs. Self-love includes developing healthy boundaries with others and knowing when to say no.
Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you for taking a little more time to practice self-care, and will show you love and abundance in return.
Now that you’ve got all the tools, put down your devices for a moment and take time to do something for you.