Self-care routines have become a trending topic these days, but it's more than just fancy words - there's science behind how they help to reduce stress, calm the mind, & support healthy cortisol levels.
But the question is, how do you create a weekly self care routine that you'll actually stick to? After all, we get pulled in so many directions these days, often taking care of everyone but ourselves. Without your cup being full though, it's hard to truly be able to pour into others'.
So without further adieu, here are 4 of my favorite tips on making your self care habit stick:
1. Pick 3-5 Stress Relief Activities that Help You Relax
I'll be the first to admit that I have trouble sticking to things like workout plans or starting a new healthy habit at times - because of things like jobs, to-do lists, & Netflix. BUT, what I have found is that having several stacked, relaxing things I enjoy significantly helps compared to snagging 10 or 15 minutes here or there throughout the week.
For me, it's things like taking a slow, hot shower (as compared to the 3-minute pre-work dousing), reading a couple chapters from the latest book I'm into, or doing some self-discovery journaling.
When you pick a couple stress-relieving ideas & add them together, you get more of your self care because it allows your body to relax fully. We don't actually have time to fully de-stress when we consider our self-care listening to podcasts on the way to work, or a quick spin class after dinner; our brains need a considerable chunk of time to fully exit money-mind mode.
2. Start with Your Skin
Name me something that makes you feel more relaxed faster than a hot bath, long shower, or good massage? Anything?
Starting with your skin creates a physical sensation of relaxation that triggers the brain to go into parasympathetic mode, which helps support your stress hormones, and allows your body to go "ahhhhhhh". It more easily helps your mind unwind.
Plus, who doesn't love a good excuse to check out a new face mask or body scrub? Warm, relaxed, and with soft skin - that's a perfect recipe for self care.
3. Limit Distractions
Now, I'm not saying no distractions here - because let's be honest, it's hard to avoid distractions all together. Your kids are gonna run into the room. Your dogs are going to suddenly realize other people live in your subdivision and freak out. Hubby's going to need help finding the coffee filters - it happens!
So, as much as you can, try to cut down the on the distractions. Especially the big ones, like your TV & phone. This means not having the TV on in the background, because you & I both know you'll get sucked into watching 7 episodes of The Office.
Find a spot that's quiet & you feel calm in. Turn of the TV & silence your phone if you can. Having a designated space helps trigger your brain each week that it's time to unwind, & you'll likely feel it's easier each week to relax.
4 Pick a Specific Date & Time
Picking a specific day of the week to schedule your self care time will make you more likely to stick to it because you can schedule your to-do list around it.
I prefer Sunday mornings - it's the perfect end to a crazy week & busy weekend, & it recharges me for Monday. Plus, the Bills' game comes on right after, so it's the perfect Sunday recipe (#gobills).
Having a designated day will also give you something to look forward to each week - and that key to getting that habit to stick. Enjoy relaxing. Enjoy your time. Fill up your cup. Then you can pour into others. -xo, Tracy