Hello again friends! I am all about self care over here. So much so, that when I fall off of my self care routine, I really notice it. I start to feel run-down, drained, and even depressed.
Because of the impact it is has on me and my life, I am learning to put caring for myself on the top of my priority list. I have a two young boys who rely on me for a lot. And I wouldn’t have it any other way! However, I feel I can’t really give the people I love the best of me, if I am running on an empty tank, so to speak. I find when I make myself a priority, I fill myself up, and as a result, I have more to give to my family, and I feel so much happier! So basically self care is a win-win 😉
For me, self care and self love are very interrelated, so this post covers what I typically do to take care of myself, physically, mentally, and emotionally ♥.
I hope this helps you with your own self care and happiness. I do want to say that whatever you are doing, make sure you are listening to yourself, and not following a rigid regimen. That is the opposite of self care. I have put together this post as a guide, not as strict routine. I worked my way up to this point, over time, not overnight. If you listen to yourself, and do things for yourself out of love, you will feel better than if you act like your own drill sergeant (yikes!). Self care and self love are not all-or-nothing process. Whatever you can do each day, or each week, it’s a start, and it’ll add up! Overtime you will look back and see the benefits and your own growth, and with that, you will want to do more for yourself, and that’s how the positive cycle begins!
(scroll down for a summary of my self care routine)
Benefits of Self-Care
Overtime I have noticed how much better my life has been since I’ve prioritized my self care.
I have less anxiety.
I am more loving with others
I am more satisfied with my day, my week, my month, etc.
I do not feel like I am lacking anything. I feel fortunate.
My relationships are more meaningful, deeper.
I am content with myself.
I am more confident.
I have lost weight.
I have learned to listen to myself, instead of others expectations or societal pressures.
Now is this all from my self care routine? Maybe, or maybe not. My self care has allowed some of these other factors to come into play. I think it’s all related, and good self care helps other areas in your life improve. Kind of like a snowball effect, but in a positive way ?.
Before I even get out of bed and let the day run me, I try to get into a good, positive feeling, so that I feel like I am running my day, and overall my own life. The worst feeling for me is when I feel like I am just a slave to my own life, that I am just going through the motions, with no real joy or time to myself. I want to feel good and enjoy my life. I want to truly live my best life. And right now, I feel like I am! Yay :D. This self care routine plays a huge roll in that.
Before I even get out of bed and let the day run me, I try to get into a good, positive feeling, so that I feel like I am running my day.
So, before I even get out of bed I will practice gratitude and visualization:
I feel thankful for:
Something I’m doing well
The people I love and who love me
My current living situation/how fortunate I am.
I envision where I want my day to go, how I want to feel overall, what I want to accomplish , and how I will feel when I have done that.
After I feel I have mentally set myself up for a good day, I get out of bed and head to the kitchen to start up my coffee.
I truly savour my first cup of coffee each morning. I give myself time to do this. I also pull out my journal at this time, and often I will turn on my Daily Calm app and listen to some soothing nature sounds while I journal.
I let what’s on my mind pour out. It’s not about good writing, in fact I often don’t even go back and read it. I sort through things here. I write down what I want to improve about myself, I write down what I am doing well, I write down something that is hurting me. This allows me to process things, heal my hurts, envision my future, let go of things I don’t need anymore, and most importantly, to grow!
Then I get dressed and ready for the day.
When I look in the mirror I try to focus on something I like about myself. I put on make up and do my hair; I try to dress nicely.
This always pays off. I feel more confident throughout the day, and over time I’ve internalized that I like how I look, and that makes me feel good. (self confidence was a battle for me, but overtime I got there!)
I get my kids fed and ready, drop them off, or some days my hubby does that, and I head over to work.
I try my best to stay positive throughout out the day, but I’ve learned that no one can be positive or happy all the time.
I’ve noticed when I am tired, I am not so positive. I try not to think of big things like life, or how I am doing with life at these times; that’s just negative self talk. I do not give too much weight to that. I give more weight to my positive thoughts. (to learn how to be kinder to yourself, read this post.)
I meditate , but it’s nothing fancy, I really just focus on my breathing, in and out, while listening to some ocean waves or rain sounds. I use the daily calm app, and I couldn’t do without it!
I sometimes put it on as I drive home from work. I have noisy days at work, so I need some quiet before I get home to more noise. (:D)
Dedicated Self-Care Time
I give myself some time each night that’s just for self care. I usually need about an hour at least – sometimes its to work out ( I like to run, or if it’s raining, I get on my elliptical), sometimes it’s to read, sometimes its to watch my favourite show, and sometimes I just take a long hot bath and then vegetate on my bed. It doesn’t have to be the same thing each night.
I really am not a fan of sticking to a strict schedule with anything in my life. I can’t maintain that. I more so aim to do things to better myself because I want to. I want to take care of myself, so I try my best to plan for that, and set myself up for success. Please don’t take this routine and then be harsh with yourself for not following it. That would be awful! That is the opposite effect I want this post to have on you. If you can’t do all of these things , that’s totally ok! Start with one thing. Once you have gotten used to that, maybe add another one, then one more,etc. I didn’t get to feeling this good and happy overnight, nor did I force any of this on myself. I eventually incorporated all of these things over time. And I did that because they made me feel good, not because someone told me to and I listened to them over myself.
Other Things I Do To Take Care of Myself
As much as I love binge watching on Netflix, and trust me, I do my fair share of this…I try to limit this to once a week. During school holidays, I let myself go all out,and binge watch like crazy..but during my regular life, I know that lack of sleep is what ruins my self care, and sets me into a negative cycle, where I feel tired, grumpy, and then I make poor choices, like eating badly, drinking more, staying up later each night, etc.
I have noticed when I browse social media, even if I don’t mean to, I end up comparing myself to others. I had to learn to make a conscious effort to stop doing that, and even still, that is not so easy.
So what I really try to do is use social media for inspiration and motivation. I limit my time and keep track of how I am feeling. If I feel my energy is dipping toward the negative, then I just exit.
I also do not go on social media right before bed or first thing in the morning. I am conscious of what I am telling myself, and more often than not, when I am on social media , I notice the messages I am telling myself are that I am not good enough or I need to be more like so and so; and that does not lead to happiness! So, I save my social media time for when I have already mentally set myself up for the day, and I almost have an armour against those messages.
For my blog and business posts, I am learning to schedule my posts as much as possible, so when I want them to go out first thing in the morning, or late at night, then I don’t have to think about it, I just let the scheduler prompt me and I hit the post button. (I use Tailwind to schedule my Instagram posts).
Learn To Say No
I don’t say yes to every invitation I receive, and I plan my nights out with my friends for when it works for me. Right now I notice I feel balanced (and not overwhelmed) if I have one night out on a Friday night, and the rest of the weekend, I get to be home with my family. I am a bit of a home-body, so that might not work for you! 🙂
I am using a planner (shout out to the fabulous planner community!), and wow it has changed my life! I feel that now I am not carrying so much around in my head. Currently I am using the Happy Planner. It is awesome! I love the vertical layout, and the stickers that come with it.
Take Responsibility For Yourself
I am taking responsibility for my health, wealth, and happiness. No one else is going to make me happy, healthy, or wealthy. That is all on me. That’s why it’s so important to do this or yourself. Take care of yourself, for you. You deserve the life you have always dreamed of, and it’s entirely possible. Go out there and get it!
Feel All The Feels
I allow myself to feel all my feelings; the good, the bad, and the ugly! Thinking positive does not mean ignoring or battling your darker side. Every feeling is yours, own them and learn from them. What are they trying to tell you? If I am fixating on something “negative”, and I don’t initially know why, I usually work through it in my journal. I might ask myself:
Why is it bothering me?
What do I wish had happened instead?
What am I going to do differently moving forward?
I take stock of whatever the issue was. Clearly it was important enough to me for me to get all worked up over it, so I need to pay attention to that. (this is a key part of personal growth 🙂 )
I read inspirational quotes at least a few times a week. If you are looking for people to follow, I really suggest @Vexking and @Idillionare. Reading their words always helps me with my mindset, and with dealing with difficult things in my life. Also, Pinterest is a great place to find inspirational quotes! Once you have saved a few quotes that you like, similar quotes will automatically show up in your feed. It’s awesome! You can check out my board for inspirational quotes here. I am adding to it daily :).
Things I Am Not Doing
I am not eating my feelings. If I am sad, anxious, or depressed, I am not eating them away. I used to do this. Instead I m journaling, running, or mediating. This has been a game changer!
I am not drinking a glass of wine each day. I know this is societally normal! I had my phase of doing this. But for me, It didn’t put me in a better state overall. Alcohol is a depressant. It lowers your energy and your state of being. You need more to feel the same level of normal the next day. Instead of a glass of wine as a mood lifter, I am working out, and listening to my favourite tunes.
And finally, I am not punishing myself for not being perfect. I am looking at what went well each day,and trying to be happy with the progress I have made over time. We are often our own worst enemies, because we expect so much from ourselves. Give yourself a break, and applaud yourself for the little things you are doing each day that are just for you.
I really hope all of this was helpful! Stay tuned for more posts on self care in the future. Until next time lovelies,