I got up on a Monday morning to get ready for work. Instead, I sat frozen on the toilet, just staring at the shower, watching the water run down.
I knew I needed to get in if I was going to get to work on time. But, I literally could not move from that toilet. When I did get up, I walked into the living room, opened my laptop, filled out an official resignation form and pressed send.
That was the beginning of my wellness journey.
I spent the next few years unraveling the events that led to that day. What I discovered is I had been ignoring all the warning signs: overwhelm at work, sleepless nights, using up all ten of my sick days, a flailing marriage, high anxiety and extreme stress, all blaring sirens of distress.
I’m sharing my story because I want you believe it when I say you cannot serve your family, contribute to your household, or be a good employee when you’re running on empty.
So, I’m asking you to join me on this wellness journey. We’ll start with some ideas on how to start a self-care routine.
How to Start a Self-Care Routine
Developing a self-care routine takes time, trial and error. You may even fall off the wagon a few times, but the point is to implement change and make progress.
9 Tips for Starting a Self-Care Routine
- Consider how you neglect yourself and make a list of the changes you’d like to make.
- Consider what brings you joy and fills your cup and make room for those activities on your schedule. ex. hobbies, outings, activities
- Take it slowly. A big overhaul all at once almost always results in failure. (Think New Year’s Resolutions.) So, add one change at a time until it becomes habit. Then introduce another change into your routine.
- Have everything you need to implement change on hand. ex. exercise equipment, skin care products
- By the same token, identify and get rid of anything that is keeping you from making a change. ex. junk food, excuses, poor habits
- Let your family in on your plans, explaining how important this change is to you and offering ideas for how they can help.
- Protect your time. If you get asked to do something or be somewhere when you’re planning on going for a jog, getting a haircut, meeting a friend for lunch, taking a long bath, or going on a Netflix binge, say no.
- Get over the guilt. Taking care of yourself is the most selfless thing you can do.
- Just add you. Schedule your self-care time into your week just like you would any other plans.
How to Make Time for Self-Care
There’s a misconception that self-care is synonymous with pampering. Self-care can include pampering, but true self care is anything that nurtures your soul, renews your mind and fills your cup.
If you need some ideas, I created a list of 31 ways to practice self-care. Get your list here. Many of them take just a few minutes and are easy to incorporate into your day.
I think that is key to creating a self-care routine you can stick to.
For more on self-care tips, read:
You deserve it!