Self-care has been one of the biggest topics of conversation in social media for the past few years and for good reason. Without taking care of ourselves we cannot take care of other things or people like our job or loved ones. As a collective, we are realizing that we do need to take a break and recharge ourselves instead of powering through and hustling as these can lead to burnout, breakdowns, mental health issues, etc.
But, with all of the self-care tips out there, it can be difficult to know what to incorporate into our routine. So, where do we start? We start by finding out what we need.
Before we begin, we would like to let you know that this article is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, cure, or medically advise about anything. If you would like to have a professional opinion please look for a medical care provider near you.
And now, let’s begin.
What do you need to restore yourself?
Everyone is different, which means that your self-care routine will be different from your best friend’s or neighbor’s routine, even slightly. What gives you energy does not necessarily give another person the boost they need.
Susannah Winters, a doula, said it best in her TEDx Talk when she was explaining what self-care is.
“Self-care is what’s needed for your well-being and should always leave you with more energy and feelings of revitalization”, said Winters, “Often, the activities that are described as self-care leave you more depleted and with less energy (like binge-watching Netflix)”.
Winters pointed out that self-care can be as simple as breathing deeply in the middle of the workday to calm down or re-center yourself. Whatever you do, it needs to restore or reset your body, mind, and heart.
“Self-care is taking care of your wellbeing through activities that help us”, said Winters, “Restorative activities”.
Depending on the person these restorative activities can look different. Let’s take the example of the introvert and the extrovert. An introvert is a person that restores their batteries by taking time to themselves and being alone. On the other hand, an extrovert gets their energy replenished by being around people. So, for the introvert self-care might look like staying in their room to watch tv or do art. An extrovert’s self-care might look like going out with friends, and enjoying their company.
If you are not sure what kind of activities restore your energy, we have a few suggestions for you.
1- Engage with Nature
There have been studies that show that walking or engaging with nature helps regulate the body, and calm the mind. Among the specific things that it can do is lower blood pressure, stabilize the nervous system, lower stress, increase the feel-good hormones, and help with mental illnesses.
Most people prefer walks or hikes but you can engage with nature in your backyard or by working with your home plants.
2- Writing or Reading
Writing has the benefit of helping you release your emotions on a page and sort out your thoughts. Reading helps you detach from the real world for a few moments and engage in a world of imagination that usually fills readers with lots of energy.
3- Going out with friends or family
If hanging out with people is more your thing, then you can invite family or friends for an adventure in the woods, doing sports together, going for a picnic or barbecue, going to public events like concerts, or just hanging out at your house.
4- A long bath
Baths can help us unwind and release the stress of the day. You can personalize your bath time with things like candles, aromatherapy, bath bombs, soft music, etc.
If you need a more active way of releasing stress and recharging yourself dancing can be for you. Whether you do it professionally or not, studies have shown that dancing does wonders for the mind, body, and heart. Depending on who you ask, it also helps us spiritually.
6- Listening to music
We can all agree that a good song or sing-a-long can help us get ready for the day. So, pick out your favorite song for hyping you up and dance, listen, or sing along to it until you feel recharged again.
7- Not doing anything
Sometimes not doing anything is the best thing to do. If you’re feeling so unmotivated that you don’t even have the energy to play that favorite song that you like or don’t feel that your usual self-care habits are working, then it might be time to sit or lie down and not do anything at all. Just rest.
8- Talking to a friend
Talking to a friend can help us unburden ourselves and recharge. It helps us feel closer to others, gives us intimacy, and helps us form bonds. Of course, we have to be careful not to put too much on our friends but if this works for you, it could be part of your self-care routine.
9- Breathing/Breathing exercises
Just like we pointed out in the beginning, sometimes taking a breath is all the self-care you need at the moment. And sometimes a breathing exercise routine is needed. There are different types of breathwork out there that not only help with stress but with other things as well. You will need to research and try a few out before deciding the best one for you.
Exercising is one of the things that health workers all around always advise us to do. It helps manage illnesses whether they are physical or mental, and it keeps our bodies working in peak condition. Exercising can sometimes be boring but try to seek out something that stands out for you and think about how well you feel after you have exercised.
There are many more ways and things that you can find to put into your self-care routine, don’t just stick with the list given here. Explore different things until you find the perfect combination for you.
Schedule in your self-care routine
Now that you have your self-care routine or, at least, an idea of what you would like to do it’s time to schedule it into your daily routine. Now, scheduling in your self-care can mean actually writing it down on your planner or just remembering to do it whenever you feel overwhelmed or in need of some energizing techniques.
There are some things that you will have to carve out time to do like hiking, dancing, exercising, but there are other things that you don’t necessarily have to put aside time to do like breathing or meditating for 2 minutes.
Your self-care routine needs to cater to you and not the other way around. If this is the first time you have thought about implementing a self-care routine consciously, then start small. Do one thing at a time for a few months and then implement another. If it feels like too much, you can scale it back again.
Don’t worry about forgetting to do something or not being consistent at first. It takes time to build a new routine. Focus on your achievements and keep going, eventually, you will be able to establish one that fits your needs.
Do you have a self-care routine already? Tell us in the comments about your routine. Don’t forget to follow our YouTube channel for more lifestyle and wellness tips.
How To Adult. (2017, May 3). A Self-Care Action Plan [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0iVTQS8ftg
TEDx Talks. (2019, January 4). Self Care: What It Is | Susannah Winters | TEDxHiltonHeadWomen [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBn0ETS6XDk