Chances are, you stumbled upon this post because you’re feeling exhausted and are looking for a quick pick-me-up. While I am horrible at practicing self-care and oftentimes find myself completely drained before finally admitting I need to take a breather, I can’t stress the importance of self-care enough.
I’ve noticed that when I stick to things like a sleeping schedule, regular writing sessions to get my thoughts out and doing something for myself every single day, it’s easier for me to deal with both every day and long-term struggles.
Having said that, these tips are more tailored toward the ones who have been going on for way too long and need time to heal. I find that, in order to feel like an actual human being after a bad experience or just a period of setbacks, it helps to implement change and make a self-care routine to stick to. Just like brushing your teeth and feeding the dog, self-care is something that should be ingrained in everyday things in order to have a significant effect on your well-being. So, without further ado, here are my 5 Easy Habits For a Healthy Self-Care Routine.
01 get on a sleeping schedule
Remember when you used to hate going to bed? Your parents would chase you around the house, force you into your pajamas, and still, you would find an excuse to get up a billion times before finally dozing off. As I have gotten older, I have noticed that I actually like sleep – a lot. And that I function best when I have enough of it (but certainly not too much). Therefore, when I found myself mentally and physically drained last year, I decided to adopt a sleeping schedule. This meant going to bed at the exact same time every night and setting an alarm for the same time every morning.
Of course, if I feel like going out or if I’m staying over at somewhere, I won’t be so vigorous about my sleeping schedule. I sleep from roughly 10 pm to 7 am. Which means that around 9 pm I now automatically go around the house to see if there is anything I need to put away or prepare for the next day and that I start getting sleepy at around 9.30 pm. This also means that I automatically wake up around the time my alarm goes off. Even on the weekends, your girl is up bright and early while still being well-rested. So I get a lot of stuff done and can make the most out of my day without feeling rushed or strapped for time.
02 write your thoughts down
There are a lot of benefits to journaling every day. For starters, it amplifies your focus and allows you to explore your thoughts without any pressure. I love talking to friends when something is bothering me, but sometimes I simply don’t know how to express myself or I feel embarrassed to talk about something. Because of this, I got some super inexpensive craft cover notebooks from Hema and just started the habit of writing when I wake up feeling overwhelmed.
And yes, sometimes your words will make you cry, but sometimes you will have a smile on your face at the end of a writing session. By sitting with yourself, a pen and some paper, you are forced to review how you feel – how you actually feel. Just try writing a couple of pages every single day for two weeks and see how that makes you feel. Not sure how or where to start? Watch this video about stream of consciousness writing by Lavendaire for some guidance:
03 do something for yourself every day
This is a no-brainer, but make sure that you do something you love every single day. Now, if you’re an extreme sports lover, I get that it is difficult to do that every single day. But just think of things that calm you down and make you feel at ease. For me, this is reading, writing, and playing around with my Bullet Journal. Something like writing this post for you is calming me down because I love to create. To be completely honest, when I feel at my worst I notice that it’s because I haven’t let my creativity loose for a while.
Drawing, making music, reading, gaming – all of these activities may seem like a waste of time, but we need them to enrich our lives. This is why me-time is very important to me, and, dare I say, for everyone. By learning how to be by yourself and entertain yourself, you will feel lighter and happier on days when you just don’t want to get out of bed. Just pick one thing a day that makes you happy and commit to it for an hour, maybe more, maybe less.
Or give this a try: 10-Minute Yoga For Self-Care – Yoga With Adriene
04 adopt a nighttime routine
This could be something as simple as having a foot bath while watching Netflix or talking on the phone with your best friend, but make sure that you have time to wind down at the end of the day. Now, don’t go planning your entire evening to make sure that you get as much self-care and winding down time as you can, but simply set aside some time every evening to focus on yourself before getting into bed.
As I said before, writing or reading is perfect for this. Another great tip is to meditate. I’m not very good at sticking to a meditation schedule, but I do have the Headspace app on my phone for days when I feel so unsettled that I need a bit of help emptying my thoughts so I can fall asleep. On most days I tend to read, reply to messages, watch a TED Talk or listen to a podcast. As long as it calms me down, I’m as happy as a clam.
ONE LAST THING: GOOD LUCK
I hope there are some habits in here that work for you. You don’t have to implement all of them (at once), but just look at what works for you and makes you happy. Don’t like reading, for example? Try painting or origami. As long as it works for you and gives you that extra bounce in your step, you’re headed in the right direction.
If you have any tips of your own, feel free to leave them down below and maybe I can try some new ones out for myself!