Friends. This is my year of finally practicing what I preach regarding a self-care routine. I’ve had so many life-instances pop-up and slap me in my face while screaming, “JUST TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!!!” And you know what? I have finally heard what the universe is saying and put together a sustainable self-care routine. While having a self-care routine is important, making sure the components legit feed you is one of the most important things to consider. So let’s chat about that.
What Does It Mean To Have A Sustainable Self-Care Routine?
When you think of self-care, what comes to mind? For some of us, we think of these multi-thousand dollar retreats that are designed to help us relax while facilitating a change in our thought process or just allowing us to sleep in without kids. Honestly, all of this looks like self-care to me but not doing this isn’t what got me into trouble health-wise last year. It’s also not what got me out of the almost hot water I was in.
Sustainable self-care means that this is something that you can keep up daily, weekly, monthly without wondering if you can afford to do it. While these retreats are super relaxing and fun, for many of us, they are not sustainable because you have to have lots of liquid funds. And when you have 3 kids that gauge your fridge on the regular, thousands of free dollars is not something that you really have.
The Importance of Having A Sustainable Self-Care Routine
Self-care is an act that is done just for you. While you may not be the only one who benefits from you completing the act, it is done with ONLY you in mind. So while working out and being more active means that I’ll likely be around longer for my kids, I may choose to dance because that’s what makes ME feel good.
A sustainable self-care practice is more necessary now than ever before–especially for people who have one parent that’s working which is most of us. Even if you aren’t the working parent, you feel the effects of the workforce on your family. People are being tasked with the jobs of 3 and expected to work insane hours. This means EVERYONE is in overdrive. Whereas my husband may only work from 8-4:30, he leaves the house at 7am and doesn’t get home until 6pm. By the time he arrives, he’s exhausted from functioning in more than one role at his job and is spent.
In order for any of us to show up for ourselves, each other, our children, we need to make sure that our proverbial cups are filled every.single.day–not just when we have a spare $5k to drop on a retreat. So what does this look like? What are some things to incorporate? How do you make this happen?
I’ve got you covered.
Components of a Sustainable Self-Care Practice
I started therapy this year and as we were talking about the frequency that I would come, she told me that anything longer than 2 weeks is in vain because it wouldn’t be effective. This is the same for your self-care routine. There should be at least one thing that you do daily that feeds just you. Just like there should be things weekly, monthly, annually as well.
Doing Something Physically
This includes everything pertaining to the physical aspect of you. So think nutrition, activity, sleep. In fact, these are all intertwined. I can’t even describe to you the lack of love I feel if I get anything under 6 hours of sleep.
Examples of Physical Self-Care:
- Working out
- Eating foods that are good for YOU
- Sleeping 7+ hours
- Taking a walk
- Doing yoga
- Not drinking excessive amounts of caffeine
- Taking your vitamins
- Taking your probiotic
- Eating consistently
- Showering (yes, this is added because sometimes a shower is life-changing)
Feeding Your Mental
When I say mental, I also include the emotional part of you as well. When was the last time you learned something? Or how about the last time you gave yourself a break from worrying about, well, everything?
Examples of Mental/Emotional Self-Care:
- Taking a social media break
- Enrolling in a class to learn something new
- Saying your affirmations daily
- Having a hobby
- Release your emotions
- Have coffee/dinner with friends
- Stay at a hotel overnight
- Listen to music
Keep In Touch With Your Spirituality
Note that I said spirituality, not religion. You can be super religious and lack spirituality and vice versa. Spirituality is about maintaining and increasing your relationship with the higher power that you believe in. This is so important to keep you grounded and balanced.
Examples of feeding your spirituality:
- Spend time outdoors (hike, walk, sunbathe)
- Go to formal worship
- Treat others with respect
- Journal your daily moments of gratitude
- Pray/Have conversations with God/higher power
Ok friends. Now it’s your turn. What does your ideal self-care routine look like?