Hi there! Today i’m giving you some ideas of how you can incorporate self care into your daily routine as a “regular person”. You know, someone who works a full time job and doesn’t have thousands of dollars to spend on private yoga classes and retreats to tropical islands. These are just ideas. Self care will look different to everyone, and that’s okay!
Also I don’t want to pretend that I actually do *ALL* of these everyday – I don’t. I’m not perfect, you know? But making a conscious effort to do some of these on a regular basis has seriously made a big difference with my over all mental health and well-being. I’m separating my ideas into time of day, just to show you how easy it can be to slide some of these in to a regular routine. If you’re like me and your schedule changes a lot day to day, you may load the morning up more and keep the night time easy, or vice-versa.
MORNING / BEFORE WORK:
ALARM – Trying to incorporate self care into your daily routine first thing in the morning may seem overboard, but it’s not. I like to use the bedtime alarm on my iPhone instead of the regular alarm. In the clock app, you can set a wake up time, and how long you want the wake up to last. This sets the alarm to gradually get louder to gently wake you up. The regular alarm is just so jarring. Starting the morning by being aggressively awoken has had a negative effect on my anxiety, so I try to be really conscious of this.
HEADSPACE – Not the app, although it is lovely – I give myself an extra 5-10 minutes in bed to kind of meditate, sit with my feelings, set intentions for the day, and just wake up before I’m rushing to get ready. This is a quick and easy way to incorporate self care into your daily routine. It doesn’t really take any time out of the day, and you don’t need anything extra to do it.
NO PHONE – This one is HARD for me. It’s such a habit to just grab your phone and start scrolling when you have those few minutes in bed. But I’ve really been trying not to be on social media at all until I’m on the way to work in the bus or car. Social media isn’t bad, but mindlessly scrolling just isn’t a productive or healthy use of time for me. I’m still working on it, but consuming media first thing in the morning definitely can soil the mood or have your mind racing before you’ve even had a chance to wake up.
HYDRATE – Another super quick way to incorporate self care into your daily routine. I try to drink a large cup of water before I have any coffee. Some days this is harder than others, but hydration is key! I am for a gallon of water a day (which equals 5 of my venti reusable starbucks cup).
BREAKFAST – I try to have a little healthy breakfast in the morning, even if it’s just a piece of fruit or a smoothie just to get some nutrients in. I don’t force myself to eat when I’m not hungry, so this usually happens a lot later in the morning for me (around 11am/12pm). Work with your body.
MOVEMENT – Just something light for me. Depending on time, this could be a little walk, a 5-10 minute full body stretch, a bit of yoga. Really anything to try to get the muscles working a bit.
PODCASTS – I love listening to a podcast on the way to work, it really just sets the mood. This is another great way to incorporate self care into your daily routine without even realizing it. When I listen to podcasts during my commute I tend to be more mindful. I think about what’s being said. For me, this can be a bit better way to spend my time than just scrolling on IG. Some of my favourite podcasts are @tscpodcast, @highestselfpodcast and @milehigherpod
BREAK / LUNCH (usually @ work):
HEALTHY FOOD – As boring as it is, food is fuel! I am SUCH a sucker for junk. Like I LOVE an A&W beyond meat burger or some fries, but I literally never feel good after I eat those foods. In order for my mind to process as it should, I find i need to fuel your body with whole foods, which can be delicious too! I’ve been trying to make my own lunches, but sometimes I do end up buying out still, and that’s okay! Girls gotta eat! Healthy food is a great way to incorporate self care into your daily routine, and nourish your body.
BOOK OR PODCAST – on my break I tend to always be sucked into the world of social media. I’m sitting in the back room at my job, and just not knowing what to do with the time I will open Instagram, refresh it and scroll a few times, close it, then open twitter and repeat. Over and over, because let’s face it, what the hell else do I do?! Well, I read a book. I listen to a podcast. I go outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air. Or at least I’m trying to. It’s just about trying to build better habits. No one is “perfect” with these things, and I always want to stress that that’s FINE! Self care shouldn’t stress us out.
ALONE TIME – take 5-10 minutes and leave work or go to a quiet area to decompress. Call it meditation, call it whatever you want, but taking 5-10 minutes to yourself to just process everything is a game changer. It seems basic, but how often in a social situation do we really step a way and take a moment to check in with ourselves? For me, the answer is basically never. I like to step outside for this, or stick my headphones in and just walk around outside of work for a bit. Honestly, I am a HUGE empath so I pick up how everyone else is feeling a lot. Negativity, complaining, gossip (all normal things) can be super draining, and I don’t always have it in me to deal with it, so taking a step out to just be alone helps a lot to quiet the noise.
EVENING / AFTER WORK:
MOVEMENT (again) – wether it’s a workout, some yoga, a class, or just a small walk, movement is KEY. Exercise actually releases endorphins in your brain that help you feel happy and less stressed. This can be a great way to incorporate self care into your daily routine. Working out use to intimidate me a lot. I felt like I never had time, I was too out of shape to do enough, I would see results, the list goes on. Until I realized a little bit is better than nothing, and even just getting out for a walk can be a game changer!
FRESH AIR – even just 10 minutes of breathing outside, walk outside, read a book for a bit on the deck, just GET THE HECK OUTSIDE! Fresh air is so soothing to me. It just makes me feel good.
Also, put your feet on the ground. Try to find non man-made ground to do this with, like grass, sand, etc. This is called grounding, and it’s amazing. It feels awesome. I don’t know the most about the science behind it, so it could just be placebo, but it makes me feel so amazing. Basically, the earth has a negative energy (not negative as in bad, negative like one side of a magnet). The earth’s subtle negative energy can rebalance our bodies. It may sound crazy, but just try it and let yourself feel it. Even if it is just placebo, it can still make you feel amazing to be connected physically with the earth.
MEAL PREP – When I’m making dinner, I just make extras for lunches. This way I can guarantee I will have lunches with lots of healthy nutrients for work, and I won’t end up buying fries again for the 3rd time that week. Plus, cooking can be therapeutic! Anything to occupy the hands and brain for a bit is good for me. This way of incorporating self care into your daily routine can also help set you up for an easier day tomorrow!
10 MINUTE TIDY – because a clean space is a happy space. Need I say more? But really, having a clean space to exist in – wether I’m being productive or just relaxing and watching a movie – is a necessity. It gives me mental clarity.
SHOWER / BATH – as basic as it is, baths are a godsend. This is another easy way to incorporate self care into your daily routine. I love putting a pretty bath bomb, or bath oil in the tub and getting my soak on. Call me basic, but it’s enjoyable. Also, bath salts can be amazing for relaxing muscle tension, they can release and cleanse negative energy, and they have a grounding effect – if you believe in all that. (I do!)
JOURNAL – just a few pages. Seriously it’s life changing. Journaling let’s you process everything that you felt throughout the day, it’s meditative, and it’s a great way to release the anxious thoughts that pass through our minds daily. You can do this morning too and write out some affirmations for your day, how you feel, things you’re grateful for, or even some creative writing.
MOVIES – Another super easy way to incorporate self care into your daily routine. I love watching movies when I’m feeling particularly anxious, stressed, or run down. Especially watching movies that bring me a feeling of nostalgia. It just feels good. I put movies, but this can be anything that brings you joy and makes you feel chill.
SKINCARE – my skincare routine is like my ritual. It’s seriously so meditative. Taking like 10-20 minutes to totally wind down, and do something for myself is magic. I didn’t even realize how much my brain shut down when I did my skincare, but seriously it’s like meditation! And taking care of yourself should always be a priority. Skincare routines are bliss. Sometimes skincare, makeup and anything in that realm can be seen as vanity, but I disagree with that so much. Giving yourself the love you deserve is beautiful, and you deserve to feel valued by yourself. Check out my summer beauty must haves here.
BEDTIME – My bedtime is different every day, since my work schedule changes daily. I try to get to bed somewhat early(which doesn’t usually work out for me), but no matter when I go to sleep, I schedule it to give me 8-8.5 hours sleep. Getting a good sleep is key to mental and physical wellness.
Depending on your schedule, these can change around. If you work later in the day, working out, journaling and walking are also great morning activities. Some days I’m off at 10pm, so on those nights I just try to wind down as efficiently as possible – that means instead of doing a whole routine, I may just grab a quick nighttime snack like some oatmeal with fruit, shower and do a skincare routine then read in bed before I sleep. It doesn’t have to be long, just efficient.
I also find putting focus to shift my thoughts has helped. I try to remain as positive as I can with my outlook, but I still let myself feel my emotions. There is nothing wrong with feeling frustrated, upset, angry, etc. Keeping those feelings in is unhealthy. Instead, I let myself feel what I’m feeling, but then I try to release it. Journaling helps – it’s a great way to know your feelings are accounted for, but you can leave them behind on the page.
Find time a few days a week for a hobby. Even if it seems silly. Blogging has been a fun escape for me, I love making thumbnail collages for my posts, and sometimes i just make themed collages for fun. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, or costly. Just something you do just for fun. I’ve even made edits of photos I like just for fun with no intention to ever post them. Some other idea’s I like to do are painting, reading, drawing on my ipad (I use procreate) and digital journaling.
Hopefully this gave you an idea or two for ways you can incorporate self care into your daily routine. Thanks for reading!