Nov 16 2022

9 Important Steps to Creating a Self-Care Routine That Works

The world is fast-paced and hectic. Even with our constant connection to technology and endless scientific inventions, we face various challenges daily. It goes without saying that self-care is important now more than ever.

With all the stress you face daily, it’s necessary to have “you” times to relax and recharge. If you don’t prioritize self-care, you may feel stressed, unhappy, or overwhelmed. Self-care is more important now more than ever!

In this article, you’ll learn why self-care is important, what it entails, and how to create a self-care routine that works.

Minimal portrait of beautiful African-American woman enjoying skincare routine at home and taking selfie.

What is Self-Care?

Self-care encompasses all the steps you take to develop your well-being, either physically, mentally, or emotionally. Many people think the idea of self-care is selfishness, but it means taking care of yourself to stay healthy, sound, and productive.

Self-care activities include: eating healthy food, going on vacation, doing a hobby you enjoy, sleeping, hitting the gym, reading, and journaling.

Self-care isn’t the same for everyone. In fact, what is self-care for you today might not feel the same way next week, but any activity that helps you maintain a healthy and positive lifestyle is an act of self-care.

African American man is meditating in lotus posture.

Types of Self-Care

  • Physical self-care, like exercising, having a bubble bath, taking a nature walk, sleeping well, and choosing healthy food over junk.
  • Mental self-care, like going to therapy, reading a good book, reading about something that fascinates you, watching movies you like, solving a puzzle, doing something challenging.
  • Emotional self-care, like partying with your friends, having a deep conversation with a loved one, saying “no” when you feel overwhelmed, canceling appointments when you’re tired, and vibing to your favorite song.
  • Spiritual self-care, like meditation, yoga, incorporating random acts of kindness into your day, attending a religious program, and keeping a gratitude journal.

Why is Self-Care Important?

All the exfoliators and glow oils in the world will not work on your skin if you don’t bathe regularly. Hitting the gym once in two weeks won’t help you get toned muscles and six packs.

And if you don’t sleep well, even meditation may be unable to help you focus. In fact, when you try to meditate, you’ll doze off because you’re neglecting your body’s need for sleep!

In essence, to live a healthy, productive, and fulfilling life, self-care is necessary. What does self-care do for you?

  • It reduces stress.
  • It sharpens your focus.
  • It improves productivity.
  • It can help you stay energized and motivated.
  • It improves your physical health and immune system.
  • It helps you stay aware of your personal needs.
  • It can help to build and maintain self-confidence.

Glamorous african american woman in warm fur coat pose at street.

9 Steps to Creating a Self-Care Routine That Works

Self-care is essential for maintaining both physical and mental well-being, but creating a self-care routine that works for you can be a bit tricky. That’s why I’ve put together this guide to help you.

From identifying your needs to setting realistic goals and tracking your progress, these steps will help you create a self-care routine that is tailored to your unique needs and lifestyle. Let’s get started!

Consider your interests

Happiness and better health are by-products of self-care, so creating a self-care routine totally depends on what works for you. Therefore, the activities you choose should be ones that genuinely interest you. What do you like to do? What activities help you relax? Note them and evaluate their impacts on your general well-being.

Assess your needs

Evaluate your general well-being. What would make you a better person in any aspect? What parts of your life do you want to improve on? What do you think will make your life 5x better? Losing some weight? Sleeping early? Make a list of these things.

Create a self-care plan

Think about the activities that will help you become a better person and find ways to input them in your day-to-day life. For instance, if your goal is to lose excess belly fat, waking up an hour earlier every morning and jogging for 30 minutes will help. If music is how you unwind, spend at least 30 minutes every day doing nothing but listening to music.

Shot of amiling woman making a self-care plan.

Take baby steps—and be proud of them

Start small. You don’t have to hit all your goals at once. Indulge in one or two acts of self-care daily and be consistent. In no time, your efforts will pay off! Besides, it takes a strong sense of discipline to start anything, anyway, so be proud of your progress.

Evaluate your progress

Has your self-care routine been working for you? Do you feel happier or healthier? If your answer is no, go back to the drawing board. If your answer is somewhere satisfactory, you can do better to maintain the routine. And if your answer is yes, well done!

Have a backup plan

If you discover your self-care routine isn’t working, or that you’re neglecting a certain aspect of your life, create a backup plan that can help. If you need help working one out, you can reach out to a life coach or mental health professional. They’ll help you put things in perspective and devise better self-care strategies.

Indecisive black man scratches head, carries papers with data and diagram, feels puzzled as has to prepare financial report, isolated over white wall. Office employee with dark skin holds document

Cut yourself some slack if things don’t go as planned

Following through with your self-care routine or goals may not go as planned due to unforeseen circumstances. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Feel free to readjust your self-care plan anytime—but ensure that you’re doing things that make you happier and healthier.

Also, it helps to be realistic. For example, if your goal is to have toned muscles and six packs, you can’t expect results in two weeks.

Show up every day

Consistency is the key to growth in any aspect of life. Even on days when you don’t feel like showing up, try to squeeze in one or two things. Make self-care a priority; in the end, it’ll be worth it.

Set up a reward system

Reward yourself for taking care of yourself! For example, if you went to the gym for two weeks in a row, you totally deserve a nice spa session. Rewarding yourself for good work will spur you to do better.

Portrait of a pretty young african woman in headband

Bottom Line

Self-care is different for everyone, so your self-care routine should be customized to fit your needs. Also, the goal is to evolve into a better version of yourself, so don’t try to do everything at once or feel bad when things don’t go as planned. Focus on small, daily activities that help you feel happier and healthier.

And if you feel stuck anywhere, feel free to reach out to us with questions. Our mental health professionals are readily available to help and support you.

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