Invest in Yourself: Building a Self-care Practice Part 2
Here’s part 2 of part 1 on building a self-care practice. If you haven’t read part 1, I encourage you to do so! It’s about a 4-minute read of my thoughts and feels on self-care. If you’ve already read it, go forth! Do note, this is about a 4-5 minute read.
I posted this week about building a self-care practice. Today, I want to provide you with tools you can use to begin building your own self-care practice. As with anything I talk about it in this space, it will require you to be intentional. With building a routine or creating a self-care practice, you must be willing to set aside the time to make it happen. These things don’t come ready made, ya dig?
Now, never feel you must do it in one sitting! But, I have found that when I set aside time, be that 10 mins or 30 mins, to commit to creating the routines and habits I want my life to echo, I’m better for it!
So, here’s how we build a self-care practice at This Wondrous Life:
1. Ask Yourself Some Questions
The first step is to acknowledge and explore what self-care has looked like for you. Maybe it’s something you do or have done but not consistently or maybe you just don’t practice it. Whichever side you are on, here are some questions to ask yourself:
What do you want to protect?
What do you want to cultivate, build, and/or steward with your self-care?
What brings you joy? How can you make that into a tangible or actionable step?
What exhausts you and how can you change or minimize it?
What feeds your soul and how can you make more room for it?
You don’t have to answer them all! Pick the ones that challenge you the most and dig into them! Remember, these are just starting points for you to explore where you are. You may find as you ask these questions, you are asking yourself different ones. That’s beautiful and I encourage you to lean into it.
2. Create and Write down your definition of self-care
Like I said in my previous post, self-care is subjective. What I may consider to be self-care, may not be the same for you and that’s perfectly fine! Here’s what I want you to do:
Take a moment to think about what self-care means to you. Try asking this question: What does it look like for you in the current space you are in mentally, emotionally, physically and so on?
In 1-3 sentences, concise your responses to these questions to define it for yourself.
Place your definition somewhere you can see often and let it be a reminder as you build your routine.
3. Write and Plan it out.
In writing it out, I would suggest to first list things you enjoy doing. You can refer to any of the questions you asked yourself in step 1. Once you have your list, pick 1 to 3 of those things you can do, realistically, every day that would be a form of self-care for you. If you have a morning and/or evening routine, you can count them as your daily self-care.
Next, after creating your list, plan for it. Think about how long it will take and carve out the time each day to do these things. Whether that’s waking up earlier or prepping for work the night before, figure out how much time you want to give towards self-care each day and make room for it.
For me, my morning and evening routines are my form of self-care every day. For about 30-45 minutes, I allow myself to lean into the routines. Mind you, some days it looks perfect, I wake up at the right time or I’m home in time to start, and it is gold. Other times, I find I’m going with the flow, finding pockets of time throughout the day for each routine.
You may not have a daily routine and that’s fine. Building your daily self-care practice doesn’t have to revolve around that. You really do get to decide what self-care looks like for you. However, if you don’t have any daily routines, I encourage you to think about creating one!
If you want to continue your self-care practice beyond daily, just repeat the above steps for weekly, monthly and so on.
4. Just Do It.
Easier said than done, but it’s true. Just do it!
Now, remember, start small and build from there. One small step towards self-care is better than trying to do 50 different things and ultimately never practicing it. If it’s just carving out 5 minutes every afternoon for deep breathing exercises, do it. If it’s booking massages every three months, do it. If it’s buying yourself flowers at the beginning of the week or month, do it.
I know that was like A TON of information and insight. If you take away nothing at all, I hope you walk away with this:
YOU matter. Holistically. Practicing self-care is so much more than doing fun things or taking breaks, it is truly loving and investing in yourself. So, take it one day at a time. Don’t compare your self-care practice to anyone else’s. It’s a journey that ebbs and flows, remember that as you begin to build your self-care practice.
I know that was lengthy and if you’d made it to this part—I appreciate your soul! Now, I want to challenge you! Find time over the next three weeks to begin building your self-care practice. Take a photo or video and post it on IG, Twitter, or Facebook with the hashtag #TWLSelfcare. I want to see the steps you’re taking to pursue self-care this year!
Do you already practice self-care? If so, what are some things you do?
Share below! I’d love to hear your thoughts!