5 Steps to Create a Self-care Routine That Works for You. Self-care for Busy People & Self-care Apps

I know, I know; you want to hustle and work hard and achieve a lot. But tell you what, self-care will not stop you from that, instead it’s going to fuel your energy to hustle more. Dr. Jennifer Heemstra writes “self-care is not the enemy of performance”, you can always do more by taking good care of yourself. Spend some time every day in self-care and you’ll see a peak raise in your performances. Indulging in self-care also helps you in loving yourself more.

With all the productivity, hard work, hustle related content out there, it’s very easy to get lost in work and forget about self-care. That leads to stress, overwhelm, and burnout. To avoid that, it’s necessary to take out some time for yourself and pamper yourself.

What is self-care?

The term is self-explanatory, isn’t it? Taking care of self is self-care. But what exact activities one should do for self-care? I will mention a simple rule- do what you like AND what’s good for you.

What self-care isn’t?

If you’re simply forcing yourself to do something you don’t like, just because it’s good for you, it isn’t self-care. If you don’t like spa visits (that’s what we see in most of the self-care activity suggestions!), you don’t have to put it in your list. If you don’t like dancing, don’t do it as a self-care activity. Don’t do something you don’t like.

2 categories-

Any self-care activity can be of 2 categories- 1. It’s good for you 2. It’s not good for you but makes you feel good at the end.

But the important thing to remember is- a self-care is an activity you genuinely enjoy, and that truly relaxes you. It might be eating ice cream or binge-watching your favorite show. I know these are not very helpful for your growth, but they make you feel good. So, it’s okay to indulge in them once in a while. Other activities like exercising, meditating, or reading a book are both enjoyable AND good for your well-being and growth.

My point is, pick an activity you truly enjoy and feel good after doing it. You might enjoy scrolling through social media, but you don’t feel good after that. Instead, choose to consume content that motivates you, like motivational videos or blog posts (like this one?!). You may not like exercising, but you feel amazing after doing it. So, pick an exercise that you enjoy.

How to do it when you are busy?

You might ask, “all these are fine Anusha, but I’m so busy, how do I get time for self-care?” But trust me, some things are so easy to do you don’t even need extra time to do them.

Let’s say you get recharged when you listen to soothing music (or upbeat music). Have them in the background when you’re cooking or doing the chores. Light a scented candle while eating your dinner. Watch your favorite show while doing the dishes or chopping the vegetable or on your way from your office to home. Read your favorite book for just 10 minutes, have that relaxing skincare routine for just 10 minutes (taking out 10 minutes is not difficult, right?).

Keep your self-care going on in the background, even if you can’t dedicate a lot of time to it.

How to build a routine?

Why is it important to build a routine? Because we are all always focused on doing more, working more, achieving more, running ahead of everyone, making sure the needs of the family are met and what not! If you don’t plan and schedule your self-care, you will definitely forget to take time out for yourself! Psychologist and counselor Raphailia Michael says “Self-care needs to be something you actively plan, rather than something that just happens

Here are 5 steps to create a self-care routine that works for you-

1. Make a list of things you love-

Make a list of all the activities you love- reading, singing, creating a DIY, talking to your partner, partying with friends, calling your mom, anything and everything. Also, create a ‘NO’ list- not accepting tasks you don’t want to do, not entertaining negative people, not overthinking past or future, basically things that disturb your peace. Promise yourself that you’ll avoid doing them as much as possible.

2. Pick 3 top activities

Pick your top 3 favorite activities which you enjoy the most. You can also pick just one if you’re short of time.

3. Schedule them in your day- time and place

This is a very important step so make sure you don’t skip this. In your calendar or planner, schedule these activities. In his book ‘atomic habits’, the author says it’s always more likely that you perform a task if you clearly define the time and place you’re going to perform it. So, schedule these 3 activities to your day. (For example, your activities are skincare, reading, and spending time with your spouse. Write down- I will do my skincare routine at 9 pm in my bedroom; I will read for 10 minutes before bed/just after waking up/during my commute; I will talk to my spouse while cooking or having dinner).

4. Reward yourself at the end of the week

What’s life without rewards?!! Track your self-care activities every day and treat yourself with your favorite food or give yourself a pat on the back.

5. Be flexible and make changes with time

Although maintaining a self-care routine is important, it shouldn’t become a chore. It’s YOUR self-care, YOUR time, so be flexible and make necessary changes as you go on.

Apps for self-care:

1. Headspace-

Headspace is a meditation app. It’s very beginner-friendly and has tons of guided meditations to help you. They also have sleepcasts, visualization meditations to soothe you into sleep. This will help you keep your mind clutter-free and calm.

2. Happify-

Happify is amazing for your mental well-being. There are activities to find your signature strengths. As you log in, it asks you to take a happiness check-in which will help you observe and analyze your thoughts. There’s also an interesting section called ‘tracks’ which consists of science-based activities to overcome negative thinking, have better relationships, love your job, and much more

3. What’s up-

This app is a mix of journaling and checking in. You can save your thoughts, notes etc by noting them down here. If you want to feel calm at the moment or ease stress or anxiety, there are exercises to get grounded, breathwork, and much more.

4. 21 days challenge-

This is an amazing app that suggests you, challenges for 21 days. It has inbuilt challenges like fitness, self-care, meditation challenges, etc. You can also create your own challenge.

That’s about self-care. I hope this article helps you to build a self-care routine for yourself. See you next week…..

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