How to Make Self-Care a Part of Your Routine
“New year, new me”, one of the most common catch phrases we hear at the beginning of the new year. But what does that actually entail? Many times, we use it to emphasize that we are going to focus more on ourselves– eat better, be healthier, exercise more frequently; yet it becomes overwhelming, daunting even, and then we lose focus. However, what we don’t realize is how easy it is to make self-care a part of our daily routine.
Self-care usually ends up at the bottom of our to-do lists, suffocated by all our excuses, but becoming the best version of you means investing in yourself wholeheartedly. Making the time to take care of both your body and your mind without feeling guilty sounds like it can be too much but here are 4 simple ways that you can work towards the “new you”.
1. Get enough sleep.
I absolutely LOVE my sleep and yet I found myself rarely getting much of it. In a study done by the National Sleep Foundation, experts found that the ideal amount of sleep time per night varied by age, but for adults between 18-65 it was around 7-9 hours of sleep. Well, I wasn’t getting anywhere remotely close to that, and I was in awe of all the health risks associated with poor sleep. I realized that all I needed to do was adjust my routine just a smidge, and I would be able to get the correct amount of sleep. When I was finally able to figure out a way to get at a minimum of 7 hours of sleep, it made a huge difference in my body.
2. Acknowledge and honor your own boundaries.
And what I mean by this is learning that it is ok to say no. Taking on more than you can manage just to please others becomes burdensome. Many of us struggle with setting the appropriate boundaries and end up agreeing to events or ideas that aren’t of interest to us. Or overcommitting to helping others when you are already overwhelmed with your own tasks. It’s perfectly acceptable to say no—without feeling selfish. Spreading yourself thin can lead to anger and frustration, which is definitely not helpful to your wellbeing. So, let’s get comfortable expressing ourselves—trust me they will figure out another way without you.
3. Plan ahead.
Let’s be real, if we don’t schedule ahead usually we won’t follow through with plans. And it’s no different when it comes to self-care. Put it in your calendar—schedule a recurring appointment with yourself. It can be as simple as planning your lunch/dinner for the week so that you alleviate some stress. Or setting aside time (for example 30 minutes) to read, do yoga, or watch your favorite show. Whatever it is, make it a point to stick to your schedule. Set reminders, inform your partner, your children, whomever you need to that for those 30 minutes you are unavailable.
4. Keep it simple.
Self-care doesn’t have to be extravagant; it just has to be something that can help you decompress, recharge, and show up with the healthiest version of you. Find something you love and incorporate in your daily routine. It can be anything—for example a walk with nature, keeping a gratitude journal, meditating, or a short at home beauty routine. Start small and try different things until you find the right fit.
It won’t be perfect, and that’s okay. There will be some days where it’s easy to practice self-care and other days where you lay in bed at the end of the night and can’t even remember if you brushed your teeth nor do you care, and that’s just life. What’s important is that you recognize that it was a rough day and you get back in the saddle the next day, with a fresh start. And if you need an accountability partner or want some more guidance on how to have a more positive mindset, schedule a session with me or call our office today at 817-778-0522. Together, we can plan your self-care options. I would love to be a part of your “new year, new me” journey!
Stephanie Silva, LPC-Associate
Supervised by Scott Martindale, LPC-S