10 Ways to Add Self-Care to Your Daily Routine

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Self-care is one of the topics that always sounds great in theory, but the practice usually goes by the wayside as humans find themselves jumping from one obligation to the next, without additional thought ever being given to the subject.

This sets up an alarming domino effect which can grow to challenge our physical — as well as mental — health.

Once our resources are depleted, it is generally more difficult to reclaim the portion of ourselves that doesn’t feel out of sorts, overwhelmed or exhausted. The better idea, therefore, would be to include a plan which adds self-care to your daily to-do list, just as you schedule all of the work and home tasks which already — and repeatedly — demand your attention.

Choosing to be a human being (rather than a human doing) is as simple as adding some of these quick ways to engage in self-care to your daily routines:

1. Evaluate the people in your social circles. The people who are part of your day-to-day life experience are influential. These are the people with whom you spend much of the precious time allotted to you. If ever you are feeling consistently drained by any members of your social circle (including those in your social media circles), it might be time to reexamine their position within that circle. Each day you get to choose the people who are part of your life. It’s up to you to take the time to only select the individuals who inspire you to be the best version of yourself.

2. Make time for gratitude. Nothing improves even the worst day as quickly as an attitude of gratitude can. Whether you write down the things for which you are grateful (or you share your thankfulness with the people for whom you are grateful) the effortless act of expressing gratitude adds volumes of happiness to each and every day.

3. Surround yourself with beauty. Framed photographs of loved ones, a small vase of fresh flowers, file folders in bright hues, a stapler in your favorite color, glittery multi-colored pens and paper clips in fun shapes prove that even the most mundane items can be attractive. Beauty feeds your soul, so arrange the spaces around you with an eye toward creating pleasurable environments with heart.

4. Choose one thing that makes you happy (and do it). This can be something easy (e.g. singing your favorite song, dancing in the kitchen when cooking a meal, going out with a friend, cuddling with a person or a pet) or as time-intensive (e.g. creating a piece of artwork, journaling, writing a poem, going on a day trip, spending the day in silence, going to dinner or the movies) as you wish. Choose happiness, every day.

5. Create a Comfort Basket/Box. Gather items together which bring you comfort. Items to include might be a stuffed animal, a treasured book, your favorite cup (with a sealed sachet of tea, coffee or cocoa in it), a small box of your favorite candy, a savory snack, a wrapped bag of microwave popcorn, a peaceful CD, a DVD of a movie you enjoy, letters written to you, blank greeting cards, your address book, stamps, a small photo album of family, friends and pets, etc. Place the items you’ve gathered items into a box (which you can personalize and/or decorate) or into a pretty basket. Then whenever a challenging day strikes, you’ll be ready for some quiet time with all of the items which bring you comfort.

6. Purchase an item of pure indulgence. This can be a richly scented body cream, a bag of your favorite coffee, a tea blend you’ve wanted to try, a luxurious bottle of bubble bath, a bottle of wine, sparkling water, a cheery coffee cup, a vintage tea cup, colored pencils, a coloring book, a book with daily essays, etc. The point is not to spend a lot of money but instead to purchase something which gives you a deep sense of abiding joy. After purchasing your indulgence item, be sure to schedule the time for you to savor (and appreciate) your treat each and every day (or night).

7. Create a motto for your life. Take time to consider the things that make you, you; consider your talents, goals, dreams and ideals. Then you can factor in the things which are most important in your life. Once you’ve committed to paper the essence of your being, carefully construct the motto/mission statement by which you will live. By crafting your life motto, you’ll be aware of the decisions you make on a daily basis which carry you towards your goals (or further away from them). Be a ruthless editor of your life. You can do that by only allowing the things to remain which are related to the dreams you have for yourself.

8. Allow yourself time spent outside. Never underestimate the power of nature to restore balance to your soul. Once outside, immerse yourself in the experience so that you can fully appreciate the sights, scents and sounds around you.

9. Start a “Feel Good” notebook. In the notebook you can write (or cut and glue from emails/online threads) compliments you’ve received, words that have special meaning to you, ideas for ways you can gift yourself some time for care in the future, craft art collages of images you find peaceful, joyful or inspirational and you might also include quotes you appreciate (or wish to remember). Whenever “life moments” happen you can flip through your notebook to remind yourself of the images, words and people you hold dear. In this way you have a portable means of having gentle support, whenever the need arises.

10. Learn how to say “no” gracefully. Sometimes giving yourself the permission to say “no” is the greatest gift of self-care you can give yourself (which doesn’t cost a cent).

Adding self-care to your daily schedule of events is imperative to your health and well-being. Make some time for yourself. I promise, you won’t regret it.