Routines help us predict and plan. They provide stability and make us feel safe. They also help us achieve our dreams. Developing and sticking with a routine that’s aligned with your goals is one of the best ways to achieve success. If your goal is to improve and maintain your overall health and wellbeing, a self-care routine is essential.
Personally, I resisted routine and structure for a long time, thinking it would restrict my freedom and creativity. The reality couldn’t be more different. Having a structure allows me to use my time more effectively, so I can be more productive, more creative and healthier.
So how do you create a self-care routine that supports your wellbeing?
Simplicity Is Key
Above all, keep it simple. Over-complicated routines tend to be overwhelming. The idea is to enjoy your self-care practices and have fun. A routine centred around your wellbeing needs to give you the space, time and energy to learn, adjust, grow and expand, as well as reflect and rest.
Prioritising everyday self-care such as sleep, good food, movement, meditation, play, time in nature, and connecting with loved ones creates a solid foundation and enables you to move through the rest of your day without too much disruption and distraction. Just knowing there are set times allocated for self-care, work, family etc allows you to be more present, more focused and enjoy what you are doing rather than worrying about the time and rushing from one thing to the next.
It’s vital you create a realistic self-care routine that fits your lifestyle. For example, an hour of yoga before the school run might not happen, but a few sun salutations and ten minutes of journaling is more achievable. Personalise your routine to suit your unique needs and allow it to be flexible and adaptive to complement new seasons and situations.
Give Yourself Time
It can take a while to establish an effective self-care routine. New habits don’t happen overnight, so you’ll need to be patient with yourself. It’s difficult to create an elaborate routine when you’re already tired or burnt out, so weaving small changes into your everyday life is more likely to help you achieve long-term wellbeing.
Communicate with Others
When you’re creating a new routine, it’s a good idea to communicate your intentions to others that share your home. How can they support you to ensure your needs are met?
For example, if you’ve decided to meditate in the morning, it can be frustrating if your children have different ideas. Depending on their age you may need to ask your partner to look after them, or if they are older, letting them know and explaining why you need some time to yourself first thing will help your routine stick. At the same time, you’re also teaching them self-care is important and showing them how to prioritise their own wellbeing.
Schedule in Self-Care
Sometimes busy life takes over and self-care seems impossible. If you find yourself struggling to stick to your schedule, don’t lose hope. Having a routine in place means you have something to fall back on once the pressure lifts. In the meantime, you should find your routine has made you more resilient to whatever life throws at you.
It helps to consciously schedule in self-care. I like to do this on a Sunday evening when I’m writing my weekly to-do list.
Love Lizzie and the SOL team xx