• Anushka De

12 Awesome ways to start a self-care routine

How often do you ask yourself about how you feel?

Living a healthy life isn’t just about eating your meals on time or hitting the gym every day. It also necessarily requires holistic well-being, which stems from the practice of self-love and self-care.

“What is this life, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare”

These lines penned by W.H. Davies pretty much sums up our regular, materialistic lives, isn’t it?

Is self-care that difficult?

Well, the answer would be a loud and clear affirmation for many of us. We are often so engrossed in our daily, routine lives that we forgo the need of “me-time”. Some of us also end up feeling guilty for indulging in our respective “me-time”. This guilt and neglect clearly serve as evidence of the fact that most of us do not spend time in self-care or have difficulty in doing so.

If practicing self-care has been tough for you, then you are ought to give a read to this article. Here are some awesome tricks to set up your own self-care routine, and improve your quality of living!

A quick reminder: Self-care is NOT selfish!

Æ Sleep well:

This is probably the first and foremost step that you need to take towards setting up your self-care regime.

Your body needs sufficient rest in order to function properly and hence, sleeping for an undisturbed eight hours is a must for every individual out there. Sleeping well regularly improves your overall health and reduces stress. It is extremely important for both physical and mental well-being and is something that you just can’t avoid if you love your body enough.

Æ Take a break:
Take a break and go for that solo trip.

Do you often feel you are devoid of motivation?

If you do, then probably it is time to take a break from your hectic schedule. This is also an essential step towards habituating yourself to self-care. Your mind and body need a break when it gets over-worked. Remember, working energetically and passionately will definitely bring you satisfaction but simply following the monotonous routine won’t do that. So love yourself, and take a break whenever you feel the need. You can even go for a solo trip and give yourself the time you need.

Æ Eat well and ‘heal your gut’:

Eating healthy is an integral part of the self-care schedule. It can’t be left out at any cost.

Self-care includes the process of healing yourself, physically and mentally, and thus it requires one to have a very healthy and nutritious diet, which can improve your overall metabolism, reduce stress, anxiety and boost your well-being holistically. Also, remember to keep yourself hydrated enough and drink plenty of water daily.

Æ Exercise:

Do you consider exercise as a part of your self-care schedule?

Exercise and Yoga are essential steps of self-care

If not, it is high time you do; and here’s why! When you exercise daily, your body releases “endorphins” or the happy hormones, and that in turn helps you to regulate your negative emotions like frustration, stress, anxiety, and so on. So go ahead, and get ready to sweat daily and let go of your stress in the process. You can also combine your daily exercise routine with some relaxing yoga poses or some meditation to calm yourself further.

Æ The customary “Me time”:

Do you indulge in me-time every day?

Savour every bit of life with self-care

So basically “me time” refers to a certain time of the day that you save, to essentially devote to your self-care routine. Make sure you get this done every day and use it wisely. You can use it for some self-retrospection or spend a while on your long-lost hobbies or you can simply listen to some calming music or watch a motivating video.

Æ Create a safe space:

Celebrating life is important for self-care, isn’t it?

Create a safe space for yourself in your home. Decorate it well with stuff that helps you to connect better with yourself. You can use some beautiful fairy lights, or some paintings or photographs, or simply some motivating quotes that inspire you. Just make sure that you include the things that connect to your happy memories and help you to celebrate your life and your efforts to date. You can also spend your “me-time” in this safe corner if you want to.

Create your 'safe-space' and see how it helps you relax.

Æ Cut down on screen time:

Have you ever calculated how many hours you spend looking at the screen of your phone, laptop, or television?

The ravaging pandemic has locked us up in our homes and compelled us to increase the number of hours we spend on screen. But if you want a routine for self-care, then you will have to make efforts to cut down on your screen time.

Studies show that these screens emit a blue light, which is extremely harmful to our brains. It can disrupt our natural sleep cycle, and make us more susceptible to depression, stress, and anxiety. So try to not use the screens at least 2-3 hours before you go to bed and you will be amazed at the changes you get to see when you do that.

Æ Read more:

More reading translates to more empathy and improved cognitive functioning.

Cut down on screen time and invest more time in reading.

Many of us are unaware of the benefits of reading and we still don’t acknowledge it enough. But reading is really interlinked to self-care in numerous ways! So try to make time and read for at least 20-30 minutes each day and you will see the change within a week or two.

Æ Say “Yes” to self-care:

That is equivalent to saying “no” to a few others!

We all want to enhance our ways of self-care and improve our lives to a great extent. But very often, we struggle to say no to certain unnecessary tasks or people. Learning to say no is a quintessential part of saying yes to self-care and believe it or not, it is not that tough. Begin by working on your priority list and carve out your own space gradually.

Æ Mindfulness:

Do you make efforts to practice mindfulness?

Being mindful is about savouring the little joys.

Mindfulness is basically shedding your worries by relaxing in the present moment. Yoga and meditation are the renowned and effective ways to practice mindfulness; but have you ever stopped a while to smell the intense aroma of a cup of hot coffee? Or maybe the sumptuous fragrance of your favorite scented candle? Or to get a snap of that beautiful sunset that you got to look at while walking? If you haven’t, then try doing it once and notice how it feels! Mindfulness is extremely effective when it comes to self-care and it nourishes your mind to make you feel more productive and happy.

Æ Gratitude journaling:

How often do we feel grateful for the little things in life?

Don't forget to practice gratitude.

But being grateful enhances the hidden optimism in us and it plays a vital role in any self-care routine. The practice of gratitude journaling involves one to note down a minimum of 3-4 incidents of the day which caused them delight or pleasure and to be grateful for the same. It can take up to 3 weeks to totally enjoy the benefits of it but it is truly the most amazing method to fill your mind with love, compassion, and pleasure.

Æ De-clutter your space:

No, you are not the “OCD freak Monica Geller” if you feel better by organizing and cleaning your space.

Studies show that organizing your room or your comfort zone endows us with a feel-good factor and it also de-clutters our minds effectively. It helps you to figure out your way of enhancing your self-care practice and channels your creativity accordingly. While organizing stuff, you can also create a planner for your upcoming week or use sticky notes on your study.

De-clutter to de-stress

Self-love and self-care are two sides of the same coin.

Yes, routine lives have indeed made us lose our inner selves and the only way to get back to it is a self-care regime. Follow the above techniques and you will see the changes soon. Remember, no one can set up your self-care routine apart from you. This is because it is a very personal thing and it is all about listening to what your body, soul, and mind need. Keep reading more, cook a wholesome meal someday, go on appreciating and complimenting yourself, cover yourself up with confidence, and spend time with nature daily. Also, don’t forget to save time to enjoy with your loved ones.

Give yourself the love and care that you need

Life is a wonderful journey we embark on and each one of us deserves to live it the way we want. Self-care has the potential to magically transform a tedious, monotonous life into an extremely enriching and fulfilling experience. Not only does it improve the quality of living but also makes one kind, compassionate, and grateful. It helps you fall in love with yourself all over again and makes you shed your unnecessary worries and negative thoughts before you even realize it!

To know more about self-care and its expression, click on the following links: