Sign Up for our Newsletter | JOIN NOW

Self-Care, Made Easy

purely inspired self care

After two extremely challenging years, many people are excited to start fresh in 2022 and set new personal goals.  

In fact, one survey found that over 75% of people around the world think that 2022 will be a better year than 2021. And another survey revealed that the top three resolutions for 2022 are: focusing on financial health (49%), improving health and wellness holistically (46%), and focusing on self-care or body positivity

80% of American adults also reported intentions to become more mindful about engaging in regular self-care practices after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey.  

Since we want you to follow through and achieve the goals that you set for yourself this year, here’s a guide to self-care, made easy! 

What Is Self-Care?  

Self-care is exactly what it sounds like. It’s taking care of yourself by protecting, preserving, or improving your own health, well-being, and happiness, especially during periods of stress.  

Self-care requires checking in with yourself and asking yourself how you’re doing, as well as what your body, mind, and soul needs. While self-care means different things to different people, it typically includes anything that you do to keep yourself healthy – physically, mentally, and spiritually.  

So, whether you realize it or not, you usually engage in some form of self-care each day. That’s because self-care activities can range from physical activities, such as eating a healthy meal, engaging in regular exercise, or practicing good sleep hygiene, to mental self-care activities, including practicing mindfulness, listening to music, or reading a book, to spiritual or social self-care activities, such as praying, meditating, or spending quality time with a loved one.  

Why Is Self-Care So Valuable For Your Health?  

Research has shown that we live in a society in which busy people are perceived as high status. The research also revealed that these status attributions are “heavily influenced by our beliefs about social mobility.” 

What does this mean exactly? According to the research, “In other words, the more we believe that one has the opportunity for success based on hard work, the more we tend to think that people who skip leisure and work all the time are of higher standing.”  

This helps to explain the underlying belief in our society that we must always be productive, which can take away from our opportunities for self-care. One study even found that 1 in 3 Americans ‘feels bad’ about taking time for themselves, even though 67% ‘desperately want more of it.’ 

When self-care is practiced regularly, research shows that there are a number of health benefits, including reduced stress, improved immune system, increased productivity, and higher self-esteem.  

On the other hand, not making time for self-care comes with significant consequences, such as potential burnout, depression, anxiety, and/or resentment. That’s why we can’t stress enough how valuable self-care is for your health.   

5 Tips On Building A Self-Care Routine That’ll You’ll Stick To 

1. Make A Self-Care Checklist 

When building your self-care routine, begin by making a self-care checklist, which includes activities that bring you joy, replenish your energy, and restore your balance.  

Here’s what a sample self-care checklist may look like:  

Self-Care Activities That Bring You Joy: 

  • Starting your day with a hot cup of tea (or coffee) 
  • Taking a warm shower after your morning run  
  • Reading a book, watching a movie, or listening to your favorite podcast  
  • Dancing to a bomb playlist  
  • Painting, writing, or any other creative outlet that allows you to express yourself 
  • Playing your favorite sport in a recreational league with your friends 
  • Date night with your partner  
  • Adding money to your savings account 

Self-Care Activities That Replenish Your Energy: 

  • Getting enough quality sleep each night  
  • Lunch with your best friends 
  • Trying new healthy recipes 
  • Treating yourself to your favorite comfort food 
  • Attending exercise class  
  • Allowing yourself to take a 20-minute power nap if you need it 
  • Taking a social media break and/or unfollowing negative people  

Self-Care Activities That Restore Your Balance: 

  • Praying 
  • Meditating 
  • Breathing exercises  
  • Journaling 
  • Doing yoga 
  • Decluttering your home (or work space) 
  • Watching the sunrise and/or sunset  

Then start small by choosing one self-care activity (or a few self-care activities) that you’d like to add to your daily routine.  

2. Schedule Time For Self-Care 

If it’s not on your calendar, it’s usually not going to happen, right? So, instead of making self-care something that you’ll do “if you have time,” actually make time for self-care.  

Block out 30 minutes in the morning to do yoga, schedule a one-hour lunch with your best friend, and set aside time in the evening so you can watch your favorite reality TV show uninterrupted.  

3. Create A Morning Routine That You Actually Look Forward To 

What’s the first thing that you do after you wake up? Do you immediately reach for your phone so that you can check your work e-mails or the news of the day? If that’s your typical morning routine, you might want to reconsider it.  

Why? Well, seeing or reading something negative first thing in the morning can trigger your stress response and put you on edge for the rest of the day. Since your creative brain is most attuned when you first wake up in the morning, it’s important to use this time to create the conditions that you want for your life.  

If you feel guilty about not checking and replying to your work e-mails in bed as soon as you wake up, you might want to read Julie Morgenstern’s book, Never Check E-Mail In The Morning: And Other Unexpected Strategies For Making Your Life Work. As Morgenstern puts it, “Those requests and those interruptions and those unexpected surprises and those reminders and problems are endless…there is very little that cannot wait a minimum of 59 minutes.”  

Amen to that! So, take those 59 minutes, or even just 10 to 20 minutes at first, and create a morning routine that involves meditating for ten minutes, making a mindful cup of coffee, or walking your dog around the block before you check e-mails on your phone. Chances are that you’ll be a lot less stressed to start your day. And who knows, maybe you’ll even start looking forward to your mornings again!  

4. Get Comfortable Saying, “No!” 

As you know, there’s only so much time in the day. So, if you already feel like you have too much on your plate at work or at home as it is, learn to say “no” to new non-essential tasks, or requests made of you, especially if they can be completed by other people.  

‘A lack of time’ is one of the top reasons people give for not participating in self-care, which is exactly why you need to protect your valuable free time and say “no” to non-essential things that will take time away from your daily self-care routine. 

5. Understand That Self-Care Is Not Selfish  

If your life revolves around taking care of your family and/or your high-pressure job, setting aside time for yourself may feel selfish, especially if you’ve been taught to take care of others before you take care of yourself.   

However, knowing your limitations and being attuned to what you can (and cannot) realistically give to others isn’t selfish. It’s crucial for a healthy life. If you’re constantly stressed, exhausted, and feel physically ill, how well will you truly be able to take care of others, or do your job at a high level?  

That’s why it’s so important for you to understand (and accept) that self-care isn’t selfish. In fact, in addition to self-care helping you sleep better and improving your focus, it has also been shown to strengthen your relationships. So, if you really do want to take care of others, start by taking care of yourself first! 

*The links used in this article are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Iovate Health Sciences International Inc. or any of its affiliates (“Iovate”) of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. Iovate bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.