How many times have you heard someone say something along the lines of “Self-care needs to be a part of your daily routine”?
…but let’s be real here. How many of us actually do it and are consistent with it?
I’ll admit I’ve fallen off the self-care wagon a few times. Okay, well… maybe more than a few times. Like exercise, it’s harder to get back on the wagon than it is to stay on the wagon.
Have you ever said to yourself “I’ll do it tomorrow” and suddenly 4 months has passed? Because I’ve done it more times than I’d like to admit.
So when you’ve fallen off the wagon, how do you get back on again? How do you learn to start taking care of yourself again?
Here are 7 steps to bringing self-care back into your life:
1. Start small.
Have you ever thought about setting a goal and suddenly an hour later - you have 20 new goals you’d like to reach all by tomorrow? I don’t think I need to tell you that progress works like that, but in case you needed a reminder: progress doesn’t work like that. It’s often not very linear. It looks like a 2 year old took a crayon and scribbled all over the page.
Start small. Don’t try to do it all at once, so if your goal is to start journaling: start by journaling for 5 minutes a day. You can move that time up week by week. By the end of the month, you might even find yourself journaling for 30 minutes and wanting to journal even more, which brings me to my next point…
2. Give yourself the time, space, and permission to grow.
Many of us here are perfectionists. And to make it even scarier, many of us are often impatient. We want results like …yesterday. But you don’t run for 5 days and expect yourself to run a whole marathon on the sixth day.
Write a permission slip or love letter to yourself. Because life is easier and more fun without all the heavy expectations and added pressure. Shower yourself with unconditional love and compassion, because we all could need a little more of that from ourselves.
3. Get it on paper.
One of my favorite things to do is doing a brain dump of everything I want to do. No lingering thoughts here. Because once you have it all written out, you can view your goals objectively. You can see what’s realistic and doable.
No more of “Someday, I’ll…”, because there really is no someday. Someday is never going to come, until you decide that today is the day and every day is the day. It’s time to commit to what you actually say you’re going to do.
4. Schedule it into your day.
It’s easy to say you’re going to do something and then not do it. I’m sure we’ve all done this before, so absolutely no judgment here. But like everything else in life, self-care is a choice we make (or don’t make).
Want to take a hot bath in the evenings? Add in into your schedule. A morning run? That goes on your schedule. A weekly massage? Schedule it (and schedule the actual massage too).
If you don't schedule it, it doesn’t exist. It’s not real. It’s not a priority to you. By putting it on your schedule, you’re making a commitment and saying “This is important to me. I am going to do this. I have created time in my day specifically for this."
5. Just do it.
I highly recommend looking into Mel Robbins and the 5 Second Rule. Our brains have a way of coming up with alllll the reasons of why we shouldn’t do x, y, and z. And if you think about it for too long, the chances of you actually doing it are just not in your favor.
Just do it - whether or not you “feel” like it. If it’s important to you, you’ll make it a priority. You gotta give yourself some tough love here and stop giving yourself an out. Remember that self-care is not selfish at all. An overwhelmed and stressed out you helps no one, especially not yourself.
Committing to self-care is a BIG step. Who cares if you don’t have it all figured out yet? I don’t think anyone does. But guess what? You started and that is something to celebrate!
Why? Because you need to know that self-care is not something to feel guilty or ashamed about. It is not something to beat yourself up over. It’s an exciting and wonderful thing that we all need more of in our lives. And if you’re consistently thinking negatively about self-care, you’re going to continue having bad and negative thoughts around it (which defeats the whole point).
7. Practice gratitude.
I wrote a blog post about why having a daily gratitude practice is important and how it helps us become better versions of ourselves. If you’re spending most of your days feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, practicing gratitude can do wonders for you - you start to realize that just how in control you are of your own life.
Sometimes, we feel like “nothing is ever working out” and that “there must be something wrong with us” when really we just need to unplug from the Internet for a little while or incorporate more self-care habits into our lives.
It’s okay if you fall off the wagon - we all do sometimes. It’s not something to feel guilty about either. Guilt often only leads to more guilt. Instead, be patient and loving with yourself.
Life shouldn’t feel like one big chore. It’s not fun when you wake up feeling overwhelmed with a brain fog day after day. Remember to unplug and have fun with your life!!
The Internet will still be here when you get back and your online community will still remember who you are. They also know what it feels like to be in a constant brain fog. They know that you’re human. They know that you only have 24 hours in a day. Trust me, they know a lot and they’re understanding people so give them a little credit. 😉
Did you enjoy this article? If so, I would love it if you shared it with your friends!
Share with me in the comments below: How are you currently taking care of yourself?