When we are doing great at life, feeling good, taking good care of our bodies and our selves, it’s so easy to naturally throw more self care into the mix. It’s through the automatically integrated self care we’re doing that we keep running in that good space. We’re easily able to honor ourselves. Then, during the shitty times, when we’re dealing with the blues (or worse) when we need self care the most, we are the furthest from being able to consciously do it.
This is why a self care plan is so important. Either it keeps you on track longer, so you don’t fall into the blues as easily or often. Or, it’s a safety boat for you to doggie paddle over to, when you’re about to drown in the yuckiness.
NOTE: Everything you do for you is self care. From putting your bills on autopay so you don’t forget and get a fee, to scheduling doctor visits to hanging up on and saying F.U. to the toxic friend. Everything you do FOR your well-being counts. So don’t let this article or anything on social media make you feel like self care only = mani/pedis and spa days. It’s Everything. Feelme?
Make your list
Write down the activities (and indulgences) you truly enjoy. What lights you up? What makes you feel centered? What makes you feel calm? What makes you feel abundant? What brings you feelings of peace, joy, etc? What gets you in a better head space overall? Write it all down. Start with thinking about the feelings you want to bring about, and start your list with the feeling in mind.
Note: There are no wrong answers. Keep in mind that tweaking your daily activities that you regularly do can be an act of self care as well. Example: Eating a healthy breakfast instead of throwing a caramel macchiato and a glazed donut into your belly = self care.
Break it down
Break your list of activities down in the way that makes the most sense for you. If you work a traditional 9-5 job and are off on weekends, then your breakdown will look different than the stay at home, homeschooling mom that runs her blog in every second of her spare time, or the personal trainer that takes clients at random odd hours every day. You can also break it down by financial cost or time “cost” as well. Do what works for YOU.
Example Self Care Plan Breakdowns:
- Mornings, Evenings, Weekends, Monthly, As I Can
- Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Annually
- 1-5 Minutes, 10-30 Minutes, 1 Hour+
- Alone, With the kids, With hubby
- Free, Low Cost, Expensive, Uber Luxe
- At home, at work, in the car, away from home
Look at your life
Seriously, look at your life and the flow of your weeks. Take out your planner and look for the pockets of time that you can sneak it bits of self care activities. Seeing the time, is empowering because you realize that you do have space in your life for YOU. Note: You’re going to have to be honest with yourself, though. Example: If one of your self care items is taking a nice relaxing bubble bath, and you don’t feel you have the time. Yet, every night you take a quick shower right before bed…. There is absolutely nothing stopping you from replacing the quick shower with a nice soak in the tub. You’ll be just as clean, but way more fulfilled since it’s one of your self care list items.
Combine and multitask:
Meet your girlfriend at the gym, read a novel while getting your pedicure, listen to affirmations or a personal development book on your commute to work, make cleaning/chore time = conversation time with your kids or call a friend/family member as you clean. You get the picture. Find ways to combine your every day activities with the self care activities that pour into you. Triple bonus if you are able to combine self care activities in your hectic schedule.
Plug it in
Now you just have to make it happen. Add items to your calendar. Put reminders into your phone. Make reservations or book appointments. Let your friends know where to meet you, for what, and when. Notify your partner of the days/times you’ll be out or busy. Add it to your life so it is real and not just a list of wishes. No self care plan will work if you don’t implement it.
Here is a small portion of my self care plan:
- Morning routine – stretch, tea/coffee, journal, listen to affirmations/meditation music
- Healthy breakfast
- Snuggle with the kids/John
- Run away from home
- Beautify/Deep Condition
- Catch up + Check in w/ friends
Now, go forth and do it! Make your personal self care plan and then implement it. My wish for you is that it becomes such a natural part of each of your days, that you live in some state of self care all the time. I hope it becomes so normal that you maintain all the dope feelings that stem from it, without even having to think about it beforehand.
A few of my bloggy friends have some self care posts to inspire you as well:
- Danielle on Boundaries as self care
- Aaronica with 7 ways to take care of you right now
- Schnelle has 5 self care tips when times are cray
- Tiffani has tips for a mindful morning
- Lashawn gives 20 free self care ideas
- Valerie on self care re: social media #Blockem