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A personalized self-care routine is the best support you can give yourself. Taking care of your needs is an important step in maintaining your overall health and happiness. No matter how incredible your routine is, disruptions will throw you off, whether they’re due to stress, excitement, or major life changes. Being prepared is the best way to respond.
Falling off a self-care routine can activate the guilt/shame cycle further delaying a restart.
Feeling bad about not keeping commitments to yourself is normal. Avoiding self-care because you feel unworthy is harmful. Practice compassionate self-forgiveness often so you can more easily move through the disruptions of life and take good care of yourself.
What Self-Care Is and Isn’t
Self-care is the care required to keep a human alive and thriving.
It doesn’t always feel good to take care of yourself, sometimes you need tough love, sometimes you need self-discipline, and sometimes you need compassionate self-forgiveness.
Self-care isn’t about pleasing yourself, avoiding difficult emotions or situations, or focusing more on one area of life than another.
Balance in all areas allows you to thrive in all areas. The reality of life is, the perfect state of balance doesn’t exist, striving for it is the best you can do. Continually striving for balance allows you to remain open, agile, and receptive to your feelings and needs.
When your inner voice is heard, your authentic self comes to be.
5 Reasons You’re Breaking From Your Self-Care Routine
Here are the top 5 reasons your routine isn’t sticking. Understanding the why will help you navigate these trials with more patience, compassion, and grace.
1. No List or Written Schedule
Writing down the tasks you want to complete for your self-care will help you find a routine that works. Every day is not the same, as much as you may want it to be. Knowing which tasks you want to fit it allows you to do so when it’s convenient. That may be at a set time or moved around throughout the day.
It’s helpful to aim for a set schedule but forgive yourself if you don’t nail it every day. Think of it as a guide to keep you on track. Return to the list daily and show gratitude when you review it, even if you don’t complete it.
2. Out of Alignment With Your Needs
Society, family, employers, and friends all have a part in your life. That’s good! But they can also distract you from your true needs. Everyone is susceptible to the distractions of the external, but determining your self-care needs depends on the guidance of your inner voice.
Not taking time to evaluate your priorities and determine where they stem from can lead you to perform tasks that are out of alignment with your needs.
Self-worth comes from your internal judgment, both verbalized and unverbalized. Work on discovering your own limiting beliefs to keep external pressures at bay.
3. Unprepared for Disruption
You won’t know how or when your life will experience change, but you can expect that it will happen. Disruptions and change are a part of life. Exciting events can throw you off track just as easily as depressive events.
Having a plan for how you’ll rest, respond, and restart your self-care routine will carry you through these disruptions more easily.
Functioning at a hundred percent capacity all the time is unrealistic. Show yourself compassion by creating space to respond to changes.
Keep a list of tasks that will help you restart your self-care and refer to it when you’re ready.
4. No Obvious Results
Not seeing results is hard. People love to see results, to see their habits turn into something tangible and comparable.
Performing the same tasks over and over and not realizing the impact of the results can wipe out your motivation. Keep yourself on track with milestones. Small wins, even as simple as drinking one bottle of water per day for 15 days, are worth celebrating.
Create various challenges to keep your routine interesting. Set small goals and intervals to acknowledge and reward your efforts. Incorporate practicing gratitude for your routine when journaling about the PIES—physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual—areas.
5. No Diversity
The same self-care routine is bound to become boring. Changing it up helps keep you engaged.
You won’t have the ability to change up every part of your self-care routine because certain things like preventative medical care and house cleaning must be done no matter how annoying they are.
Making intentional changes, on a periodic basis, to the areas of self-care that can be adjusted makes compliance in the more stringent areas easier to manage. Give yourself a break where you can, and implement the discipline when you need to.
Choosing What’s in Your Self-Care Routine
Self-care is an individual experience. You are the best person to decide which tasks belong in your routine and which don’t. Include things that make you feel fulfilled, happy, and stable.
You know your basic human needs. Start there. Make a list of your priorities. Next, make a list of your goals and aspirations. Next to each goal, list the care required to support your pursuit of that goal.
Reflect regularly on your routine and your feelings. Be open to making changes. As you take better care. of yourself, you’ll learn more.
When you want to decide if a practice is continuing to support you, consider:
- Is this addressing a basic human need?
- Is this addressing a goal or aspiration?
Basic Self-Care Foundations
If you are just beginning your routine, here are the basic self-care foundations. Include each area and expand or reduce the tasks as needed. Remember, you’re the best person to know exactly what you need.
- Preventative medical treatment
- Physical health monitoring
- Hair, skin, teeth, nails
- Opening to your feelings
- Asking for support
- Speaking your truth
- Setting and reaching goals
- Seeking a new skill set
- Having fulfilling conversations
- Contending with your feelings about your mortality
- Contemplating life and purpose
- Seeking guidance and alternative perspectives
Grab my self-care checklist and keep yourself on track!