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Self-care Sunday is a perfect time to restart your routine. So many things can pull you away from your priorities. Self-care is often the first thing to go.
Because stopping a routine can trigger a guilt/shame cycle, people avoid restarting. The longer you go without taking care of yourself, the easier it becomes to neglect your own care.
Sunday is also a great time to take care of yourself because this is generally the time when businesses close early, kids don’t have school, and schedules are more or less flexible.
Making Self-Care a Habit
Building new habits takes time. Often, a new habit is really about breaking an old one. For example, if you want to reduce screen time, you would need to break the habit of checking your phone or watching tv.
Seeing where you can break old habits to incorporate new ones flips the perspective.
Sunday comes around every week, if you want to start a new habit find a habit to break. If you sleep in too late on Sundays and want to write more, set an alarm and break your habit of oversleeping. Once you’ve been able to break the sleeping habit, you’ll have free time to start a new habit.
This method allows you to welcome your new habits rather than force them.
How to Start a Self-Care Sunday Routine
1. Start by observing your current Sunday routine
How do you currently spend your Sundays? Is there open time? Are there any habits you can break? Finding small areas of time is helpful to incorporate new habits into your routine. If you don’t have any pockets of open time, check for wasted time, or bad habits.
Examples of wasted time & bad habits:
- Immediately checking phone upon waking up
- Sleeping beyond sufficient rest or out of boredom
- Unplanned snacks and meals
- Foregoing weekday hygiene habits
- Skipping chores
For the most part, people know what to expect from day to day. You need clothing, food, some kind of stimulating activity, and a preparation activity for your future self.
Setting a rough to-do list around the necessary tasks gives you a framework for self-care. From here, you can add additional tasks that support your unique needs.
2. Set Goals & a Plan to Reach Them
Supporting your whole self includes setting up your future self for success. Many moments require you to prepare long before you experience results. You don’t know what your future holds but you can set yourself up with learning scenarios to grow your abilities and move through situations differently.
Setting goals and reaching them is not only about the outcome but the lessons you learn about yourself. You can learn about your self-control and self-discipline practices, and what disrupts and supports them. You learn about your own learning techniques. Reaching goals also gives you confidence in the abilities you already have.
3. Declare Time & Space
Declare your time and space. Even if your weekend schedules are packed tight, you still exist, you still matter, and you still have needs. Your family may need you, your friends may need you, your volunteer job may need you. That’s because you’re a wonderful giving being. You also need you.
Block off time and space as your own. Don’t wait for the right time to take an hour for yourself. Your needs are not an intrusion, they are not a burden. You’re not taking anything away from anyone else by caring for you.
Set a good example for your loved ones by showing them what healthy boundaries look like. Take the time needed to attend to your human self and do your best to own that time.
4. Test Out Schedules
If you’re new to setting a self-care Sunday routine, you may have a few rough drafts before you get to the final. Give yourself time to test out routines. Try something for a few weeks and if it’s not working, make an intentional change.
How to intentionally change your schedule:
- Show gratitude to yourself for creating the routine
- Admit to yourself why it’s not working or that you feel it’s time to release the practice
- Congratulate yourself on identifying this need for change
- Compassionately release the practice and welcome in the new
The practice of intentionally changing your schedule allows for the emotional transition from making a choice to abandoning that choice. Humans are sensitive creatures, abandoning even a bad choice can create feelings of uncertainty. Mindfully acknowledging the change happening makes the transition more peaceful.
5. Share Your Plans
Something about keeping commitments private feels safe. Vulnerability is a strong barrier to success for many people. When you share plans to commit to yourself, you’re subjecting yourself to the judgment of another.
This can feel like a scary place to be. You may be concerned about what someone would think if you failed, how they may judge you based on the practice you chose, or that you could be rejected for turning your focus inward, on yourself, rather than outward to loved ones.
Move through this fear. Once you’ve declared time and space for yourself, share this information not only with people who it will directly impact but also with people who would be happy to hear that you’re taking care of yourself. Share with people who would be happy to know you have healthy practices.
Share your self-care Sunday routine plans so you can be congratulated and emotionally rewarded for being both vulnerable and disciplined.
A Checklist for Your Self-Care Sunday Routine
Grab my self-care checklist so you can start incorporating basic self-care. Sunday is a great place to start but there are things you can do all week, all month, all year that address your needs and support your happiness.
Having an outline of the basic human needs is your foundation, include your personal needs and goals to make it unique to you.