Here's Exactly How to Implement Self Care
Self care. It’s such a buzzword these days that our eyes often glaze over at the thought of those two words. Many people promote it as bubble baths, getting a latte, or going to the spa for a facial. And trust us, we’re not condemning those behaviors. But let’s get real about self care and how you can use it to show up in your life as your best self, inside and out.
How we define self care
At Begin Within, we define self care as this:
“Self care is the practices and behaviors we implement to better ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and environmentally. When we take care of ourselves, we show up better not only for ourselves, but also our family and friends, our career, and even our free time or leisure.”
Now that we have defined it, how can we implement these practices?
Let’s make your self care…
Think about what aspects of your life that you could use some focus on in regards to your physical, mental, and emotional wellness. Some examples may be exercising, clutter (whether it’s mental or literal clutter in your space), or hydration. Now consider these questions:
What will fill my “cup?” This means what tasks or activities can I do to help me be a better person, not only for myself, but for those around me that I care about?
What is one thing I can do today to better my self care?
One you have pondered and answered the above questions, let’s see how we can make it non-negotiable.
Do you realize how many habits are in our day to day lives that we forget are even habits? Brushing our teeth, walking the dog, watching our nightly TV show, etc. They are ingrained in our routine, and we often don’t even question them. Treat self care the same way. Whether it’s unplugging from technology the last hour before bedtime, regular meal prepping, or decluttering an area of your living space, make it a part of your life and abide by it to the best of your abilities. We get that life happens and the unexpected occurs, but making these practices habitual rather than a reactive response will lead to better self care and a better quality of life!
If something matters to us, we almost always find a way to make it happen. Let’s say your child has a soccer game. You want to be there. Not only is it non-negotiable to you but it is also meaningful. Let’s try to look at self care through that same lens.
The world tends to put people who run themselves ragged, overwork, and under-sleep on pedestals. But you don't have to live that way. You are valuable. You deserve rest. You deserve self care. When we make these practices meaningful, they matter more and we actually do them. So when you think about what to add to your life to take better care of yourself, be sure to add activities and behaviors that mean something to you. If you want to practice mindfulness, but you dislike ambient sounds like waves or white noise, you probably won’t stick with it if you buy a white noise machine to use. Instead, find something that is meaningful to you, like using a mindfulness app or trying a breathing exercise. Experiment, find what works for you, and implement it into your routine.
So what does a healthy self care routine look like?
Honestly, it depends largely on the individual. We don’t expect you to have a written step-by-step plan in place, but here are a few tips to get you started on creating effective behavior change through routine.
1. Generate self care tasks based on time.
If you are looking at a task that would occur on a weekly or monthly basis, set a
reminder on your phone to keep yourself on track. Schedule it based on the type of
activity. Use a timer if it a task based on time, like performing some yoga exercises.
2. Work it into your schedule when you can.
Not every self care practice will be a regular occurrence, but you can find ways to sneak
it into your schedule. Have a spare hour on a weeknight? Try adding in something that
would fill your metaphorical cup. Maybe it’s a walk outside to clear your mind. Perhaps it
is reading a new book. Have a spare ten minutes? Try a mindfulness app. Do one thing
you’ve been procrastinating on. Have a spare minute? Refill your water bottle. Do a
couple of stretches. Sign up to get a coach in your inbox. Striving for progress over
perfection can go a long way.
3. Reframe your views of self care.
Self care is often saying “yes” to some type of activity, but it can also be saying “no” in
order to benefit your health and wellness. Activities that promote some type of self
harm rather than self help, such as alcohol or caffeine consumption, may fall into the
“no” category. We are not criticizing having a drink, but to use it as a self care practice
may not be in your best interest. Sometimes saying no to yourself is a useful component
of taking care of you!
Taking care of yourself is not selfish. Reframing self care as meaningful, non-negotiable, and effective is useful in making it habitual rather than reactive. Let’s be proactive about our health and wellness! What is your favorite self care practice? Sound off in the comments.
Looking for a way to implement self care and don’t know where to start? We recently ran a self care challenge in our client Facebook group involving bingo, and it was a big hit! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you the bingo card so you can hone in on your self care!
Jessica Corkin is the Virtual Fitness Manager at Begin Within. She holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science and has spent the last eight years working in the fitness and wellness industry. When she is not virtually training clients, she enjoys strength training, running, being outdoors, and spending quality time with her husband and dog. Connect with her here.
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