WHAT IS A SELF-CARE ROUTINE
A self-care routine is exactly as it sounds; a series of steps taken by you to care for your overall being to ensure that your mind and body remain healthy and in tip-top shape.
An effective self-care routine will in some way benefit your entire body, relieve stress, increase confidence and rejuvenate your mind. It is a time for you to love and appreciate yourself by doing something good just for you and your well-being.
Self-care routines do not just include steps to preserve beauty and battle wrinkles – self-care should cover a process of complete wellness including detoxification through natural juices and foods, as well as some exercise.
When you are first starting out this may all seem overwhelming, and rightfully so, because there is a good chance your schedule is already packed to full capacity – well this is where you are going to have to get very creative with timing and always keep in mind that squeezing your self-care hour or day will make your daunting daily schedule a lot more manageable because you will be more energized, refreshed and confident as you tick each task of the list.
HOW TO FIND TIME FOR SELF-CARE
This is something only you will be able to figure out for your life and daily duties – but overall, if you are time-strapped like me, finding time for self-care will mean grabbing a minute here and there from other activities until you have saved a chunk of time up.
It is also important to get your family involved in your self-care; and I don’t mean bring them in the bathroom while you do a soothing facial (kind of defeats the purpose because the goal is to spend time AWAY from their nagging asses for a few minutes). What I mean is explain to them that at so and so time you will be taking yourself away to take care of you so that you can better serve them – it’s a win-win.
For example, my daughters love to be around when I exercise, but exercising for me is a time I want to be alone and free my mind. In order to compromise so that everyone gets what they want I will spend a few minutes a week dancing like a mad person with my girls to our fave music and at night-time as they prepare to settle for bed I will spend 5 minutes on my ab-roller.
My youngest four daughters have a 7pm bedtime and we start winding them down from 6:15 pm to ensure they are tucked in bed by then! This gives me between 7pm and 8pm to wrap up other duties in the house without the chaos of three toddlers dragging out the toys we all just packed away, etc. By 830pm I can begin my self-care routine of short exercise, a calming hot and cold shower, rice water hair treatment, thorough face wash, sometimes as mask, etc.
I cannot stress enough how extremely important a self-care routine is to your overall well-being! If you are just trying to get a self-care routine started it would be best to pick a day – just one day a week that you will spend some extra time in the shower, or do an at-home pedicure, go for a walk alone, or sip tea in the sofa while reading something uplifting and positive! What you choose to read during self-care time is very important, you might be tempted to indulge in your favorite action-packed, mystery-murder romance book series – but this is in no way relaxing or enlightening your mind (hate to break it to you).
Choose something that will be beneficial and provide a positive take-away – a good piece of reading that will leave you refreshed and satisfied, not anxious and sad about the character who lost her whole family in a fire while she was out doing super-hero duties and meant a guy on a motorcycle who she fell in love with…. you get the drift.
Another way to squeeze in some self-care routine time is to push back your own bedtime… if you intended to rush through your shower tonight to jump in bed by 10pm – don’t, just don’t. Take time to exfoliate with a home-made sugar scrub or apply a great clay mask like this Aztec clay mask which my teen daughters and I truly love, the container is large, lasts long and the price is extremely reasonable considering how effective it is at or another of my faves is the Bare Minerals Dirty Detox mask which really leaves skin glowing and clean – it also has a cooling effect and refreshing scent.
You have to make sure your family understands how important your well-being is for you and for them!
HOW LONG SHOULD A SELF-CARE ROUTINE LAST
I have fortunately found myself at least 1 hour up to 5 times a week! (No, I am not lying, yes, I do have 7 kids and 4 businesses and a husband who wants my attention just as much as the baby does – and I keep my house clean without a housekeeper or nanny, prepare 3 to 5 meals a day and home-school).
With all that said, I hope that is proof that you have no excuse to not self-care!
My self-care is exactly why I can function in this manner, because, you guessed it – when you look good, you feel good!
I love when my daughters compliment me “mommy, your hair is so pretty” or my 4 year old will remark “you look like a princess” – it also encourages my teens to self-care which means they are building a routine from now. My eldest daughters enjoy doing facials, they stick to their skin care and are always on the look out for effective trending at-home beauty remedies which we all share with each-other. My 15 year old recently got me in to the rice water for hair treatment natural beauty trend and in just 3 short weeks my hair growth and texture has us all in absolute awe! I cannot believe this is my hair! We mostly keep the Riceland’s Long Grain Rice in our house, but any rice will do the trick! The benefits and history of rice water are extremely intriguing and I would encourage you to give a rice water hair treatment a try.
My attentiveness to self-care and my daughters seeing me keep myself together despite the odds has also contributed to their confidence as young ladies and helped them to never feel affected by potential negativity or bullying; so much so that they have not even been the targets of a single bully incident in their 4 to 5 years of high school! It is no secret that bullies like to choose others who display less confidence and self-awareness!
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I SELF-CARE
I try to do my full self care routine at least every other day, if not every day and take perhaps one day a week off – but I have also managed to get my family to understand that the mother they know is only able to function the way she does when they allow me to reconnect with myself each day – I also wake up by 4am, 6 days a week, but that is another story for another time.
Generally, when first getting a self care routine started I suggest you decide what areas of your mind and body require the most attention from you right now. Is your hair dry? Are you getting bags from lack of sleep? Have you not been drinking enough water? Eating all the wrong stuff?
Figure out exactly what areas of your current self-neglect non-routine is negatively affecting you and start there. If your hair could use a little attention; research some natural hair care treatments or buy a great deep conditioner, leave-in and perhaps some vitamin E oil – I am a HUGE fan of vitamin E oil and I even add it to my mascara which has helped to thicken and grow my lashes back after they were destroyed by falsies. Mason’s Vitamin E oil is my go-to choice because it is easily found at the pharmacies near to my house, but any good, pure vitamin E oil will do.
Once you have determined the areas of your mind and body that need your focus – plan your routine around those by targeting those areas specifically with the right products and process. Self-care also takes a bit of research so that you can know how to address your areas of concern.
Back to our dull hair example – if you want to thicken and grow your hair, discover a product (whether off-the-market or home-made) that specifically can help with that and develop a routine around that product. Each evening if your shower is usually 20 minute, increase to 30 minutes to throw in a deep conditioner. You can switch off the water as that sits in your hair and exfoliate your body with a sugar or salt scrub, my girls and I usually go for a sugar scrub on the cheaper side haha, like Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub in Tropical Mango scent – and boom – two-for-one hair love and skin glow self-care added with only 10 more minutes to your usual evening shower 🙂
WHAT ELSE CAN BE INCLUDED IN A SELF-CARE ROUTINE
As mentioned, self-care is all about total wellness for mind and body, often when you care for your mind you will automatically start wanting to care for your body and vice versa. As you get better and better with squeezing in the time and becoming more consistent your self-care routine should also include activities like journal/note writing to release thoughts and tension, meditation, devotion and prayer if you are on the spiritual side like me, walks, exercise, healthier eating, self massage, stretches and so forth. We will get more in to all of those things in future posts over the coming weeks and you can ensure you do not miss out by subscribing for the newsletter and post updates.
I really hope that I have convinced you to steal any time you need in order to take care of yourself – I know that you can feel guilty sometimes by doing this and that is why it is so important for you to remember that your self-care routine does not just benefit you – it is awesome for your family, your clients, your business and anything and everything that you are in contact with.
Virtual toast to self-love,