How to Start a Self-care Routine for Beginners

With the pandemic going on right now, it’s no surprise that people are practicing self-care to cope with their stress. In fact, the online searches for “self-care” reached an all time high in May 2020 when the pandemic just began (Source: Google on Twitter).

Now that self-care is a trend, you can find many definitions of it online. But in a nutshell, self-care is doing activities that improves and maintains our physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. 

Self-care routine is a need rather than a luxury, a lifelong commitment rather than a band aid solution. It takes effort to start and sustain a self-care routine, but you’ll gain so much value you’ll become more resilient, have less anxiety towards life stressors, and find balance between life and work. The benefits are endless.

There’s no one-size-fits-all self-care routine out there. Reading a book before sleep and journaling might work for your friend, but maybe not for you. The best self-care routine for you is the one that’s built around your problems, needs, and goals. If you don't know where to start, here are 6 steps to create your self-care routine. 

Step 1: Overcome roadblocks to self-care

Finding out what roadblocks you’re dealing with is a big achievement in your self-care journey. This is where you have to be honest with yourself to identify what is stopping you in practicing self-care. To get started, try to remember those moments when you’ve thought of an excuse as to why you can’t start a self-care routine. Was it because you don’t have the time? Do you feel like you don’t need self-care? 

Take a few days to reflect about yourself. Once you’ve identified (and overcame) the reason why practicing self-care is difficult for you, starting and sustaining a self-care routine will be much easier. 

 

Step 2: Set goals

Ask yourself: What do I want to achieve from my self-care routine? Your answer could be specific like drinking 10 cups of water each day or general like feeling less anxious than usual before team meetings. Only you can dictate what your goals are so make sure that your self-care routine will actually benefit your life and wellbeing. 

 

Step 3: Identify activities that you like and will add to your wellbeing

Make a list of all the activities that bring you happiness and are not bad for you (Yes, you love drinking soda but it’s also killing your kidneys!). You can google self-care routines as an inspiration but don’t feel pressured copying what other people do. Again, self-care is all about YOU. Only list activities that you will be excited (or at least not dread) to do everyday. 

 

Step 4: Incorporate one activity slowly into your daily schedule

The key here is to start small. From all the activities on your list, pick one that you will incorporate in your daily life. If you think you can handle more than one, feel free to do so. A word of warning though: adding a bunch of new tasks each day could turn your routine into a chore. The last thing you want to happen is to start dreading your self-care routine. So as much as possible, take it easy first. Only add more activities once you’re accustomed to your routine. 

 

Step 5: Evaluate what’s working and not working

After a week of practicing your self-care routine, how do you feel? Did it benefit you physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritally, or socially? Do you feel “meh” about it? Be honest to yourself with how you truly feel about your self-care routine. Don’t feel the pressure to stick to a routine because “it’s the right thing to do.” You can always re-design your self-care routine however you like. You may find that meditating doesn’t work for you at all or extending your nap time to 45 minutes is better. Whatever activity is, take note if it works or not. 

 

Step 6: Re-design your routine according to your evaluation

Based on your evaluation, re-design your self-care routine according to what will make you feel better. When you’re ready, consider adding more activities in your routine. Everytime you make changes, always take the time to re-evaluate.

 

Starting a self-care routine and practicing it consistently may be tough but it’s worth all your time and effort. If you’re daunted by routines, goals, and commitments, just remember how much positive value self-care will bring to you and your wellbeing. Self-care may be about you, but you don’t have to do it alone! You can always ask your friend or a therapist to help you create your self-care routine and hold you accountable to it. 

We hope that this blog gives you the push and encouragement to care for yourself and your wellbeing. If you have any questions or self-care tips to share, leave a comment below!

Also, keep an eye out for our next blog post where we’ll show you a sample self-care routine with Zen products! 

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