Self-care offers a multitude of benefits impacting every aspect of your life. According to the American Psychologists Association, “Self-care has been defined as providing adequate attention to one's own physical and psychological wellness.”
Taking time to care for yourself, whether it is for your mental, physical, or emotional well-being, is a part of self-care. But while recognising the importance of self-care is easy, actually practising it can be challenging. It might be hard for you to find time to practice the activities that help you feel recharged, or you just may not know where to begin or what works for you. Incorporating routines into your life is the best way to practice self-care to improve your life holistically.
Why Should You Practice a Self-care Routine?
Routines are the set of daily actions one follows. They can be a series of habits or actions in a fixed sequence or program. Doing the same things or actions daily may sound mundane. However, routines are a powerful self-care tool for your holistic well-being. Here’s how:
- Support Cognitive Function: Daily routines support and optimise your cognitive function. Well-defined work and personal routine supports you to function better in your work and personal life. You spend less cognitive energy on recurring tasks and processes. This leaves you free to focus your cognitive function and creativity on complex tasks.
- Support Physical Health: Routines help you to take control of your life. You can incorporate an exercise routine into your daily life or develop healthy habits such as sleeping on time, preparing your meals, or taking the stairs. These activities may seem simple and not require any special routine to do them. But, with a busy schedule, finding time for them can be challenging. Therefore, a routine helps you create a daily schedule with activities supporting and promoting your health.
- Support Mental Fulfilment: Routines streamline your life. However, they go well beyond organising your daily tasks. Healthy habits incorporated into your daily routine, such as walking or playing sports or music, provide you with opportunities to add more meaning to your life. They are a chance to explore new things and places or connect with more people. Finding time for hobbies regularly is emotionally fulfilling and reinforces your commitment to your self-care. Engaging participation in meaningful activities positively impacts your mental and physical health.
- Support Stress Management: When you have a routine, your mental load is lessened, as you know what to do every day. You no longer have to spend your energy deciding or planning everyday things. Lessened planning and knowing your daily activities reduces mental load, leading to reduced stress and anxiety.
The Additional Benefits Of Routines
Routines help in streamlining your daily life. In doing so, they assist you in your self-care journey by promoting better physical and mental health.
Here are the additional benefits of routines:
- Improved Overall Health: With healthy habits as part of your daily routine, you take better care of your physical health. Less energy spent on deciding recurring tasks lessens your mental load and stress. Altogether, a healthy routine improves your overall well-being and health.
- Enhanced Quality of Life: Routines help with time optimisation. You can do much more in the same time frame. This leaves you time to enjoy things or activities for your mental fulfilment, such as pursuing a hobby, spending more time with family, or anything you want. A better work-life balance improves your happiness and enriches your life, leading to enhanced life quality.
- Optimised Goal Achievement: Life goals or career goals both need physical and mental strength. With daily routines, you can take better care of yourself, improve your health, and manage your stress. With optimal mental and physical fitness, you can perform better at work and in your personal life. You are better focused and equipped to achieve your goals and lead a successful professional and personal life.
Creating Holistic Routines For Self-Care
Self-care is essential for personal well-being. Through self-care, you can take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Self-care requires awareness and self-reliance to achieve or promote your optimal well-being. It is multifaceted and impacts every aspect of your life. Through an optimal balance of your body, mind, and spirit, you can achieve both personal and professional excellence. Therefore, creating routines that tend to your physical and emotional health is essential for self-care. Optimal self-care doesn’t need complex lifestyle changes. Routines that are easy to follow regularly are the most impactful self-care practices. Instead of following a routine recommended by someone else, create your routine. It will ensure better implementation and continuous practice.
Below are some easy-to-incorporate self-care habits for your daily routine:
Morning Self-care Routine
Incorporating healthy self-care habits into your morning routine lets you set the right tone for your day. Consider adding activities to your morning routine, focusing on your physical and mental well-being. You can consider things you need to do every morning and set an order for them. These activities can include:
- Regular Exercise: Exercising in any form—be it yoga, running, working out in a gym, or exercising at home—improves your lifespan and brain health and reduces many health risks. Exercising even for a short duration every day can improve your mood and enhance your happiness. You can do any form of exercise you like. The main focus is on increasing your physical movement. Adding it to your daily morning routine helps you start your day on a happy and energised note.
- Try Meditation: Daily practice of meditation, even for a few minutes, helps you to lower your stress, anxiety, and inflammatory conditions. You don’t need to be a meditation expert or learn it professionally. Several apps can help in daily mediation practice. Forming a habit of meditation improves your focus and can help you in multi-tasking and decision-making.
- Get Fresh Air: Spending a few minutes outdoors in fresh air can enhance your mood for the whole day. Plus, you can get your Vitamin D, which improves your bone and muscle health along with enhancing immunity and oral health, reducing hypertension and inflammation. Even if you go out on cloudy days, fresh air can boost your mood.
- Drink Plenty of Water: Hydrate yourself throughout the day. Adequate hydration keeps your skin healthy, aids in proper digestion, and helps in proper toxin removal.
- Skincare Routine: Following a skincare routine results in healthy skin and boosts confidence. Over the years, your skin loses elasticity, hydration, and brightness. You don’t need to follow a complex skin regime. Just a simple Cleanse, Hydrate, and Protect routine of cleansing your face, applying moisturiser suited to your skin, and using sunscreen can do wonders for your skin.
Night Self-care Routine
A bedtime routine is necessary for a sound night's sleep. Better sleep improves your quality of life, including both physical and mental health. You can set a schedule of healthy activities you can do before going to bed, such as washing your face and brushing and flossing your teeth. To these, you can add other activities for calming your mind and body, such as meditation, reading, or praying. Other bedtime activities to add to your daily routine can be:
- Write in Your Journal: Jotting down your day or thoughts at the end of the day can help you calm your mind. You don’t need to write in beautiful penmanship or intelligent words or even in full sentences. You don’t even need a diary. Any paper, any pen will do. Just write however you want, in sentences, words, bullet points, or anything else. You can write about your day, the challenges you faced, or any notable incidents. It will calm your mind and help you relax.
- Listen to Music: Listening to your favourite music can make you feel calm and relaxed. When you listen to music, dopamine is released from your body, making you feel happy. When you are happy, you are stress-free and sleep better.
- Do a Digital Detox: Turn off your phone, TV, laptop, or other technology at least one hour before sleeping. This will improve your sleep quality and quieten your mind for sleep to kick in naturally.
- Practice Gratitude: Gratitude enhances your mental health. You can write any three things you are thankful for daily. Or you can write one thing. It's all up to you. You can write gratitude for anything—from your work to your family and friends. Gratitude can calm you, enhance your mood, and reduce your stress and anxiety.
- Cleanse Your Skin: Throughout the day, your face accumulates dust, dirt, and pollutants from the environment. When you sleep, your skin rejuvenates, but unwashed skin can hamper the process. Therefore, before going to bed, cleanse your face thoroughly to remove all the dirt, pollutants, and makeup. Apply moisturiser to hydarate your skin for optimal rejuvenation.
Practising routines give you the comfort and power to manage your health and daily life optimally. Adding healthy and meaningful activities to your daily routine helps you lead a healthy, happy, and productive life.