Self Care 101: How to Create (And Stick To) Self-Care Rituals
The term "self-care" is thrown around a lot these days—and we see that as a good thing. It means that people are finally beginning to realize the importance of nurturing their own bodies and minds. After all, self-care is all about making yourself a priority so that you can live your best life.
And with Sunday, October 10 being recognized as World Mental Health Day, there's perhaps never been a more fitting time to focus on your own self-care and figuring out how to relieve stress in your everyday life.
Unfortunately, sticking to a ritual that involves regular self-care is easier said than done. Our lives are busier than ever before; we're being pulled in all directions, and it seems like there's always one more task or chore that needs to be done. Often, we're being stretched too thin to even think about self-care—and that's a serious problem. In fact, according to a 2018 Gallup poll, about 55% of adults reported that they experience stress for "a lot of the day."
The good news? You don't have to set aside hours of time for self-care each day (or even each week) to start seeing a significant improvement in your own mental health and wellness. In fact, you'll probably get the most out of a self-care ritual if it consists of quick and simple habits you can easily replicate each day. One Everyday Health article explains that "self-care promotes positive health outcomes, such as fostering resilience, living longer, and becoming better equipped to manage stress."
So, where does a Bloomer begin with designing and implementing a sustainable plan for self-care? It's easier than you might think! Let's explore some actionable tips for creating a self-care plan you can actually stick with. We'll even offer some ideas for self-care activities that take 10 minutes or less—because we get it; you're busy!
Cultivating a Sustainable Self Care Ritual: Tips for Success
The first thing to understand about self-care is that it looks different for everybody. What might be considered an enjoyable self-care ritual for one person may not be ideal for another person. That's why it's so important to tailor a self-care ritual that will truly nourish your unique body, mind, and spirit.
1. Make a List of Things You Enjoy
Not sure where to begin? We recommend starting by simply making a list of what brings you joy. These could be activities (such as doing yoga or volunteering) or tangible things (such as fresh flowers or a warm mug of tea). Take your time in creating this list until you have at least a dozen (if not more) ideas. You don't necessarily have to finish your list in one sitting; feel free to return to it with new ideas throughout the day (or even throughout the week) as they come to you.
2. Schedule Dedicated Time for Self-Care
Once you have a list of self-care ideas, it's time to build them into an actual ritual. This is where it will be helpful to actually schedule time for self-care in each of your days. While it may sound silly to actually block out time in your planner for this kind of thing, the reality is that in doing so, you will be committing to taking care of yourself just as seriously as you might commit to a work meeting or any other important task in your life. Scheduling self-care means prioritizing yourself—and that's what it's all about.
Many people find it helpful to create self-care rituals that can be done at different times of the day. For example, you might create a morning ritual, an afternoon ritual, and/or a ritual that you carry out before bed. A morning ritual may include setting your intentions for the day, as well as nourishing your body with a healthy breakfast and even getting in a few quick stretching exercises.
A bedtime ritual, on the other hand, may be as simple as disconnecting from electronics (such as smartphones) an hour before bed and instead focusing on gratitude or meditating.
Whatever you decide to include in your self-care ritual, make sure you can set aside a certain about of time for it each day. And don't just pencil that time in; commit to it just as much as you would any other meeting or task.
3. Be Realistic About Your Self-Care Goals
The key to sticking with a self-care ritual is making sure it's realistic. The most common reason that a self-care ritual fails is that it is simply too time-consuming or ambitious to truly fit in with a person's lifestyle. When this happens, you might find yourself skipping out on your self-care habits here and there (especially on days when you already have a lot on your plate). Eventually, your self-care ritual falls by the wayside and you give up on it altogether. Sound familiar? It's a very common cycle that plenty of well-meaning people fall into.
Rather than creating a long, elaborate self-care ritual, you may want to start small and build from there. For example, instead of planning a ritual that involves going on a mile-long run, drinking 50 ounces of water, and meditating for 20 minutes all before 10AM each day, try building a more realistic and sustainable routine. This could include setting aside 10 minutes for walking (whether it be indoors or outside), starting the day with a glass of water, and going through a quick meditation ritual.
From there, you can always add to your self-care habits as you see fit (and realistic). However, starting small will keep you on a better path to success and keep you from getting overwhelmed.
4. Track Your Progress
Many people find that tracking their self-care progress can be enjoyable and motivating! You might consider, for example, using bullet journaling to track your individual self-care tasks each day. There are plenty of fun and creative ideas for keeping track of your progress. You might do something as simple as coloring in a square in your bullet journal each time you accomplish one of your self-care rituals. At the end of the week, you can look back on what you accomplished and gain some motivation to stick with it.
5. Re-Evaluate and Make Changes as Needed
At the end of the day, the best self-care ritual is one that works for you. It's something you can set time aside for every day to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. With that in mind, it's important to re-evaluate your self-care rituals on a regular basis and make changes as needed. More than likely, your self-care rituals will grow and evolve over time as your own needs and goals change.
Quick and Easy Self Care Rituals to Try
Looking for some self-care ideas that won't take up a lot of your already-limited time? We've got some ideas to help you get started in building a self-care ritual that you can stick with.
1. Make Time for Tea
Day or night, a warm mug of tea can make all the difference in your mood. Nourish your body and mind with Matcha Bloom's "At-Home" Bundle, which includes:
- 30 grams of Matcha Purity Powder
- a Matcha Bloom mini whisk
- a Matcha Bloom bowl
From there, you can easily brew your own Matcha tea at home by adding one scoop of matcha to two ounces of hot water and whisking until frothy. In just a few minutes, you'll be nourishing your mind, body, and soul.
2. Go For a Walk
Even a quick walk around the block can do wonders for your mood and physical health. If the weather isn't cooperating, there's nothing wrong with setting aside 10 minutes to get some steps in around your own home. Just getting your body moving will allow you to enjoy some mental and physical health benefits!
3. Do a Breathing Exercise
Breathing exercises are great because they can be done anytime and anywhere, making them an easy self-care idea to incorporate into your routine. Even a couple of minutes of breathing exercises can help you feel more grounded, less stressed, and ready to tackle your day with a greater sense of confidence as well.
Set Aside Time for Yourself Today
If you're wondering how to reduce stress in your everyday life, implementing a sustainable self-care ritual can make all the difference. Unfortunately, so many people miss out on the benefits of a great self-care routine because they think it needs to eat up hours of their time. In reality, even a few minutes of dedicated self-care each day can do wonders for your mental health.
So, whether it's cozying up with a mug of tea or setting aside a few minutes to fill out a gratitude journal each night, it's time to create a ritual that works for you! Hopefully, these tips and self care ideas will have you on the path to a sustainable routine that you can look forward to each day.