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  • Writer's pictureDr. Blake Banner

TREAT YO' SELF: Developing A Self Care Routine


The practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

Let's start the blog post off with this - Everyone repeat after me, "Self Care Is Not A Reward, Self Care Is Part Of The Process." It's been a common misconception that self care should be some sort of prize after working tirelessly or spending hours studying for an exam, preparing for an interview or even running errands or doing chores. The real truth is the same statement I opened this blog post with, "self care is not a reward, it is part of the process." How effective can you be at handling the day to day stressors if you're feeling depleted from emotional and physical exhaustion? I'll answer that for you - not very effective at all!

True self care prevents feelings of overload and burnout while helping you refocus.

Self care impacts your physical and emotional health by triggering a relaxation response via the activities we choose to partake in which leads to long-term feelings of well being. By practicing self care more frequently you can learn more about who you are as an individual which allows you to develop and grow in ways you can't imagine. Stop putting yourself last on your to-do list and realize that you're limiting your potential when you fail to honor your needs.

True self care prevents feelings of overload and burnout while helping you refocus.

So where do you start with creating a self care routine or practice? Take a minute to think about some of the questions listed below:

  • What makes you feel energized?

  • What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

  • Where in your schedule can you incorporate self care?

  • What relaxes you?

The answers to the questions above will get you going in the right direction on developing a routine that works for you and leaves you feeling uplifted and energized.

Some days will be easier to than others to practice your selected self care, and that's okay! But make sure you're putting yourself in the best position possible to be able to stay with it, see the list below for ways that may be helpful:

Tips To Make The Routine Stick:

1. Hold Yourself Accountable

Taking care of yourself is your responsibility - Not anyone else's. Put yourself in charge of your life and take accountability for your physical, mental and emotional health by treating yourself to what's necessary to continue pushing through any and all situations faced. Another option is finding an accountability partner to have with you on the journey, sometimes having a person who will hold you to your word is helpful!

2. Include Short Activities

Short and sweet is the way to go, every self care activity doesn't have to take hours to complete. Make sure to include shorter 10-15 minute activities when incorporate new tasks in your routine because this will increase your chance of sticking with it even more. This also makes it easier to add in your schedule during the week without interfering with other obligations.

3. Plan Ahead and Block Out Time

Carve out time in your schedule, set an alarm, let your friends know you will be busy at whatever time you feel is best for you to complete your self care routine. If you don't make time, then chances are it'll be hard for you to find the time later on. I like scheduling my self care activities before or after things that I do regularly (i.e. setting my alarm for the next day, meditating, taking a shower) and maybe this will work for you too!

4. Do Things You Enjoy Doing & Have Fun With It!

You want to make sure you incorporate activities that you look forward to doing, self care shouldn't feel like a chore and it definitely shouldn't make you stress out worried about completing your self care tasks.

Stop putting yourself last on your to-do list.

Ideas For Self Care:

  • Exercise

  • Go For A Walk

  • Read A Book

  • Journaling

  • Meditate

  • Get A Full Nights Sleep

  • Watch Inspiring TED Talks/Youtube Videos

  • Express Gratitude

  • Yoga

  • Listen to Podcasts

  • Hang Out with Friends That Uplift You

  • Look Through Old Photos

  • Take a Bubble Bath

  • Turn On Do Not Disturb Mode on Your Phone

The possibilities are endless! Do whatever works best for you, remember its SELF care!

It's important to mention that everything that feels good is NOT self care. We can all be tempted to use unhealthy coping mechanisms like overeating, binge drinking, taking dangerous risks - all of which are self destructive and only offers temporary relief. Real self care creates lasting results and long term improvement of your well-being.

Self Care is so easily ignored because we often undermine the value of it, but just like brushing your teeth daily self care should be built into your routine.Bottom line is, you won't be able to show up for your other responsibilities if you're neglecting self.

My self care activities include crystal meditation, onesie lounging, my journal and/or a good book!

I want to hear about your self care routines! What are some of the activities on your self care list? Let me know in the comments section below or let me know on My Instagram or Facebook Page!

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