Having a daily self-care routine helps you make sure you’re making your wellbeing a priority and that you’re giving yourself the attention you know you deserve. But how do you make your self-care routine a habit? By following the simple five-step process I’m sharing in this post!
Ready to thrive Mama?
Transform your home, mind, schedule and life with my FREE weekly email series; 5 to Thrive.
Get 5 super simple but super powerful tips and strategies delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday evening.
Reduce the overwhelm, restore balance and create the life YOU want – for you AND your family. 👇🏻
First published November 2019. Updated December 2022.
A self-care routine that sticks…
In my last post, I talked about the importance of self-care and why you should find ways to treat yourself. I explained how self-care leaves you feeling energised and refreshed and if you can, to build as many self-care activities into your day as possible.
But like adding any new habit, it has to happen regularly in order for it to become, well, a habit. And that can make adding a self-care routine into your life seem a little daunting. Especially if you’ve never really done it before and you struggle to make time for you without feeling guilty about doing it.
Why should you have a self-care routine?
Having a routine for your self-care helps you make sure you are giving yourself the attention you know you deserve. Because when life gets busy, finding the time to make your wellbeing a priority can be super hard. And when there’s so much to do it’s easy to bump your self-care to the bottom of the list for the sake of getting just one more load of washing done.
Having a self-care routine stops making your wellbeing a priority hard work. Making self-care a habit and building self-care activities into the most convenient parts of your day allows you to take care of yourself without having to think about it.
When you have a self-care routine and those self-care activities are scheduled in, they just happen on autopilot. No more getting to the end of the day exhausted and worn out because you’ve had pockets of time throughout your day to regroup and recharge.
How to fit your routine into your day…
If you’re wondering how you’ll manage to find time to do anything extra for yourself, let alone actually remember to do it, don’t worry, because I’ve got you covered! One of the best ways to get started in adopting any new habit – including a self-care routine – is to build the activities of that routine into the most predictable parts of your day.
Not sure how that works? Keep reading because I’m going to show you a few tricks that’ll have you following your self-care routine without even thinking about it before you even know it!
Step #1: Make it personal.
The first thing that’s going to help you create a self-care routine that sticks is to make it personal. It sounds obvious I know, but you’re far more likely to stick to something if you enjoy doing it. So, choose activities and rituals that are meaningful to you and that you enjoy.
Remember, your self-care routine is YOUR practice. The only person you’re doing it for is yourself. So, make sure it’s personal to you. Customise it to make sure you get the most out of it by choosing things you know are going to energise you and make you feel pampered. It’s your routine so own it!
Make a list of all the things that help you feel relaxed, calm, peaceful, excited or happy and resist the urge to add anything you think you should do just because everyone else is doing it. Just because they’re doing it doesn’t mean you have to too. It’s your self-care routine, so give yourself permission to include any activities you want – without worrying about what others might think.
Step #2: Keep it simple.
The key to creating a self-care routine that sticks is to keep things simple. Especially when you’re first starting out. The last thing you need when trying to make a new habit stick is to overcomplicate things or choose activities that require a lot of time and effort to set up.
Get too complicated and your new routine will feel like hard work. Which will just put you off and make you want to give up. Ask yourself what activities can be done in a short amount of time. What activities can be fitted into your life and home without special equipment or tools – or without you having to spend a ton of money? They’re the ones to go for!
Step #3: Fit it in.
Make it easy to carry out your self-care rituals by adding them to the most convenient parts of your day. Choose times that are already somewhat flexible so that incorporating something new into that space will be less stressful. For instance, if the couple of hours between picking the kids up from school and getting dinner on the table is a mad rush, don’t choose that time to try doing your yoga DVD. It’s just not going to work.
A great way to make your self-care routine part of your every day is to make it part of your morning or evening routine. Getting up a few minutes earlier so that you have time to focus on yourself before everyone else gets up can work really well. As can turning off the TV fifteen minutes before bed. And if you’re working all day, why not build fifteen minutes of self-care into your lunch break. Go for a walk or curl up with a book for a few minutes after you’ve eaten before you head back to work.
Look at your day and see where there are pockets of time where you can incorporate the activities from your self-care routine. Consider filling out a gratitude journal before you go to bed. Take a long walk home after school drop-off. Listen to a relaxing playlist whilst having your morning coffee. Go for a drive and listen to an audiobook during your lunch break.
Step #4: Be flexible.
When you have a schedule that you can stick to, you’ll find it easier to make your self-care routine a habit. So, try to come up with a routine that works for you and do your best to stick to it. If it helps, create a self-care routine checklist and tick things off as you go each week.
Don’t forget to cut yourself some slack too though. Life is full of seasons and some days will be more hectic than others. So, in the spirit of all things self-care, remember to be kind to yourself. You might not be able to fit in every self-care activity every single day and that’s okay. Just tell yourself tomorrow is another day, that you can always start again.
You don’t need to do it all in one go…
Remember too that your self-care routine doesn’t all have to be done in one go. It might be a routine but that doesn’t mean that your self-care activities have to run back-to-back. If needed, spread them out across the day. Not only does this give you something to look forward to but it makes the day easier to cope with too.
Knowing you only have a few more moments to go before you indulge in your next self-care activity makes any stressful situation easier to deal with!
Step #5: Stick with it.
Like any routine, it’ll take time for your self-care routine to bed in. But stick with it. Don’t throw in the towel just because you’ve missed a couple of days. And if you really feel like it’s not working for you, ask yourself why. Is it the activities you’ve chosen, the time you’re choosing to do them or something else?
If you’re finding it hard to build your self-care routine into your day, try creating a weekly self-care routine instead. Self-care Sunday routines are incredibly popular. They serve as a nice reward at the end of a long hard week and can set you up for the week ahead. Especially if you do it in the evening before you go to bed. This is something I like to do at least once a month and it always leaves me feeling refreshed and ready for Monday morning!
Practicing self-care every day…
Getting into the practice of regular self-care and adding a self-care routine to your day doesn’t have to be difficult. It might mean a little trial and error and a bit of tweaking here and there. But if you can, find a moment to call your own every day.
Look at your existing schedule to see where you can free up some space. Choose things that are quick and easy to do and that are simple and will refresh you. It won’t be long before you start to look forward to the self-care parts of your day and when that happens, you’ll be making them a priority before you know it.
All you need to do is follow these five steps and you’ll find adapting to your new self-care routine a breeze. Here they are again:
- Step One: Make your self-care routine personal. It’s YOUR routine remember, so don’t be afraid of owning it!
- Step Two: Keep things simple – especially in the early days.
- Step Three: Fit it in. Add your self-care activities to the most convenient parts of your day and you’ll be more likely to do them.
- Step Four: Be flexible. You might not be able to do all of your self-care routine every day – and that’s okay!
- Step Five: Stick with it. New routines take time to become a habit, so give your self-care routine chance to bed in.
Want a regular dose of self-love inspiration?
And if you want a regular dose of inspiration for all things self-care PLUS endless ideas of what to include in your self-care routine, be sure to follow my Self-Care board on Pinterest! I’ve scoured the web and curated this board with the very best posts on not only how to give yourself a treat but how to make your wellbeing a priority too – without feeling guilty about it!
That’s it for this post! Don’t already have a self-care routine? It’s time to create one!
Until next time…
Did you like this post? Be sure to check out the rest of the posts in this 7 Days to Better Self-Care series:
- How to easily add a self-care routine to your day
- Three surprisingly easy ways to take better care of yourself
- The self-care toolkit – what it is and why you need one
- Five of the best cheap and easy self-care ideas
- How to not feel guilty about taking time for you
- How to put yourself first – today and every day
About the Author
Hey there! In case we haven’t met, I’m Sarah. Certified master life coach, goal success coach and the founder of A Simple and Contented Life. The online coaching practice that helps mompreneurs take back their time, home, biz and selves so they can THRIVE both at home and in their online biz WITHOUT feeling like they have to choose between the two.
I’m also a mum, stepmum, wife, breast cancer survivor and fur mama to two French Bulldog pups and when I’m not helping my coaching clients and Cafe Thrive members create the lives they want for themselves and their family, you’ll find me in my office designing new products for my Printables Store, hanging out with my youngest in Starbucks or attempting to walk my somewhat lazy four-legged hounds!
I’m absolutely thrilled you’re here…you deserve to THRIVE in EVERY area of your life mama and together, we can make it happen! 💛