Creating a daily self-care routine is key if you want to make sure you'll actually practice self-care in a real way. As happiness expert Gretchen Rubin says, what you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while—and something you do every day will also help you create a real, lasting habit around self-care.
That's why crafting a daily self-care routine that works for you and your lifestyle is so important. But the thing about a daily self-care routine is that it has to be both manageable and filled with activities you truly enjoy doing for it to stick.
If you're ready to dream up and implement the perfect self-care routine for you and your lifestyle, get started with these five tips.
How to Craft a Daily Self-Care Routine
These five steps will help you craft the perfect daily self-care routine:
1. Make sure the daily self-care you want to incorporate is actually doable
It would be great if we all had time for daily journaling, meditation, yoga, bubble baths, one-hour reading sessions, the list goes on and on. But for most of us, doing all of those things in a single day is far from realistic. When you throw careers and kids into the mix, you're lucky if you have a few minutes for self-care every day. So find one or two self-care acts you can do on a daily basis—preferably ones you truly love and look forward to doing—and you'll be more likely to stick with them.
2. Pick self-care acts you enjoy
Self-care is not one-size-fits-all. For some people, meditation is the self-care act they look forward to engaging in every day, and it truly helps them. Other people dread meditation, and don't see much benefit from it. That's OK! We're all different, so pick self-care acts that are meaningful to you and spark true joy and relaxation. You'll be a lot more likely to stick with these acts if they make you happy.
3. Expand your definition of self-care
Most of us have a very limited idea of what self-care actually is. We tend to associate it with some of the actions listed above: Bubble baths, meditation, and yoga are a few popular self-care activities. But you should free to personalize self-care and decide what it means for you. For you, self-care might be a walk around the block every night. It might be a few hours with your phone turned off, or some time staring at a SAD lamp in the wintertime so you can absorb those feel-good rays. If you're engaging in self-care acts on a daily basis that feel good to you, you'll be more likely to stick with them.
Self-care can be as simple as a walk around the block after dinner.
4. Add self-care to your to-do list
Do you ever decide not to do work tasks? How about things for others, like putting the kids to bed or taking them to school? We're going to guess the answer to that is no, so here's our suggestion for you: Add your daily self-care practice (or practices) to your to-do list, whether that's a physical one you keep every day or a mental one that lives inside your brain. If it's on the to-do list or calendar, it's more likely to get done.
5. Ask someone in your life to hold you accountable
If you have a partner and you have kids together, tell them you've blocked out a certain amount of time for self-care every day—that way they'll know they're in charge of the kids for that period of time, which creates built-in accountability. If that's not the case for you, find a friend or family member who is willing to check in with you on a daily or weekly basis to find out if you've engaged in your self-care acts yet. Bonus points if this accountability relationship is reciprocal and they're trying to build more self-care into their lives, too!
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