March 11, 2022 4 min read

Self-care isn't all bubble baths and manicures, it's a cluster of habits that spark joy and promote your physical and emotional wellbeing.

Do you feel so drained by the end of the day, that you feel you have nothing left to give to your family or loved ones? You're not alone.

The world is experiencing an epidemic of exhaustion and burnout. We all know that you can't pour from an empty cup. So, how do we fill our cups and live extraordinarily lives?

It all starts with creating self-care rituals.🥰 

What is self-care?

For me, self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting your own well-being and happiness; showing kindness to yourself, so you can bring the best of you to your world.

Self-care happens when you take a proactive and personalised approach to promoting your health and wellbeing through a variety of strategies.

These strategies are many and multidimensional, but they can be grouped into seven self-care pillars. The seven pillars work together to bring a feeling of happiness and wellbeing to your life:

  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Community
  • Solitude
  • Time in nature
  • Activities that spark joy

What self-care actually looks like in practice, is different for everybody.

When it comes to activities that spark joy, you need to identify what brings you joy, replenishes your energy, and makes you feel great. Those are the things you want to prioritise.

There are seven pillars of self care. Sleep, nutrition, exercise, community, solitude, time in nature, and activities that spark joy.

Why does self care matter?

Life is complex and our to-do lists can be exhausting. Self-care can reduce the risk of burnout and help us to build resilience, so we can cope with the stressors that come with life. When we take care of ourselves we're better equipped to cope with the needs of others.

Most of us appreciate this, but demands on our time, our attention and our emotions, can overwhelm us and make us feel like it's impossible to find time to look after ourselves. 

Creating self-care rituals can help overcome these barriers and sprinkle moments of care throughout the day. These rituals won't happen by accident, they need thought, planning, and perseverance to get established, but you'll never regret it.

How do you build self-care rituals?

First, you must commit to being a person who takes care of themselves.

Not in a self-indulgent, you-first kind of way, but in the full acknowledgement that you need to be well, to care for those you love and to make your unique contribution in our world. 

A good way to think about it is - 'Caring for me, is caring for you!'

Once you make that commitment, start by picking one habit that will help you be that person. James Clear (author of Atomic Habits) calls this finding ‘one habit that casts a small vote for the person you want to be.’ I love that! 💖

Start small, build up, reflect on how it makes you feel, then add a second habit. Think of this as the snowball effect for self-care.

Self-care doesn’t need to cost money. It’s more about doing the simple things that you know are good for you and that you enjoy.

Sleep is fundamental to wellness. Take good care of yourself with a sleep schedule.

Like sleep …

We all know that good sleep is fundamental to wellbeing. A good sleep is not only important for a healthy body, it also makes you feel awesome. So, when it comes to self-care rituals, it’s a great place to start.

Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep to rest and replenish their energy. Setting a bedtime and ‘lights-off’ time will ensure you optimise your chances for at least 7 hours. If I’m going to be up at 5am, then I know I need to be in bed by 9pm, with lights-off no later than 10. Once I have that clear in my mind, I find it easier to organise my evenings to achieve a good night’s sleep.

I've found it helpful to create cues throughout the evening that keep me on track, like setting a firm start time for preparing dinner. When I jam-pack the end of my day and start cooking dinner late, that flows through the whole evening and ends with a late night.🙄 Over-scheduling life can feel a bit suffocating, but routine definitely does make life easier.

Not every night will go perfectly, so don’t feel discouraged or feel like a failure if things don’t go exactly to plan, just keep working at it. New habits aren’t formed overnight, they take time.

If you enjoy tracking progress, note down in your journal when you get to bed and when you turn off the lights. Awareness is fundamental to achieving change, and seeing progress is a great way to encourage yourself.🙌

Once you’ve established the habit of a healthy sleep schedule, you can add other good-sleep promoting habits like - unplugging 30 minutes before bed, creating a restful bedroom environment, finding a new relaxing evening drink, and establishing some soothing rituals before bed. Before long, your evening will be peppered with sleep promoting self-care rituals.

Then you can turn your attention to the next self-care pillar (more on that next time 🤗).

In the meantime, why not implement a healthy sleep schedule this week? Share how you go in the comments below or email me. Remember, sharing is caring, and success begets success. Let’s build up our self-care community!

Until next time, take care my friend!💖

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