Hey, lady. Here’s a question for you. Is daily self-care part of your routine?
Okay, then let me ask you this: is self-care something you try to incorporate, yet you never seem to find the time?
Does making time for self-care feels too “selfish” when you have career, family, and friendship responsibilities already filling your plate?
Am I getting close?
I thought so.
You see, while many of us practice self-care every now and then, regularly making time for ourselves is a struggle. Not only are we busy, but we also feel that hefty weight of guilt for practicing such an indulgence. So instead, we pack our days with work, meetings, housework, volunteering, and after-school activities.
Can you relate?
I’m not surprised. You see, this is an all-too-familiar situation for many of us.
But just because it’s familiar does not make it okay. In fact, it makes it an even bigger problem.
And that’s what I’m here to talk with you about today.
In fact, I’m here to encourage you to start incorporating self-care in your life every day.
Yes, you read that right. Daily self-care.
And I can’t wait to show you how. Are you ready?
How To Practice Daily Self-Care Now
I’ve been a major advocate for daily self-care for a while now, but it wasn’t always that way.
Over a year ago I was a stressed out, anxiety-ridden work-a-holic, with zero work-life balance. I was averaging four to five hours of sleep per night, and my idea of self-care was sleeping six hours straight over the weekend.
Last year, however, I made a New Year’s Resolution to find a healthy and sustainable balance for myself. I wanted to keep showing up as the best version of myself, and the only way I could do that was by making time to recharge.
Was I always successful with this challenge?
But I was pretty consistent, and the positive impact that daily self-care had – and continues to have – on my life is remarkable.
I finally learned the truth of the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” and I’ve started filling mine up much more often.
And by the end of this blog post, I hope that I’ll convince you to give it a try, too.
Why Daily Self-Care
I was inspired to dig further into the realm of self-care after listing to Gretchen Rubin’s Happier podcast last winter. She interviewed Tanya Coke, who had recently written a piece for the Washington Post called, “Watching my daughter’s resilience lead her to the right path.” (It is an incredibly moving story; I highly recommend checking it out!)
In the podcast, Tanya not only spoke about the importance of practicing regular self-care but also explained how this practice was critical for both her and her family’s well-being.
You see, when our lives are filled with stress, anxiety, and/or depression, we tend to convey these emotions to others around us.
With that being said, the reverse is also true; when our life is filled with love, laughter, joy, and balance, we present those emotions instead.
Well, Tanya explained that it took her over a year to recognize that daily self-care was the secret to finding her balance, but once she did make this discovery, it made all the difference in her well being.
And the thing that I love the most about Tanya’s self-care approach is how simple, accessible, and doable it is.
Seriously, you’re going to love it.
Five Happiness Boosters for Daily Self-Care
The first step in making self-care a regular part of your routine is highlighting five things in your life that truly make you happy. (And as a gentle reminder, please remember that these five things need to make YOU happy…so stop worrying about everyone else for now.)
Also, remember that these five things don’t need to be major events. Instead, they simply need to lift your spirits and make you feel like you.
Once you make your list of five things, the next step is incorporating at least three of the activities into your life every day.
You see, by practicing this strategy on a daily basis, you ensure that you’re filling your life with things that you value and the things that bring you joy.
My Five Happiness Boosters for Daily Self-Care
I spent some time reflecting on my top five bringers of happiness, and my list includes:
I love reading. I find that getting lost in another world, another life, or alternate reality, is such a great way to escape the everyday stresses of life for a while.
Similarly, I also love learning new things and exploring fresh ideas. Simply put, reading brings me joy.
Unfortunately – like many of us – I also feel like I don’t have enough time to read. And when I finally do sit down with a book in hand, I worry about everything else I should be doing instead.
To combat these obstacles, I’ve turned to two tactics, which have been incredibly helpful with increasing my reading and decreasing my guilt in the process.
First of all, I established a bedtime routine, which includes 15 minutes of reading time before I go to sleep.
I’ve found that setting aside this time not only allows me to get in my valuable reading, but it also gives me time to quiet my racing thoughts and “power down” before turning out the light.
My other strategy for finding time to “read” is by listening to audiobooks and podcasts. I am a huge fan of both platforms because you can “read” just about anywhere. Driving to work? Cleaning the house? Cooking dinner? Working out at the gym? Simply turn on your phone and start listening.
My favorite way to find books for either tactic is through Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited. You pay $9.99/month for unlimited books, which you can either download on your e-reader OR (my favorite part) listen to them FOR FREE with the audible app.
Between these two options, I’m getting through at least 6 books a month, which is well worth $9.99 to me ☺️
If you’re looking for some great book recommendations, I’ve been hooked on Gretchen Rubin’s work recently. Some of my favorites include The Happiness Project, Better Than Before, Happier at Home, and The Four Tendencies. She has a new book coming out in March of 2019 called Outer Order Inner Calm, which I can’t wait to check out as well.
I also just re-listened to The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins, which is always an awesomely motivating book.
Creativity and Crafting
My second happiness booster is all things creativity and crafting.
I love making things; I always have. Unfortunately, for the past several years, I pushed that passion aside as I hunkered down into the daily work grind.
As I rediscovered my passion to create over the last year, however, and I opened up my Etsy shop, I’ve experienced an incredible feeling of joy. Whether it’s creating planner templates, designing cheeky tank tops and t-shirts, or bullet journaling, this creative outlet brings me a continuous sense of fulfillment.
Not surprisingly, daily exercise has been a key source of happiness in my life for years now.
In addition to the standard health benefits, being active also helps me stay centered, focused, and calm. Because having that stability is so important to me, I make time each day for exercise – even if that means getting up ridiculously early to fit it in.
If exercise brings you happiness, but you have a difficult time maintaining a routine or finding time to get active, let’s chat! I want to work with YOU and help you discover your own love for wellness and healthy living. Learn how here!
Blogging and Podcasting
While blogging and podcasting certainly coincide with my bigger need for creativity, I’ve decided to keep the two categories separate. This is because, in addition to providing a creative outlet, blogging and podcasting also provide me with a feeling of accomplishment. I love the sense of purpose I get as I communicate with you, my incredible readers and listeners.
Spending Time with Ryan and Bruno
My last – but certainly not least – happiness booster, is spending quality time with my husband, Ryan, and Bruno, my Dalmatian. Ryan and I are both quite busy, so when we spend time together, whether we’re heading out for “date night” or simply lounging on the couch, I can feel myself recharging. And with Bruno curled up beside us, life doesn’t get much better.
In fact, research shows that one of the most important contributors to a person’s happiness – both introvert and extrovert alike – is their relationships with others. And by regularly making time for these important interactions, we’re nurturing our souls while strengthening our connections. It’s another win-win.
So, now it’s your turn. Take some time to highlight YOUR five happiness boosters. Then, challenge yourself to incorporate at least three of those happiness boosters in your life every single day.
Because when you do this, you allow yourself to recharge, rejuvenate, and experience your life at 100%.
Want to Take the Daily Self-Care Challenge?
Snag your free self-care worksheet filled with 40 self-care ideas to help you highlight five happiness boosters today.