6 daily self-care rituals to try now
Making time for self-care can be difficult, we get it. We’re all living busy lives and it can feel like ‘self-care’ is just another job on our never-ending to-do lists. Many of us do know however just how incredibly beneficial self-care is; it supports our physical health, our mental health and it nurtures our sense of self-worth.
So how can we make time for self-care without it feeling like a chore?
Something easy we can do is weave self-care into the fabric of our day. Attach self-care practices to existing habits and make them daily rituals. Before long, it will feel as natural as brushing your teeth. Here are six daily self-care rituals you can implement right now.
1. Checking in, first thing
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? For many of us, it’s scrolling through our phones. An easy switch you can make is to take two minutes before you reach for your phone to ask yourself ‘what do I need today?’.
Think about what you’ve got on your agenda for the day, what’s happening in your life and what you need to support you. It could be to have an early night tonight because you’re feeling tired, or a call with a friend you’re missing. Just taking those two minutes to check in first thing, whether you do it in your head or write it in a journal, gets you in a great frame of mind to start your day.
2. Setting intentions in the shower
After asking yourself what you need, it can help to set some intentions for the day. How will you give yourself what you need? How do you intend your day to go? A great place to do this thinking is the shower. If you don’t shower in the morning, switch this with washing your face or brushing your teeth.
The aim is to anchor your self-care habit with a pre-existing habit in your daily routine. This will help you stick to it as you’ll soon associate showering/brushing teeth with intention setting.
3. Getting outside at lunch
Getting in touch with nature has a lot of benefits for our mental health. Connecting going outside with your lunch break is a simple tweak to make to your daily routine. Maybe you go for a lengthy walk, maybe you just stand outside and look up at the clouds for two minutes. The idea here is to get you away from what’s happening in your day to pause for a few minutes and take in some fresh air.
4. Meditating after work
Switching from work-mode to rest-mode can be tricky, especially if you’re working from home. A lovely routine that can help you make that switch is to take some time to meditate. There are lots of apps and videos available with guided meditations you can use if you’re a beginner and you don’t have to start with long meditations that eat into your day.
Pick a short meditation at first and see how it makes you feel. Keep it up and start increasing the length if you’re finding it helpful. If meditation doesn’t feel good to you, find another activity you can do here to help you move into rest-mode. You might want to do some exercise, journal or just sit quietly with a cup of tea and decompress.
5. Cooking dinner mindfully
Mindfulness has been proven to ease stress and anxiety. If you find you’re ruminating on something that’s happened in the past or are constantly worrying about the future, mindfulness can help bring you into the present moment.
Mindfulness can include meditation, but it can also be doing an everyday task, like cooking, more mindfully. When you cook your dinner, focus on what you’re doing. Notice how the food smells, the sound it makes in the frying pan, the way the colours change. Stay fully present and really enjoy the moment. This gives us a chance to get some space from our thoughts and slow down.
6. Reading before bed
Reading is a beautiful way to practice self-care and reading before bed can help us drift off to sleep more easily. Try reading fiction or something that doesn’t get you thinking too much – reading a work-related book before bed is a no-no!
If you don’t enjoy reading, again, look at what other activity you can replace this with. Maybe you can write a few lines about how your day’s been or listen to an audio-book.
Hopefully after reading this you’ll be brimming with ideas. If you’re worried about sticking to your new routine, try setting reminders on your phone and putting out visual prompts (such as a journal by your bed for your morning check-in or a postit note in the bathroom saying ‘set intention’).
When you find the activities and rituals that suit you and your schedule, you’ll feel the benefits and find it easier to stick to. Let us know how you get on in the comments.