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Building a Self-Care Routine that Works

Self-care is the practice of taking care of yourself, both mentally and physically. It’s about making time for yourself, doing things that make you happy, and taking care of your mental and physical health. Having a self-care routine in place can significantly help manage your mental health.

But creating a self-care routine that works for you can be tricky. Many things can be included in a self-care routine, and it can be hard to know where to start. Or maybe you’ve tried to create a self-care routine before, but it didn’t work out. Perhaps you found it too hard to stick to or didn’t feel it was helping.

If this sounds like you, don’t worry! You aren’t alone. Creating a self-care routine takes time and patience. 

Why is A Self-Care Routine Important?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), self-care is vital in supporting your mental health and impacts how you react to treatment if you have a mental illness (NIMH, 2022). Self-care is essential for everyone, but it’s imperative if you have a mental disorder. When you have a mental illness, it can be challenging to take care of yourself. You might not feel like eating or taking care of yourself when feeling down. Or maybe you struggle to find the energy to take care of yourself when your symptoms are flaring up.

This is where a self-care routine comes in. When you have a self-care routine, taking care of yourself is easier, even when you don’t feel like it. A self-care routine can help you to eat regular meals, get enough sleep, and take medication as prescribed (if you take medication for your mental illness).

Self-care can also help reduce stress and anxiety and can be a great way to cope with difficult emotions. When you have a self-care routine, you’ll know what to do when feeling down or struggling. This can help to make tough times a little bit easier.

How to Create a Self-Care Routine that Works?

Now that we’ve discussed why self-care is essential let’s discuss how you can create a self-care routine that works for you. Here are some tips: 

Start Small 

When starting, it’s crucial, to begin with small, manageable steps. Trying to do too much at once can be overwhelming, and it’s more likely that you’ll give up if you try to take on too much.

Maybe your first step is to take a 20-minute walk every day. Or perhaps you want to start meal planning to ensure you eat regular, healthy meals. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something you can realistically do.

Find What Works For You 

There are so many different things that can be included in a self-care routine. But not everything will work for everyone. So, it’s essential to find what works for you.

Think about what makes you feel good. Maybe it’s spending time outside, listening to music, or reading. Or perhaps certain activities help to relieve your symptoms when they’re flaring up. Make sure to include things in your self-care routine that you know will help you.

Make It A Priority 

For your self-care routine to be effective, you need to make it a priority. This means making time for yourself, even when you’re busy. It might mean getting up 20 minutes earlier in the morning so you can have some time to yourself before starting your day. Or maybe it means saying no to plans with friends so you can have a night to yourself. Whatever it is, make sure you’re making your self-care a priority.

Be Patient 

Creating a self-care routine takes time and effort. So be patient with yourself. It might take some trial and error to find what works for you. And even when you find something that works, it can still be challenging to stick to it sometimes. But don’t give up! Keep at it, and eventually, it will become second nature.

Final Thoughts 

Creating a self-care routine can be a great way to care for yourself mentally and physically. But it’s important to find what works for you. Start small, and be patient as you try different things. Eventually, you’ll find a routine that helps you to feel your best.

References

NIMH. (2022). Caring for Your Mental Health.   Retrieved from National Institute of Mental Health:   https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/caring-for-your-mental-health

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