When I quit my day job and started working on Jules Design, full time, one of my goals was to keep a good work/life balance. I love my business and dive wholeheartedly into it every single work day, but, I also want a rich life outside of work. One where I get to spend time with loved ones, enjoy my hobbies and get to travel.
I also believe that we need to take care of ourselves as business owners. Practicing self-care, every single day, can really help to switch your brain out of work mode and into personal time.
Relaxing with a little bit of Netflix at the end of the day is a great way to unwind. But, if you watch too much, you aren’t really gaining anything from your self-care practice. To truly practice self-care you will want to nurture yourself on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. It’s ok if you don’t hit all three of those things every single day. But, try to mix up your activities throughout the week to keep things fresh.
Now, Let’s dive into how to implement a self-care routine into your life. If you’re still having some trouble coming up with ideas, I’ve got you! I included a bonus at the end of this article, with 50 self-care ideas.
Grab a pen and paper and get cozy on your couch. Write down everything that you typically do during your weekday and weekend routine. Make sure to include the time when you wake up and go to bed. Also, the time when you start and end work.
Now get honest with yourself and evaluate how your routine makes you feel. This might be a hard exercise to go through and you might even notice that you aren’t making a ton of time for self-care right now. But start small. Look at your waking and sleeping time and ensure that you’re getting at least 8 hours of sleep. Look at your work start and stop time and make sure that you’re happy with your work/life balance. Right now, just focus on what you like and don’t like about your current self-care routine.
Now you’ve gotten really clear about what you like and dislike about your routine. Go through the list and remove anything that doesn’t bring you joy. Then, go through the list again and add in self-care things that you want to try.
For instance, if you hate running in the mornings. Don’t run anymore. Try replacing that activity with an evening Barre class instead. Or, something a little more spiritual, like Yoga.
If you spend a ton of time in the evening watching Netflix, maybe take 30 minutes to an hour of that time to do something else. You could try journaling, reading, exercising, or even using a new face mask. As long as you’re taking some time for yourself, you’re going in the right direction.
You have a better understanding of what you want your self-care routine to include. Now you need to figure out when you’ll have time to do these new things. It might be as simple as watching less tv and doing the self-care things instead. But, for many of us, our lives are already busy.
To find some extra time in the day, you might need to get up a little earlier. Mornings are usually the quietest time of the day and, therefore, great for self-care. But, if you hate mornings, by all means, do something for yourself at night instead. This is especially helpful if you have kids because you can take a little time for yourself while they are still sleeping.
Carving out time to practice self-care might also mean that you need to ask someone for help. Perhaps your partner could clean the house for you on Thursdays, so that, you can go to a yoga class with a friend. Just be upfront with what you need help with an offer to return the favor for them on another night of the week.
That’s great that you’ve decided to commit to a self-care routine. But, go a step further and put it on a calendar. When I was just starting out, I found it really helpful to schedule all of my self-care activities on a google calendar so it didn’t slip my mind. It takes time to develop a new habit, so having that gentle reminder will really help to keep you on track.
Now that I’ve been doing my routine for a little while I don’t find that I need to schedule everything anymore. For instance, I don’t schedule in reading, I just do it when I want to do it. I focus on scheduling things that are happening outside of the house like plans with friends and going to the gym.
I’m all about taking advantage of subscription services if they help you to keep up with your self-care routine. Try signing up for online yoga classes on YogaGlo, magazine subscriptions using Texture, audiobooks on Audible, snack box subscriptions like Vegan Cuts, and green beauty boxes like Petit Vour. Choose a subscription that you want to incorporate into your routine so that you always have a gentle reminder to practice self-care.
Another great way to save time is to multitask. For instance, you could catch up with a friend while going to yoga together. You could put on a new facemask while reading a good book. You could cook a new dinner with your partner. Or you could go on a hike while taking the dog for a walk. The goal is not to overwhelm yourself by multitasking but to find two things that compliment each other and do them at the same time.
If you start to feel overwhelmed with your new routine then scale back. If you’re new to self-care, don’t try too many things at once. Try 3 new things and see how you like it. If you find that you hate doing one of the things you added then replace it with something else. It’s all about creating a routine that you love and respecting yourself through self-care.
About once a month, sit down and think about your routine. What do you love about it? What could you remove? Is there anything that you really want to try or add to the routine? Constantly evaluate and curate things to work for you.
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