Self-care seems to be a hot topic lately. Everyone is talking about it and everyone has their own definition about what it is and what things fit into the self-care category. I find it fascinating to see what other people do for self-care and how they find time to fit it in.
Of course, for scatter-brained me, the danger in that fascination is that I might jump on new idea after new idea and never really practice self-care that works for me. That’s why I think it’s so important to take time to create a self-care plan that fits your needs and feeds your soul.
Creating a self-care plan makes it easier to put yourself first when you need too.
It might sound like a strange concept, creating a self-care plan, but I promise it’s not as strange as it sounds. We plan our months, weeks, and days. We plan our parties, our holidays, and our housework. Why shouldn’t we plan our self-care too?
Having a plan for what self-care is for us, makes it so much easier to schedule our self-care into our days and it also makes it easier for us to commit to actually following through with it.
What is Self-Care
Self-care is so much more than bubble baths and manicures. Those can certainly be part of self-care, but they are just one piece of the bigger picture. To truly take care of ourselves we need to look at our whole self, not just one or two pieces. We need to be honest with ourselves about the things we need to do to take care ourselves, not just the things we want.
I break my self-care into four categories:
- Hobbies and Interests
I find that organizing my self-care this way allows me to look at the whole picture of what I need and it helps me balances the needs with the wants.
I take it one step further and make lists for each category. When I sit down to plan out my week, I have my list of things to add to my weekly plan. Having them written down and right in front of me makes it a little harder to ignore them and it makes it a little easier for me to make myself a priority.
We only get one body in this life, so making sure we take care of it is a really important part of self-care in my opinion. The sad truth is that for many people, women and moms especially, our physical health is one of the first things that gets neglected during busy seasons in our lives.
Knowing what your body needs to be healthy is the first step to making it easier to fit in those self-care tasks.
I put all my health-related needs and tasks in this category. I like to include any health goals in this category too because, at their core, health goals are a form of self-care. Things you could include in this category are:
- Any health issues you might have and what you need to do because of them.
- Medication or vitamins you need to take
- Exercise goals and plans for how you’re going to do them.
- Ideas for ways you can fit more activity in your life, like evening walks
- Nutritional needs – like dietary restrictions or inclusions
- How much sleep you need
- A list of when you’re next doctor appointments are, include your dental, vision, and chiropractic appointments,
- When your last physical was and when your next one will be
- Skincare routine
- Hair care routine
- You sleep schedule
Anything that pertains to taking care of your body and to helping you like your body goes in this category.
Mental health is just as important as physical health and yet, it is often overlooked. It is important to take care of your emotional needs just like you do your physical ones. Even if mental health is not a challenging area for you, it’s still good to think about things you need to do to take care of your mind.
The mind list is also the category where I put most of my stress reducing tasks. Stress takes a horrible toll on both our minds and our bodies. It’s important to have a plan in place for how to de-stress. I put these tasks in the mind category because for me, personally, the de-stressing process starts with quieting my mind.
Some items you might want to include on your list for this category are
- Brain dumps
- Therapy information
- When your last mental health check-up was and when you need to go in again
- Sleep schedule
- Books you want to do
- Relaxation exercises
- List of people you can talk to when you need someone who will listen
- Alone time
- Walking routes
- Podcasts to listen to
Soul or Spirit
The third category is reserved for all those things that feed your soul. They fill you cup and help you relax, refresh, and rejuvenate. This is the place for bubble baths and manicures. A place for devotional time, though that could fit in the mind category too.
Some ideas to get you going are:
- Meditation (yep, you can repeat things in different categories)
- Bible Study
- Alone time
- Bubble baths
- Manicures, pedicures, facials
- Spa days
- Dance parties
- Happy Hour
- Girl’s Night
- Yummy treats
- Time to enjoy your favourite drink
- Movies/Netflix/TV time
- Going to bed early
- Sleeping in
- Having a PJ day
- Going to the beach or somewhere that makes you feel happy
- Window shopping
Feeding our souls is as important as nourishing our bodies. It helps us feel alive and connected with ourselves.
Hobbies and Interests
Last, but not least, make a list of the hobbies you enjoy and the things that interest you. Making time for the things we enjoy doing allows us a well needed break from our obligations and responsibilities. They can offer us a creative outlet, a way to engage our mind in different ways.
Think outside the box for your hobbies and interest. Maybe your hobby is playing a musical instrument or learning new languages. Perhaps you’re interested in astrology but haven’t had a chance to really look into it. This is a
How to Make a Self-Care Plan
So we have these lists, now what do we do with them? How do they help us make a self-care plan?
We start by prioritizing our lists. What items are super important, non-negotiables items for you? Do these things need to be part of your daily routines or are they more of a weekly or even monthly thing? Mark those with a star or highlight them in some way.
When you sit down to plan your month, week, or day, these should be some of the first things you put on your calendar or in your planner.
Next, organize your lists by what are daily, weekly, and less frequently needed self-care tasks. For example, things like going for a walk, washing my face, brushing my teeth, gratitude journaling, and reading at bedtime are on my daily list. On my weekly list are items like a hot bath, at home spa night, craft time, and movie night. My less frequent list includes things like clothes shopping, time for researching an interest (currently self-development) and
When you do your weekly or daily planning, make sure to use these lists to help you fit things in where you can. Over time I’ve discovered that a lot of the daily self-care things can usually be attached to a routine, like a morning or evening routine. Weekly and less frequent items tend to need to be scheduled in.
Then Follow Through
Finally you need to follow through! You deserve to shower yourself with the same care and consideration you show others. You deserve to be a priority in your own life. When you take the time to show yourself some love, everyone around you benefits.
Taking the time to not only make the
Another bonus is that having lists of things you can do to take care of you are awesome to refer to on those rare occasions when you suddenly find yourself with free time and are wondering what to do with it.
What Does Self-Care Mean to You?
Everyone has their own definition of what self-care is. Because we’re all different, what I consider self-care might not be the same as what you do. If you’d like to share some of you self-care ideas or tips, I’d love to hear about them. Drop me a line in the comments below, or hop on over to the Facebook group and post there. Let’s keep this conversation going.