Creating a Daily Self-Care Routine

Summer is not a great time for routines. School is out. We go on vacation. It’s the slow season for many industries in Vegas so work takes on a different pace. We tend to just play fast and loose with our schedules around this time. And that’s okay. But by the time the back-to-school sales hit the stores, many of us are starting to miss the comforting rhythm of our usual day-to-day. As you get back into the groove, look for places where you can better integrate time for self-care into the routine.

Depending on whether you have a family or partner or what your work schedule is, some of these options may not work for you. That’s okay. What matters is to do what works for you, makes you feel good, and is sustainable within your schedule, not to try to meet someone else’s standard for self-care.

 

In the mornings

  • 5 minute meditation in the shower. Even if you have to get kids out the door to school, you’ll hopefully at least have a moment alone in the quiet while you shower.
  • 5 minutes of mindfulness over your cup of coffee or tea
  • Exercise, or if that’s not a good morning option…
  • Stretch or do a short yoga sequence before getting dressed to limber up and get your blood flowing for the day.
  • Eat a real breakfast with protein and fiber to give you energy and keep you full

 

During the workday

  • Take your breaks – seems obvious but so many of us skip them. Don’t. Labor law requires your boss to give them to you, and your mind and body need them.
  • Take small pauses to stand up from your desk, look away from your screen, or sit down if you’re usually standing to give your body a break.
  • While you’re at it, work in some stretches here and there, especially if your job has you either sitting or standing all day. Some quick stretches in the neck, the wrists, the hips, and the legs can keep your body from getting stiff and storing up painful tension.
  • Hydrate and eat, don’t just try to power through your day on coffee and stress. Your body and brain will function better when you give them the fuel they actually need instead of trying to trick them with caffeine.

 

In the evening

  • When you leave work, leave work. Unless you are a doctor who is on-call to do heart-surgery, there is almost nothing that can happen after you leave the office that can’t wait til you return in the morning. Fully disengage and allow your mind to rest from work concerns.
  • If you do your workout in the evening, make sure you’re done at least 3 hours before bedtime so your body has time to wind down.
  • Take care of any prep work that can make rushed mornings easier – prep for breakfast, pack your lunch, lay out your clothes.
  • Create a bedtime routine. If you’re a parent, you know young children need one, but why shouldn’t you have one too? Turn off the screens, take a warm bath or shower, drink a cup of tea, use aromatherapy, read a book, write down the to-do list for the next day. Choose a routine that will help your mind and your body start to power down for restful sleep.
  • Meditate in bed. You can do a guided sleep meditation or mindfulness meditation, either way it’s a great way to turn off your busy brain.

 

On the weekends

  • Take care of those necessary chores. Self-care isn’t all about self-pampering, it’s mostly about doing the essential stuff that keeps you healthy like doing meal prep so you have healthy meals or scrubbing the bathroom so…well so you don’t have a gross bathroom.
  • Make time for fun – no matter what your idea of fun is, make time to just enjoy yourself.
  • Get your togetherness fix – spend some quality time with friends and family. For introverts and extroverts alike, a little time with our loved ones goes a long way in helping us feel connected, safe, and happy.