I get really excited when it’s time to write the daily self-care routine post. Even though I never usually know what I’m going to write about until I sit down to do it lol. I do however plan out the seven challenges way ahead of time, and the post itself is written a few days before its launched on the blog. Although the challenges change each week, it is a challenge for me to create content for this post that is not predictable or routine. In essence, I try to disrupt the monotony every week. For example, for a while these were called “Self-Care Sundays” post and then I switched to “Seven Quick and Easy Self-Care Tips.” I believe last week was the first time that I used a different name and this week I’m switching it up by offering self-care routine ideas that you can do each morning before work. The goal is to constantly make these challenges interesting and this includes the title. I don’t ever want anyone who reads these on a weekly basis to roll their eyes and think same ole, same ole. Think of these post like a house. The structure will remain the same (daily self-care challenges) but the design (i.e. the actual challenges) will always be different.
I recently joined a self-care group on Facebook and someone asked the question “What self-care plans do you have for the weekend?” The first person responded and said “Nothing, I have to work.” I smiled and wrote “Sometimes self-care can take a few minutes.” We engaged in dialogue and I found out that she’s an ICU Nurse whose husband passed away from COVID recently, so she needs self-care more than anyone in my opinion. It’s been awhile since I mentioned this but her response made me think about my self-care formula. Which in essence, highlights what self-care means.
Building AWARENESS +remaining CONSISTENT +making TIME =an ACT. Building the awareness around self-care habits, making time for self-care and staying consistent is an act of taking care of ourselves.
What do these pillars actually mean?
- Awareness–Knowing that something is needed, is present or is happening. Awareness as it relates to self-care is knowing that we all need self-care in order to effectively function in our everyday lives.
- Consistency–The act of always behaving or performing. In reference to self-care this means creating space to do something that caters to your overall function and well being. I’ve mentioned in the past that self-care can be external (physical self-care) yoga, facials, mani/pedi. Or internal (emotional self-care) meditation, breathing exercises, and therapy. The act of self-care will likely look different for everyone.
- Time–To plan or arrange when something will occur. This one is pretty self explanatory. Keep in mind that self-care does not always have to be an all day event. In some cases you may only have a few minutes and that’s okay.
The three pillars spell the word ACT, because self-care is an ACT. It’s a behavior that we perform. I created this formula because in order for us to make self-care a priority, we need to build these three pillars around the concept and understanding of self-care.
Work, ugh! the word says it. Few of us are fortunate enough to work in a field we love so work may not feel like work for you. But we still need to carve out time for self-care because taking care of ourselves is imperative. I think a majority of us dread when the alarm goes off in the morning. It’s an indication that it’s time for us to devote several hours of our time in order to make a living.
Most of my self-care challenges in the past were challenges you were able to do any time during the day, but I wanted to create a self-care before work morning routine in hopes that it would help boost your mood for your upcoming work days during this week.
Sunday-DRINK HOT WATER WITH LEMON (physical self-care): I use to drink a bottle of room temperature water first thing in the morning. I believe it was supposed to help with my metabolism throughout the day? (don’t get me to lying lol because I don’t remember), and to help move my bowels in the morning (that it did do lol). TMI I know but that particular activity is a natural part of life lol. According to healthline.com drinking hot water with lemon first thing in the morning may help get your digestive system going. Additionally, Ayurvedic medicine states that the sour lemon tastes helps stimulate your agni (agni is a Sanskrit word for fire and it’s the force of intelligence within each cell, tissue, and every system within the body). Read more about agni on this site. Furthermore, hot lemon water promotes hydration, is a good source of vitamin C, supports weight loss, improves the quality of your skin, freshens your breath, and helps prevent kidney stones.
Monday-START A GRATITUDE JOURNAL (emotional self-care): Start the morning on a high note by writing in a gratitude journal as soon as you wake up. Set some intentions for the day and write down a short mantra that you can memorize and repeat throughout your work day. Psychology Today states that gratitude journaling improves our self-esteem and mental strength. It also improves our psychological health and opens doors for new relationships. Journaling also caters to our emotional self-care needs. I mentioned in a previous post that journals are easily our best friends. You can share without the fear of judgement. Read more on gratitude journaling from Psychology Today here. Below are some potential prompts to get you started. By the way, set your alarm a little early for tomorrow’s challenge.
- Write about a happy memory.
- What’s something you’re looking forward to?
- What’s an accomplishment you’re proud of?
- Write about someone you’re grateful for.
- Write about three things you’re grateful for.
- What do you like about your job?
- What makes you grateful for your family?
- What skills do you have that you’re grateful for?
- What accomplishment(s) are you grateful for?
- What’s something you’re grateful for outside?
Find more prompts here.
Tuesday–GET A WORKOUT IN (physical self-care): Hopefully you remembered to set your alarm to get up a little earlier so you can get a workout in before work. Working out in the morning boost your energy for the rest of the day. Additionally, it puts you in a better mood, reduces stress, and it may help with establishing a daily workout routine. Here’s a video to get you started.
If you’re a little more advance, try the video below from sostyled.jen. She’s a YouTuber who wants to encourage busy moms to “make time for me.” She says; you may be a busy mom but it doesn’t mean you can’t look great doing it.” Jen started in the beauty industry earning her style stripes leading marketing and sales promotion teams at Chanel, Hermes, Clarins and Thierry Mugler. After transitioning from the glamorous life of beauty and fashion to the fulfilling life of motherhood, Jen quickly realized how easy it was to take care of everyone else, but not her. Forgetting to take care of herself left her drained and moody. Not one to stay stuck, she reached back into her beauty days; rearranged her closet and her workout routine and started Making Time For Me Time. Now you will find Jen enjoying every minute of her family time, her Me Time and helping other moms get it all in – because someone needs to take care of mom too!
Follow her on Instagram @sostyled.jen and follow her on YouTube for at home workouts.
Wednesday–SCHEDULE YOUR DAY (emotional self-care): Before you get up and get ready for work (or maybe while you’re eating breakfast), plan your day by writing down everything you want to accomplish at work. I’ve said it in the past, we are more likely to accomplish things if we have a visual. If you do this already, add something challenging to your to do list or work on a list of things you want to do after work. Lifehack.org says that planning your day helps better prepare you for obstacles because part of the planning process involves creating a contingency plan for unexpected problems.
Thursday–MEDITATE (emotional self-care): There are so many benefits to meditating. When I was consistent with my practice I noticed changes in how I felt on the inside and my general outlook on life was really positive. Meditating in the morning will help clear your head and help gauge your mindset for the workday. You may walk into the office with a brand new attitude if you start your morning with a mindfulness practice. If you’re new to meditation and you need help, here is a short 3 minute guided practice by my sorority sister Erica Phillips. Erica is a Mental Health Therapist & Motivational Coach. She loves to help people unlock their magic and live an uncaged life. You can check out her site to learn more about her services here.
Here’s an 11 minute practice if you would like a little more time.
Friday–AVOID SOCIAL MEDIA/TEXTING (emotional self-care): Avoid checking your phone for at least thirty minutes after you wake up this morning. Use the time that you would normally use to mindlessly scroll through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms, and take that time for yourself. You can use it to repeat some of the challenges from earlier this week or just be alone with your thoughts so you can mentally prepare for your last work day of the week.
Saturday–SKINCARE (physical self-care): Most of you may already have a morning skincare routine and if you do, take time today and really focus on what you’re doing. It’s probably safe to say that you rush through the process each morning because you’re likely in a rush to get out the house (for some of us it’s rushing to the zoom meetings because, you know, COVID). Today, treat your skincare like a meditation practice and really build a connection with the process. Connect with each step of your skincare routine by focusing on the benefits that each product provides while putting it on your face and neck. If you don’t have a skincare routine, check out my sorority sister’s Mary Kay site, and follow her on Instagram @_therealrhondafay_. She’s extremely knowledgeable when it comes to skincare, you won’t be disappointed. I’ve been using the products since this summer and I noticed a change in my skin within two weeks.
Whew! This was a long one right? The process of creating it was intense because I did some research to provide useful resources for you. I hope that by the time you finish the week you notice a change in how your work day went and how you felt overall. Keeping in mind that despite what you may have encountered throughout each day, what’s most important is that you carved out time for yourself. Allow your morning self-care routine this week to be the source of peace and relaxation that you return to throughout the day, especially if you feel tested or stressed.
On January 3rd, I will be launching my weekly Newsletter, in addition to my Self-care Accountability Worksheets. The worksheets will act as a supplement to my daily self-care challenges. The purpose is to help you stay on track with your daily self-care routines. If you’re interested in receiving these items weekly, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The self-care worksheets are FREE but will only be available to my Newsletter subscribers. I will NOT spam you, I will only email once per week.