My self-care routine and how creating your own can make positive changes in your life

Creating your own routine of self-care is so crucial to being able to function at and feel your best every single day. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post all about the questions I ask myself when coming up with my own self-care routine.

These questions have helped me learn what actually works for me personally, and what may seem like a good idea - but isn’t as effective.

I have a mixture of superficial and deep self-care that work well for me.

My self-care routine:

Light

In my bedroom, I have string lights, a salt lamp and other decorative lamps to add extra light. I also have a large window and I often leave the blinds open to make the room brighter. Light makes me feel more comfortable, depending on my mood sometimes I’ll prefer soft or bright light. Bright light, like sunlight through my window, helps me become more focused and awake and it helps me feel better. But, when I want to relax or destress, the warm light from my strong lights and salt lamp create a great relaxing atmosphere.

Baths

I often become very overwhelmed, very quickly. One way I’ve learned to destress from being overwhelmed is taking a few minutes to myself to have a nice warm bath. I usually add a couple drops of lavender oil for a calming affect and I try to clear my head and focus on the warmth of the water. Doing these things helps me to slow down my overworked mind and give myself some space to think more clearly. Plus, baths are just relaxing any time.

Reading

Lately, I’ve been buying books that address issues I’ve been dealing with. One of those books right now The Third Door by Alex Banayan (if you haven’t read it yet, stop and go do it NOW). This book is all about how people were able to rise to success in spite of obstacles that got in the way. Being a college student, it often feels like everything is against me (even though I know it isn’t), and this book is inspirational and helps me remember that there is always a way to get to where you want to be - you just need to work for it. But, the thing is you can’t work so much that you forget to do things you love (like for me, reading), you just have to remember to take breaks when you need to.

Yoga

I started doing yoga a few years ago after a car accident that injured my back. Whenever my back feels off or extra sore, I take the time to d some yoga and it helps relieve not only physical pressure but also mental pressure because I’m not so focussed on my pain anymore. However, I also do yoga a lot before I go to bed to help me relax and wind down. Breathing with the movements is extremely calming for me and I always feel better afterwards.

Planning

Over the past two years I’ve developed a big habit of making to-do lists and plans for the day, week and month. Sometimes it may seem excessive (even to me) but having all of my tasks and ideas written out help me out so much more with making sure I get everything done on time. Having a plan in place helps me feel more at ease because I know that even if I don’t have things done right now, I know exactly how and when I’ll have the time to do it.

Positive Affirmations

This is one of the biggest changes I have made that has had a positive impact on my life. I used to, and still do, have a problem with immediately having negative thoughts about things. I have started to become more mindful of the thoughts in my mind and simply learning to switch from phrases like “why didn't I do that sooner?” to phrases like “Next time I’ll remember to do that” have made a big difference for me. This simple switch of perspective, changes a negative thought to become more positive and it actually retrains your brain to think more positively (seriously!!!). I couldn’t believe it but it has had such a massive impact on my thought patterns.

So, this was my self-care routine - share yours too!

Jennifer P