How to Establish a Self-Care Routine

When you hear the phrase “self-care,” what comes to mind?

Maybe it is what the phrase sounds like, caring for oneself. Maybe you think of something difficult to do or maintain. Maybe you have absolutely no idea what it means.

When I think of this question, I think of implementing an activity that will help me care for myself. Self-care is an activity that improves your physical, mental, and/or emotional health.

Self-care does not have to difficult. You add an activity to your life that soothes you or brings calm and contentment.

Everyone has a daily routine in their life. Whether it is a morning routine, a night routine, or both. Maybe every night you brush your teeth before bed. This seems simple but is still a routine.

Routines can change depending on the phase of your life. If you add an activity to this routine then it will strengthen your well-being and will help you stay grounded, even when your routine shifts slightly or dramatically.

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How to Establish a Self-Care Routine

Determine What Self-Care Activity to Add to Your Routine:

How to Establish a Self-Care Routine - Woman Meditating

First, you need to select an activity to add to your routine. It could be as simple as meditating for five minutes every morning. Or it could be more involved, such as writing a chapter of your novel every night.

This self-care activity needs to be something you want to implement, even if the idea of it scares you. It could be something you’ve been meaning to try or have been too scared to try.

Do not overthink it. Do not immediately dismiss an idea because it seems too simple. It is okay if the activity is simple.

Which Routine Does the Self-Care Activity Fall Under?

Next, you need to decide if you are going to do this in the morning or evening. If you are feeling extra ambitious you could go for both.

Most of the time it does not matter when you are going to do a self-care activity.

As part of my night routine, I read for a few minutes before going to bed. This is something I could do at night or in the morning.

However, as part of my morning routine, I eat breakfast. This is strictly a morning routine.

Set Reminders:

How to Establish a Self-Care Routine - Alarm Clock

Now that you know your self-care activity and the routine you are going to place it in, you are ready to start implementing it.

As it is with starting any new habit, having a reminder to do the activity can really help in establishing it permanently.

This reminder could be anything as long as it is not intrusive. Let’s say as part of your morning routine, you want to tell yourself three positive affirmations. You could put a post-it note on your bathroom mirror as a reminder.

Or maybe you want to have your self-care routine at night include reading before bed. An alarm on your phone or alarm clock could be set to remind you to read before bed.

Let’s say you want to eat breakfast as part of your morning routine. Usually, you brush your teeth after getting up and skip breakfast altogether. You could connect eating breakfast and brushing your teeth together. You eat breakfast, then brush your teeth. As an extra reminder, you could put a post-it note on your mirror that says eat breakfast, then brush teeth.

Let Yourself Be Human:

It takes 21 days to form a habit. Knowing this and even with your reminders, you might miss a day or two.

It happens. Do not beat yourself up over it. Just try again the next day.

Be Flexible:

Be willing to give your self-care activity a real chance. You might be struggling with forming the habit because you are missing days here or there. Maybe the activity is not improving your overall well-being and seems to be making it worse.

You should replace the activity for something else if you are not feeling calm, but give it a solid shot first.

Re-Evaluate Your Self-Care Activity:

Once you have been working on your activity for at least a couple of weeks, you need to determine if there is some value being added. If the activity is helping you feel calmer then it is adding value.

If the activity is draining you, you need to switch it out for a different activity and go through the process again.

Wrapping Up

Adding a self-care activity to your morning or night routine can help you achieve more balance and peace in your life. Following these steps will effectively add the activity to your routine.


What self-care activity are you going to add to your routine and which routine are you adding it too?

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