Creating a Self-Care Routine

Last week, I shared about the difference between enough self-care and the right self-care to feel fulfilled and nurtured. That begs a question though.  How do you create an effective self-care routine?

Self-care is something that needs to be practiced every day with great intention.  When you do, there are a whole host of benefits. You naturally manage everyday stresses so they don't build up and overwhelm you. Your health is better maintained now and into the future. You remind yourself every day that you love yourself, keeping your sense of self and self-worth strong.

Building an intentional self-care routine is the best way I know of to make your practice most effective and easy to attend to.

Think of self-care broken down into 2 main focuses:

  • everyday self-care: like making a few minutes to be in silence, having meaningful conversation with someone you care about or having a good sleep routine
  • enhanced self-care: like getting a massage, going for an extra-long hike in nature, or cleaning out that closet that's in desperate need of attention

Your Everyday Self-Care Routine

Practicing an everyday self-care routine is one of the most profound things you can do for yourself.  Intentionally doing a series of activities that take care of you, body, mind and soul. Carving out time every day that says "I am important and deserving of this care."

Sometimes, your self-care routine can just be about shifting what you are already doing from unconcious to intentional. When you take something you do on auto-pilot like having a shower and intentionally include it as part of your self-care routine, that little boost of intentionality and love makes a big impact.

What do I mean by that? Think about how you shower right now. Do you shower daily or just sprinkle in a little dry shampoo and spend that time looking after someone else instead?  When you shower, is it completely on auto-pilot, unconscious of what you are doing while your mind is on other things? Or is it something you're fully present for? Choosing to use the best skincare products you can to nourish your body while cleansing it. Noticing the delightful scent of the essential oils as they waft through the air. Loving all of the parts of your body and being grateful for them as you wash yourself.  This is the power of bringing intention to your self-care routine.

Consider the things you  do every day to take care of yourself. What do you want to do more of or do more intentionally as part of this routine? What's missing that you could add into your life?  What does your everyday self-care routine look like?

Your Enhanced Self-Care Routine

In addition to your everyday self-care routine are the things you do for yourself that I think of as enhanced self-care.  It's the things that take a bit more time to do.  The kinds of activities that you might dedicate a whole evening or part of a weekend to.

Do you make time regularly to go out with your girlfriends? How often do you book an appointment to take care of yourself through massage, energy work or spa services? What kinds of outdoor activities do you enjoy and when do you do them?  These are some of the questions you can consider when you look at your enhanced self-care routine.

Consider the things you do regularly (weekly, monthly and seasonally) to take care of yourself. What do you want to do more of or do more intentionally as part of this routine? What's missing that you could add into your life?  What does your enhanced self-care routine look like?


How to create a self-care routine (and no, you don't have to meditate)

Self-Care During Stressful Times

It can be easy for your self-care routine to go out the window when stress crops up in your life.  Whatever the situation that's created the stress, there will be activities that are out of the ordinary demanding on your time. You'll be devoting precious time and energy to thinking about whatever it is that's going on. You may find yourself spending extra time taking care of people around you.

Faced with all of that, it can be easy to let some of your self-care routine slide.

But this is the worst time to give up on the routine you've been building.  Why? Because stress demands that we take better care of ourselves so that we can thrive through it instead of just surviving.

Practicing self-care regularly and with intention will help build up the muscle memory so that when stress does crop up you will have that little voice inside reminding you to take care of yourself in the best ways possible.  In considering your self-care routine, is there anything you want to add in to make sure you are doing for yourself during stressful times?  Are they part of your everyday or enhanced self-care? Or are they special activities you know you need to look after when you are under stress? Having a plan now will help you succeed when you find yourself in those stressful situations.

Do you have a self-care routine already? See the need for one? Share your self-care plans in a comment below.

Follow Rachel Bolton:

Rachel is a coach supporting women to rediscover who they are beyond the *shoulds* of life. To create and live life on purpose.

Latest posts from

4 Responses

  1. Juliet
    | Reply

    I have at minimum a weekly Friday routine that I try to stick to as much as possible. My family and friends know not to call me after 7pm as I am in my home spa for at least two hours or more! I have girlfriends over for the weekends regularly and they love it too! They each bring their foot spa and other essentials and we detox for the weekend. Great fun!
    I sometimes manage to do a sauna two or three per week and use the massage chair daily
    Its a room that I have turned into a spa retreat at low cost! I started with a portable steam tent, a foot spa and DIY natural body products. The room has evolved over a year! I now have a two person infra red sauna- bought on sale on Amazon-amazing deal. A facial sauna, fabulous massage chair, leg massager, aromatherapy diffuser, candles and sound machine. I have a soothing lavender color, matching rolled towels and lots of essential oils. There is a table with a paraffin wax bath one for feet and another for hands. I am looking for soy alternative to paraffin. I have infused water in a jug with a crystal glass to drink from or herbal teas from a glass cup. Inspirational/spa music, the same for reading materials and artwork. Yoga mat and weights. No TV or other devices including cell phones allowed. Light airy curtains and air purifying plants complete the room. All very tranquil.
    Shower with Castile body wash
    Sauna -wet or dry-sometimes both.
    Cold shower,
    Chair and leg massage -sometimes schedule a massage therapist.
    Foot spa
    Wax bath hands and feet
    Pedicure and manicure.
    Face mask
    Deep hair conditioning treatment/hair mask
    Detox bath with Epsom salts
    Nourishing body oil or butter
    Early to bed and wake refreshed

    • Rachel Bolton
      | Reply

      Sounds like an incredible routine for nourishing yourself! And I love that you do it with your girlfriends sometimes too.

  2. Juliet
    | Reply

    Can you recommend an alternative to paraffin wax please?

    • Rachel Bolton
      | Reply

      I’m not sure about an alternative to paraffin wax. Good luck with your search. My preference is warm water, fractionated coconut oil and essential oils in a hand or foot bath, sometimes with some Dead Sea salt for a little extra TLC.

Leave a Reply