Making yourself your first priority should always be at the top of your agenda. But that’s not always easy to do. I know as Black women we are the stronghold for several of our loved ones. We have partners, parents, kids, work, and other obligations all vying for our full attention. We’re so overwhelmed, exhausted, and stretched thin that finding time to devote to ourselves seems non-existent. But making time for yourself is important and should be a part of your routine if not daily then definitely weekly.
There are many ways of practicing self-care. You will find several self-care routines online but the truth is that everyone’s life and stressors are unique, so should your routine. Typically self-care is attached to wellness products, spa treatments, bubble baths, facials, etc. However, I want to challenge you to think beyond these limiting self-care rituals and dive deeper into actually meeting your needs. Meditation, therapy, yoga, sound baths and much more can be other useful tools to help decompress and make you feel restored. But in order to take care of yourself, you have to formulate a plan to do so. We’ve got 3 ways to craft the perfect self-care routine.
Identify your Needs
Your needs are determined by what you lack. Take inventory of what that may be by making note of the times you feel depleted or overwhelmed. Do you need more rest? Do you need safe spaces to talk and work through feelings? Do you need to let out some energy through a jog or run? Also, take note of the things you desire to do or the things that drive passion and purpose? Do you need an outlet to channel your creativity? Try to assess needs that meet your mind, body, and soul.
Make A List and a Schedule
Once you have figured out what your needs are then identify activities you can do that make you happy and relaxed. These activities should spark joy, release endorphins or provide peace and relaxation. Make a commitment to those activities by scheduling them and allotting time to each. Block off the time and stay firm to it when others are looking to demand your time and attention.
Creating a self-care routine should not be stressful. It’s the antithesis of that. If you feel overwhelmed then take a step back and identify what’s the root of your angst. Have fun and don’t be afraid to try new and maybe even some unconventional activities. Again, self-care is more than sheet masks and bubble baths. I bought a VR headset this year because I recognized I needed to have more fun and I thought it would be a creative way to do so. It was a great decision because it keeps my body moving and I literally crack myself up and have so much fun in my living room by myself. It’s a self-care activity that meets two of my needs and I love it.
Remember, taking care of yourself is not a one-off practice; it is a lifestyle. You have to make it a routine and live by it. Go right ahead and start showing yourself some love because you deserve it. Let me reiterate MAKE YOURSELF #1!