Create A Daily Routine Which Brings You Joy
Self-care is simply doing what makes you feels good all the time - not just when you feel bad. Actively doing the things that bring you joy ensures you keep yourself running at an optimum level, prevents your mind and body from getting too stressed and keeps you from getting overwhelmed and burnt out. The best way to keep on top of your self-care is to literally schedule it within your daily routine. Creating time for your self-care and the things that make you happy will help you to feel great every day.
Here's how in 10 easy steps:
1. Decide to change
The first step is to decide to change. Any kind of change can be difficult so you need to want to change and then commit to the change in order to make any kind of difference.
2. Imagine how you want your life to be
Take some time to understand how you want your life to be. I like to sit and imagine what I want to feel like and then recognise what would make me feel that way. Do you want to feel happy? Do you want to feel calm and relaxed? Do you want to feel energised? Figure out what you want to feel on any given day, at any time of the day and then recognise what would make you feel that way.
For example, do you want to feel energised and refreshed when you wake up? The key to this would be to have a long, satisfying sleep. In order to have a nice sleep, focus on what you can do before you go to sleep that will make sure you have a nice sleep so you can feel energised and refreshed the next morning.
Focus on your goals. What do you want to achieve in your life and what can you do within every day which will contribute to you hitting your life goals? Are your goals career related? Family related? Self improvement related? What changes can you add to your day to help you to get to where you want to be?
For example, I really want to write a book to help others. I take out 10 minutes of my day to write which contributes to my goal.
Understand what the implications of you not adding these changes to your day would be. What would happen if you didn't wind down to sleep properly? How would you feel? How would your mornings look? What would happen if you didn't feel energised and refreshed in your morning? Recognising what the implications of you not keeping up with your new routine will help to motivate you to continue - even when you really don't feel like doing the things you want.
3. Make a list of what you want to add to your routine
Now that you have thought about how you want to your life to look, how you want to feel and what your goals are, write down all the activities you want to add to your routine which would enable you to achieve this.
4. Write out your current daily routine
Think about your current routine, what does it consist of? Write down the days of your week (Monday - Sunday) and map out what each day looks like. Go into detail of when you wake up, your meal times, your work activities, your family routine, your bed time and everything else in between.
5. Analyse and mark up your current routine
Mark the activities which need to stay the same due to timings and what can be changed. Also note the activities you want to remove from your daily routine altogether as they no longer serve you or make you happy.
6. Sorting the wheat from the chaff
Put in front of you your list of activities that you want to add to your routine and also your current routine. Remove anything that does not serve you from your current routine so you have a clearer picture of your skeleton routine.
Focus on the things you want to add to your routine - the things that make you feel happy - and look at each one in turn. What are they? (e.g. pampering time? Gratitude time? Shopping? family time? Date night? Night out with the girls? Sleep?) What do they each need for you to action? When do they need to be done? How often do you want to do them? What would make them easier to do so you actually do them.
Then look at the activities on your current routine that you are wanting to change. What do you want to change? Why do you want to change them? When do they need to change? What would you like to change them to? What do you need to change them?
7. Adding joy to your routine
Look at your skeleton routine with all the must-dos and then slot in what you want to add from your list of happiness. Think about the frequency of each activity within the day/week, when would each be most beneficial in the day and don't forget to make any changes to the current activities you want to make - get rid/move to a different time/change how it's done. Make sure you schedule in breaks and take into consideration the time to transition between each activity too.
Transitions: Within our every day we go through many ‘modes’. Wake up mode, get ready mode, work mode, home mode, task mode, relax mode, sleep mode etc. To ensure we use our energy efficiently throughout the day, one thing we can do is allow ourselves to transition into each mode. Rather than jumping in from one to another and expecting yourself to be immediately adjusted, give yourself the time it takes for your mind and body to align and be ready for each mode. For example, sitting on the sofa after a day of work whilst still in work mode isn’t going to make you feel immediately relaxed. However, sitting on the sofa, your body in a relaxed state, doing a few breathing exercises to centre yourself and actively winding yourself down will help you transition to your relax mode.
8. Begin now
You now have your new routine! Well done! It's time to begin. The longer you wait to implement your new routine of joy, the less likely you'll actually make the changes you want to make. Think about how doing these things will make you feel and what the implications are of you not going through with these activities - Motivate yourself and BEGIN NOW!
9. Feel the effects and evaluate
Feel the effects of your new routine and notice the differences in your life. How do you feel? Also take the time to evaluate, do you need to make any adjustments to your routine? You have full freedom, change things around, get rid of what's not working or move when you do something to a different time or decrease/increase the activity frequency.
10. Become a routine queen
Now you have a routine full of joy, you can go ahead and boss the world. Feel great and be great, every single day.
I hope this helps,