5 Steps to Self Care

Feeling like self care is just too complicated? Or perhaps you don't even know where to start? This Mini Workshop will have you rocking your self care in no time.

"When you realize that looking after yourself, and filling your own cup, is actually
one of the most important things you can do, all of a sudden it becomes
a priority and you keep time for it."
krystal kleidon
Creator

step 1

determine what you love

The first step in creating a self-care plan for yourself is often the simplest, but also the largest hurdle. You need to identify what it is you love and what makes you feel most recharged and revitalised.

This can be different for everyone. Some introverts may crave the alone time and find they are feeling much better after time to themselves. Whereas some extroverts may find catching up with friends or taking a class with a bunch of new people is the way to go.

You can use this downloadable sheet to record your self care ideas:

Exercise:

Take some time to really think about what it is you love to do. If you could plan your ‘perfect day’ what would it look like?

Do you love time alone, do you love time with friends or do you love just being around other people?

Would you prefer adventure (like hiking or experiencing new things) or relaxation (like a massage or spa treatment)?

Would you rather spend time at home or take the chance to get out of the house?

While you may think that it would be nice to get out to a spa treatment, it might not be the most exciting and revitalising thing for you. I love getting a massage, but often I’ll spend most of the time thinking about all the things I have to do rather than relaxing. It’s not exactly the best use of my self-care time.

There’s no right or wrong way to do self-care. You just have to work out what works best for you and what you love.

After you identify what it is you love to do, take some time to brainstorm things you can do for self-care and list them out. Be sure to include things that range in the time they take too from simple half hour self-care tasks right through to half or full day activities.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

          •  – Buy your favourite magazine and take it to a local coffee shop.  – Sit drinking hot coffee, eating cake and reading your favourite magazine.
          •  – Make a hot pot of tea and sit in a nice spot in your home. Be sure to stay there until you finish the pot and drink it while it’s still hot.
          •  – Make an appointment to get your nails done, or a pedicure – something you wouldn’t normally get done.
          •  – Book a spa treatment for a facial or massage.
          •  – Take a class trying out something new, from yoga or salsa dancing.
          •  – Go for a hike along a new or favourite track.
          •  – Grab your favourite coffee take away and go and sit under a tree and read a book.
          •  – Book in an extra catch up with friends.

There are so many more things you can do, these are just some starting points.

Have fun coming up with a fantastic list. And don’t be conservative – be as elaborate as you can. Aim to get at least 15 – 20 self care suggestions on your list, no matter how far ‘out there’ they may seem.

step 2

find pockets of time

One of the things we tend to do is convince ourselves we are too busy to fit in self-care. That’s right, we convince ourselves. And in doing so, we make sure we tell everyone else how busy we are.

How many times has someone asked you how you’ve been and you’ve responded with ‘really busy’.

Saying that you don’t have time for something is really saying that it’s not a priority for you.

“I don’t have time for self-care” is actually “Self-care isn’t a priority for me”.

Because the things we prioritise we make time for. So we need to be sure we are doing this with self-care too.

So today’s task is all about finding that time.

Exercise:

In order to find time for self care, we need to map out the priorities and tasks that already take up time in our day.

Create a little weekly calendar for yourself that outlines each day, blocks of time and what tasks are required that day.

For example, if you work Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm, block that time out. But also make sure you block out your commute time too, and the time it takes for you to get ready of a morning.

Do this for all the other tasks you have too.

Do you pick your kids up from school, take them to sporting events, have regular classes you attend, have a side hustle you need to schedule time for, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, date night, your favourite TV show?

Be sure to put everything in this calendar. Even add in the time you sleep so you have a very clear idea of where your time is being spent.

Once you’re done, identify just 3 time slots in your week that are at least half an hour in length where you could schedule in ‘self care’.

The idea of identifying 3 spots is to allow for the fluctuations that happen each week and so you always have a ‘backup’ time and then a backup for your backup. It’s all about being prepared.

This might seem like a silly task but honestly, if you’re strategic about planning your self care, you’re more likely to stick with your plan and make yourself a priority.

step 3

schedule it in

So far we have identified the self-care tasks that resonate with us the most and we have mapped out our weekly calendar to identify pockets of time where we can schedule self-care.

Which means our next task is to actually make it happen.

Exercise:

This task is super simple, take your calendar you created previously, and your list of self-care tasks you created in step 1, and schedule in at least two sessions of self-care this week.

If you need to make an appointment for them, call and book it. If you need to arrange a sitter for your kids, make that happen. Tell your husband this time is being booked out and put it in your calendar. This is happening.

Why two tasks?

Because when you’re starting out, it’s easy to skip the first attempt at your self-care time. You’ll come up with an excuse, you’ll find something you ‘should be doing instead’. It’s just how we work. So having two time slots scheduled means that even if you happen to miss or avoid the first one, you have another one up your sleeve to make sure this happens this week.

Making self-care a priority is a habit, and these take time to create. After all, your current habit is to put everyone else before yourself and that’s not an easy mindset to break. But you can’t pour from an empty cup and you need to do things to replenish and recharge yourself.

This is your time, make it happen.

So what are you going to do this week?

step 4

reflection & Gratitude

Did you do it? Have you scheduled in your self-care sessions? Gosh, I hope so, it really does make a difference to so many areas of your life.

This is where we start to really make this self-care thing work it’s magic for you.

Remember back in step 2 when we identified 3 time slots in our week that we could schedule in self-care? And then in step 3, we used up two of these time slots for our self-care tasks? 

We did this on purpose. We wanted to leave one time slot spare. And that is for this exercise.

Exercise:

Reflection and gratitude are two elements of self-care that really accelerate the positive impact it has on our lives.

If you’ve already completed one of your self-care tasks, then this exercise is all about spending time reflecting on that task, how it made you feel and what you were grateful for. 

This doesn’t have to take you a long time. You can do this in 10 minutes.

Some simple things to focus on are:

 – What was it about this self-care activity that made me feel good? Did I like it? Did it have the result I thought it would?

  •  – What ‘blocks’ came up when I was undertaking this task? Did I feel any guilt? Did I start to make excuses as to why I shouldn’t be doing it? Did I cancel?

  •  – What 3 things am I grateful for around my self-care task? (these can be as simple as the ability to take time out, the instructor at the class, that my mum looked after my son for me… whatever you’d like).


If you haven’t yet had your self care time, still complete a reflection and gratitude session, but focus more on reflecting upon what you have been doing so far when it comes to self care, or what you haven’t been doing and what you’d like to change.

I assure you, spending just 10 minutes each week reflecting on these things, on your self care and on gratitude will help you not only get the most from your sessions but also help you plan for better self care time and help release any guilt or blocks you are facing when it comes to self care.

step 5

make yourself a priority

Hopefully, by now you’ve had at least one self care session, or at least have it scheduled in for the next few days and are starting on your new habit of making yourself a priority.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all super easy for you, but the truth is I can’t. You have to be the one that drives this change and you have the be the one that makes all of this happen.

This step doesn’t come with an exercise as such, more of a thought pattern and process.

As I’ve mentioned a few times in the last few steps, you’re bound to start coming up against blocks that may give you a little set back. They may put you off track and make you question your self-care time.

Perhaps it will be guilt – a feeling that you should be doing something else instead of taking time for yourself. Perhaps someone will say something to you and you’ll take a step back. 

Or perhaps you’ll start to feel overwhelmed and those 3 time slots for self-care you’ve set out will start to be filled with other tasks instead.

Don’t’ beat yourself up for it – this is life. Changes happen. And if you’re prepared for it, you can do your best to really cement in how important this time is for yourself.

We have this idea that self-care is selfish, and that selfish is a bad thing. I don’t know where this originated from, but it is the most horrible thought process.

The thing is, we are biologically wired to require self-care.

If we are constantly looking after everyone else and not taking time out for ourselves, our cortisol levels start to increase, our immune systems start to fail and we start to get sick. Literally, our body making us slow down and rest.

As new mothers, if we don’t get enough sleep, rest, hydration and food, we don’t produce enough milk to nourish our babies.

Even when you’re flying on a plane you’re told to put your own oxygen mask on before helping anyone else.

Because unless you take care of yourself, you cannot possibly serve others effectively. At least not in a sustainable way.

Which is why it is so important to make yourself a priority.

Remember how we spoke about being busy vs creating a priority?

As this mini workshop wraps up, I want you to focus on that thought. On the idea that you need to make yourself a priority, that it’s okay to make yourself a priority and that it’s up to you to make this happen.

Our lives are busy, there’s no denying that, but we always make time for our priorities.

Make yourself one of them.