How to create your own BODY, MIND & SOUL Self Care System
Self care is kind of the fundament of self love and deep down we know that taking care of ourselves — our body, mind & soul is a must for our personal well-being and essential for taking care of others. But for most of us it really doesn’t come naturally and we neglect ourselves in ways that we are not even aware of: putting other people’s needs before our own, dedicating everything we’ve got and even more to our job, not taking the time to enjoy the things we love or not taking breaks at all, not staying home when we are sick, punishing our bodies with bad food or even exercise… the list goes on and on and on.
But what does it actually mean to take care of yourself? At the very core, self-care is about honouring your own, very personal needs. That’s why everyone needs to find his or her own version of self-care. I have created a little guide that will help you do just that: create your own holistic self care system.
To do that, think of daily and weekly rituals that you will stick to no matter what. On top, define a set of rules for yourself that will guide your daily decisions and actions from a place of self love. After implementing your holistic self care system for the first time, make sure you take some time to reflect on it and make the necessary adjustments. Listen to your body, mind & soul when deciding what to ditch, replace or add to the list. Sometimes over-scheduling “self-care” activities will do the exact opposite!
If you need some more inspiration for small self care rituals that make a big difference, you can download my FREE Cheatsheet with 50 self care ideas.
Design your morning body care ritual: What do you need to feel great in your body to start the day? Think about including the following aspects: doing some movement like a few yoga poses or stretches, having a hot drink while allowing yourself to wake up properly and taking enough time for your shower and skin care routine.
Nourish: Think about your daily life and create a system that allows you to give your body what it needs throughout the day. This doesn’t need to be fancy, just determine what breakfasts make you feel good & energised for the day and stick to a set of 3 different ones. Do the same for lunch & dinner. This might involve planning and pre-cooking your meals on Sunday, identifying healthy food places near your office or getting healthy food delivered and setting an alarm to remind you to actually HAVE lunch.
Move: Identify the little ways in which you can get more movement into your day and make it a habit: walk to work, take the stairs or stretch at your desk.
Relax & Recharge: What could be a little daily ritual that truly relaxes and recharges you but doesn’t take too much time out of your day? Here are some examples: reading a book before going to sleep instead of being on your phone, going for a lunch time walk, having a nice long shower after work or even just taking a 5 min break at work to get some fresh air.
Design your evening body care ritual: What does your body need for a good night’s rest? Think of the following aspects: the clothes you wear while sleeping, a body care ritual (shower, skin care, etc.), hydrating and turning off devices before going to bed.
Rest: Track your sleep for a week or two and record how you feel in the morning and during the day. Based on your findings, set a bed and wakeup time as well as a sleep goal (e.g. 8 hrs) and stick to it.
Move: Find a type of movement that you absolutely love and make time for it 2–3 times a week. Whether it is dancing, going for a walk or Kickboxing — do what you love and you will do it more often.
Care: Create your own weekly body care ritual. Think about the things you would want to include (e.g. mani/pedi, shaving, hair mask, facial, etc.) and a good time in your week to do it (maybe on Sunday mornings when you are watching series in bed?).
Relax & Recharge: What are activities that you can recharge with after a long week? Make it a habit to do them every weekend so you start the week refreshed. Whether it is sleeping in on Sundays, spending time in nature or getting a massage, identify a set of activities that work best for you and switch them up.
Whenever choosing to eat or not eat something, ask yourself: What would I do if I loved myself? Hint: It is NOT depriving yourself from food, eating more although you are full already and eating things that you are intolerant to in the name of “treating yourself”.
Listen to your body: Feeling tired? Rest. Feeling hungry? Eat. Feeling sick? Stay at home. Although this is Self Care 101, it is probably the hardest thing to do.
Design your morning mind ritual: What do you need to feel motivated & excited for the day? Think about including the following aspects: meditation, morning journaling, affirmations, visualisations or simply listening to your favourite music while getting ready or sitting down with a cup of tea for 5 minutes to plan your day — whatever it is that gets you in the right mindset to tackle anything that comes your way.
Stay focused & productive: Set up your own productivity system that ensures that you get done what you need to do with the least effort. Your system might include a set of tools to plan, manage and keep track of your tasks and productivity rituals like getting into the right mindset before starting your work and taking breaks in between.
Take your mind of things: What could be a little daily ritual that truly takes your mind of your 2-Do list but doesn’t take too much time out of your day? Here are some examples: getting in a daily sweat, listening to an audiobook on your commute and talking to a friend for a few minutes on the phone.
Design your evening mind ritual: What does your mind need to switch off before going to sleep? Maybe it is planning the next day, doing a brain dump in your journal, not checking emails or listen to an uplifting podcast or audiobook.
Get some perspective: What can you do to regularly reflect on your week, your work, your relationships and everything else that is going on? Think of coming up with a set of reflective questions for a weekly recap or just scheduling some thinking time for yourself every week.
Get out of your head: What are activities that you can do the recharge your mind after a long week? What are the things that truly make you stop worrying about your 2-Do list? Make it a habit to do them every weekend so you start the week refreshed. Whether it is going for a long run, spending some quality time with your loved ones, watch a great movie or do a weekend trip.
Find a way to let go of unhelpful thoughts and worries during your day. Create your own rule for dealing with your monkey mind in your daily life. This might include counting to 5 and letting go of the thought or writing in your journal to get it out of your head.
Think before you speak or act. Make it a habit to give yourself time to think before you do anything and ask yourself: Is this decision or action aligned with my loving, worthy & respectful self? If not, say NO.
Avoid distractions: Distractions make us unproductive and nervous. Identify whatever it is that truly distracts you from your work and set up a rule to deal with it. This might be setting fixed times to check your email, having a designated office space when working from home or putting on your headphones to signal you are in “NO DISTRACTION” mode.
Design your morning soul ritual: What can you do every morning that makes you feel like you took some time for yourself before starting your day? Maybe it is reading a book with coffee in bed, really taking time to enjoy breakfast, going to your favourite workout, working on a passion project or spending some extra time cuddling with your partner (or yourself).
Connect with loved ones: Even if it is just for a few minutes, send an encouraging text to your brother before his exam, call your Mum or send a funny pic to your BFF.
Practice gratitude: Design your own gratitude ritual — trust me, it will do wonders for your soul. Whether it is thinking about the things you are grateful for whenever you want to complain about something or writing 3 things you are grateful for in your journal every night — there is endless ways to invite gratitude into your daily life.
Schedule Soul-Time: What are the things that make you feel warm, loved and cozy? Maybe it’s taking a bubble bath, getting a massage, cycling through dreamy towns (my favourite one!), reading a novel or laughing with your girlfriends at brunch. Make a list of the things that nourish your soul and do one thing every week.
Trust your intuition. Follow your heart.
Don’t compare yourself to other people. Instead, be fearlessly authentic.
Treat yourself with respect. Ask yourself: If I would truly respect myself and my dreams, is this what I would do? But be careful: this can lead you to quit your job ;)
Put yourself first. Know that taking care of your needs is the only way you can take care of others.
Be kind to yourself when you are suffering: Just broke up with your partner? Your cat is sick? Whatever it is that causes your suffering, be aware of your pain and be kind to yourself. Ask yourself: What can I do right now to give me the warm care my soul is longing for? And then go and do it.
Be kind to yourself when you mess up as well: Made a mistake at work? Forgot a friend’s birthday? Be kind to yourself! We all make mistakes — we are only human after all. Make it a habit to forgive yourself and treat yourself with compassion every time you want to bury yourself in self hatred and criticism. Return to a place of self love and worthiness and then reflect on what you could have done better and go and make things right.
A final note: the daily & weekly rituals for body, mind and soul might look the same to you. And they might be. You might find that going for a long run is good for your soul, takes your mind of things and recharges your body. That’s great! But not every activity recharges your body, mind AND soul. So when choosing how to recharge, ask yourself what you need most right now: relaxing your body, replenishing your mind or nourishing your soul.
ARE YOU READY TO UPGRADE YOUR MINDSET?
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