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10 Steps to Build Your Mindful Self-Care Routine

How will you take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself?

A better world starts with a better version of you.

Prioritizing self-care helps us to nourish ourselves.

The essence of self-care lies in honoring your commitments to yourself and being actively present in taking care of yourself.

Self-care can be tricky sometimes. It can be boring, guilt-inducing, and no fun at all.

However, mindful self-care encourages us to tap into our sense of humanity and responsibility.

Activating your mindful mode can help you make the most of your self-care practices and will allow you to tap into the core purpose behind the act of self-care, amplifying the benefits of your self-care practices.

Follow these 10 steps to create a mindful self-care routine and celebrate yourself the way you deserve.

Start With Sleep

Your mindful self-care routine must start with sleep.

Sleep is the single most important activity that can radically transform your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Research has suggested that a consistent and healthy sleep routine promotes better memory, productivity, physical performance, metabolism, heart health, pain management, and immunity.
It also lowers the risk of depression, weight gain, and inflammation.

Your body will literally begin destroying itself if it chronically doesn’t get its required amount of sleep.

Don’t mess with it. 
Becoming mindful of your sleep means prioritizing it and cultivating a better sleep routine.

Tips:


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What You Eat and How You Eat It

The number one reason so many people across the world are suffering from weight-related issues and other physical ailments is because of mindless eating habits.
We’ve been gorging on foods that taste good but provide zero nutritional value since childhood.

The food and drink industry has been tricking us psychologically through their commercials into consuming food products rich in refined carbs and sugar.
We don’t even discern what’s on the ingredients list of those food items.
Research has suggested consuming refined carbs promotes overeating leading to a higher risk of catching obesity.

Make a better choice.
Practice mindful eating and choose your food wisely and eat as much as your body needs.

Tips:

  • Create a list of all items you need based on their health value and stick to shopping from the list to avoid impulse buying
  • Schedule your daily meals and snacks so you can have the time to mindfully attend to eating
  • Chew your food thoroughly

You are Designed to Move

Modern-day work practices have unfortunately made us into sedentary beings.

With 206 bones, 360 bone joints, and close to 700 muscles in our body, it’s quite evident that we are designed to move.
Lack of movement can make you prone to:

  • Obesity
  • Heart diseases, including coronary artery disease and heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Stroke
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Certain cancers, including colon, breast, and uterine cancers
  • Osteoporosis and falls
  • Increased feelings of depression and anxiety, etc.

Don’t take your body for granted and become mindful of the importance and implications of movement in your lifestyle.

Dedicate to break out moments of prolonged inactivity and move your body. Exercise and walk more often.

Tips:

  • Take at least 5000 steps every day
  • Schedule time for exercise, work-out or yoga

Pay Attention to Your Breathing

There’s an excellent reason meditation teachers will ask you to consider the breath as the object of meditation. Because breathing is universal and is constantly fleeting with time, moment after moment.

When you focus on breathing, you get to observe the very essence of life.
Our breath has immense powers.
By controlling the flow of your breath, you can literally take control of your body, mind, and emotions.

Dedicate time every day to become mindful of the act of breathing.

Tips:

  • You can sit down to Meditate with the simple aim of paying attention to your breath
  • You can also practice different relaxing breathing techniques like the 4-7-8 breathing or box breathing, etc.

Introspect and Reflect Daily

Your life, from the very beginning, has been an act of realizing yourself.

If you don’t stop to reflect on what you think, how you act, and how you feel in situations important to you, how are you going to discover who you truly are?

Daily introspection helps you to know who you truly are.

Journaling is an act of becoming mindful of your thoughts, emotions, and intuition.
Connect with what you stand for and who you are becoming with each passing day by journaling.

You can journal by writing down on a notebook or by talking to yourself and recording your self dialogues in audio. Choose whichever method helps you become mindful of the act of introspection most effectively.

Tips:

  • Keep a small notebook or install an audio recording app on your phone to journal anytime anywhere
  • Dedicate to journaling daily before you begin the day in the morning and before going to sleep at night

Be Playful and Creative

Everyone is creative in their own way.
You need imagination and fearlessness, not talent to become creative.

Creativity is simply becoming mindful of your imagination, and it’s important you schedule some time every day to nourish your imagination and let it flow.

Pick any leisure activity you like and get playful and creative with it.
Becoming creative is a simple act of not having any constraints on your imagination.
Let your imagination guide you and enjoy it.
The moment you become judgmental of what you are doing, know that you’re doing it for yourself.

The key is to enjoy the activity and not worry about the outcome.

Tips:

  • There are no standards to test your creativity. Let yourself experiment and learn to enjoy the process over the outcome
  • You can also choose some games to be playful and get creative

You Belong in Nature

We are creatures of nature and it’s no wonder we feel alive when we are amidst any kind of natural setting.
Research suggests that spending time in nature every day promotes many mental and emotional health benefits.

It’s important for everyone to connect with nature and become mindful of our interdependent relationship with natural systems.

You could be gardening or hanging out in a park. Become mindful of the beauty, the sounds, and the smells of the place.

Tips:

  • Take a 10 min walk in nature every day
  • Practice Earthing or physical grounding by standing barefoot on the soil or lying down on the ground

Seek the Sun

Sun is the ultimate source of energy for everything on this planet.
Our foods are powered by the sun, so we are powered by the sun indirectly as well.
And it’s essential for our optimal health and wellness through the production of Vitamin D from cholesterol.

Being mindful of the sun can enhance how our bodies heal and thrive.

Take the time out to bathe in the sun. Go out for a morning walk.
Feel the sunshine on your skin and pay attention to how it relaxes your body.
Be grateful and rejuvenate yourself.

Tips:

  • Expose yourself regularly to sunshine for at least 15 mins everyday

Soothe Your Senses

Our senses are tightly intertwined with our emotions.

When something feels or smells or tastes or sounds nice or looks good, we feel calm and happy towards that thing. Researchers define this connection as ‘conceptual association’ between a product and its perceived sensory effect.

Our distinct senses relate to our emotions, both psychologically and neurologically about anything.

Make a list of all the uni-sensory experiences that you like for each of your five senses, Touch, Sight, Smell, Hearing, Taste.
Schedule time to consciously indulge in your favorite sensory experiences.

Doing so will soothe your senses and bring relaxation to relieve you of the stress of a busy day.

Tips:

  • Ask yourself which sounds, smells, tastes, sights (colors, shapes, and patterns), and surfaces you love. (Avoid things that make you think of something, like chirping sounds will probably make you think of birds)
  • Take out a handful of time (5-10 mins) before bed or whenever you need to relax and experience one sensation at a time
  • Customize the practice to your convenience by dedicating time to doing any one practice or doing all the five of them sequentially one after another. Choose whatever helps your well-being.

Practice More Love and Kindness

Self-care is a radical act of love and acceptance.
None of the self-care activities will matter if you don’t perform them with love.

When you bring feelings of love and kindness towards your self-care activities, you cultivate self-acceptance and self-love.
Letting go of your judgments and accepting what is with a loving-kindness attitude is a powerful act of mindfulness.

Always remember to treat yourself and others with love and kindness.

Tips:

  • Practice Daily Gratitude Journaling (Write down five things you’re grateful for in your life)
  • Practice Loving-Kindness Meditation

Being mindful is a choice you can make to improve your life.

Self-care is important and the simple act of activating your mindful mode in your self-care activities can help to bring the most out of your self-care routine.


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