Updated: Apr 16
I’ve had many clients come into my office, and when I recommend that they start practicing self-care as a way to manage their mood, they ask, what is self-care? There are many misconceptions out there about what self-care is and how it can benefit you, but even if you do know what the term self-care means, how in the world do you even start? It can certainly seem overwhelming to add one more thing to your already-packed schedule and busy day. The intention here is not to stress you out with adding one more thing for you to do, but to help you create a do-able plan for starting on your own self-care. Check out our recent blog Self Care in Times of Change to learn more about what self-care is, how it is not actually selfish, and why you should do it.
Step 1 of Starting Self-Care: Commitment
The hardest part of doing something new is committing to it. If you are wishy-washy about whether or not you’ll do something, or make a change in your life, it’s likely that it will not last. You may engage in the new activity briefly, or for a few days even, then give it up. To really make lasting change in your life, you need to be fully committed to the time, energy, and investment it takes, both financially and emotionally. If you’re not yet ready to make this change, to invest in yourself, then set a “Commitment Date” where you will be ready by.
Step 2 of Starting Self-Care: Planning
Once you’ve made the commitment to start and engage in daily self-care, you’ll want to set aside a bit of time to do some planning. First, you’ll want to think about when during your day are you going to practice your self-care activities? Will it be the same time every day, even on the weekends, or does your schedule necessitate different times each day? Schedule self-care time into your daily calendar, using whatever calendar or schedule you use for your daily activities or work.
Next, decide what type of self-care you’re going to engage in. Many of us have long lists of how we can improve ourselves, but don’t get overwhelmed and try to do them all at once. Pick just one activity per day to focus on; it can be the same activity every day, or you can switch it up. If you need some more inspiration, try our 5-Day Self-Care Challenge, which includes a list of several possible self-care activities that are all free and easy to start with.
Step 3 of Starting Self-Care: Accountability
Now you’ve committed to practicing daily self-care, you have a start date, and you have an idea of what you’re going to do. Excellent! Now, let’s set up some accountability so that you don’t quit in a few days. Starting something new is hard. It’s exhausting, physically and mentally. Changing your life when you have such little bandwidth for new things is tough. So, get some help! Seek out a friend, family member or someone else you trust to be your buddy in this change. Maybe you get that person to do this with you, or maybe it’s just someone to report your progress to. Or track your journey in a journal or a written “success” list posted on your fridge. Incorporating some sort of accountability makes it more likely that your change of doing daily self-care will stick.
Step 4 of Starting Self-Care: Just Do It!
Yes! You’re ready to go! You can totally do. Take a moment and recall the last time in your life you made a positive change. Got it? Well, remember the result from this, keep it in your mind, and know that you can do it. You can make this change in your life, you’ve made changes before and you can make them again. Practicing daily self-care has no downside, there are only benefits to you and to others around you. You got this!!
Now you know the 4 steps of starting your daily self-care. Commitment, planning, accountability, and just doing it will take you pretty far on your self-care journey. Now you are totally ready to check out our 5-Day Self-Care Challenge and to get started on improving your mental health and emotional wellbeing! We look forward to helping you on this journey!
We are launching a Self-Care challenge!
We know that you are always searching for high-quality tips about emotional well-being and how to stay healthy and take care of yourself. Because an important aspect of staying healthy mentally starts with your own self-care, we are kicking off a 5-Day Self-Care Challenge. When you sign up for the challenge, you will learn how self-care impacts your emotional health and how to implement a daily self-care routine. Start your journey towards your emotional health today!
How We Can Help
If you are interested in therapy at Catalyss Counseling and would like to talk to someone more about how we can help you, follow these simple steps:
Contact us today for a free 20-minute phone consultation
Begin your journey towards a calmer, more relaxing life
Other Therapy Services Available at Catalyss Counseling:
We want to meet all of your counseling needs in the Denver area. Our supportive therapists provide depression counseling, therapy for caregiver stress, grief and loss therapy, stress management counseling and more. We also have specialists in trauma and PTSD, women's issues, pregnancy and postpartum depression or anxiety, pregnancy loss and miscarriage, and birth trauma. For therapists, we can also provide clinical supervision! We look forward to connecting with you to help support your journey today.
Shannon Heers is a psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, guest blogger, and owner of Catalyss Counseling in Englewood, CO. Shannon helps adults in professional careers manage anxiety, depression, work-life balance, and grief and loss. Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.