“From this day on, I will live my life in a way that allows me to move closer towards becoming my Greatest Version.”
Ever since the day I made that declaration to the Universe, I’ve found myself traveling down a road which leads me along a never-ending journey of self discovery, self love, self acceptance and self improvement.
I’ve implemented a lot of new routines and systems for every aspect of my life, with much of the focus on the way I’m going about things such as: strengthening my connection with my Higher Self, thinking, working, interacting with people, learning, and practicing self care (to name a few). But for some reason the last item on that list – self care – has proven to be a practice that I’ve always had to work a little extra hard to maintain.
That being said, it should come as no surprise that a large percentage of my clients come to me with questions about improving their own self care practices. As a result, my goal for this post is to answer a lot of those questions in one place. Additionally, I want to provide some concrete steps to help those of you who feel overwhelmed and don’t even know where to begin when it comes to developing a self care routine. And the best part? You will be able to implement every single action item in the following list in a total of just 30 minutes a day.
Please keep in mind that none of this is “set in stone”. It’s fine to change around the order of the steps to better fit in with the flow of your current daily routine. You’re also free to spend as much time as you want/can allow for on any of the steps; just make sure you’re never omitting any of the steps or spending any less time on them than the suggested minimum (listed in minutes).
30 Minute Routine – Step by Step Breakdown
✩ State Daily Affirmations – Minutes: 5
I suggest that the very first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is to state your daily affirmations. You should do this as soon as your alarm goes off; before you sit up, look at your phone, turn on the light, or get out of bed. Doing this will help set the tone for your entire day by starting you off in a positive, focused state of being while also requiring you to be present. I would also suggest that you repeat the affirmations at least once more while looking at your reflection in the mirror.
Some examples of affirmations:
- “I am worthy of love.”
- “I am fearless.”
- “I am organized and productive.”
The most important thing to note is that you must get into the feeling of the statement. So if you use an affirmation like “I am worthy of love,” you must recall a time in your life when you felt worthy of love and allow yourself to feel that feeling as you state the affirmation. State each affirmation as many times as it takes until you can get yourself into the positive feelings you want to associate with it. With enough practice and consistency, you will notice your statements manifesting in your reality!
✩ Meditate – Minutes: 10 (can be split into two 5 minute sessions)
There still seems to be a lot of confusion as to exactly what it means to meditate. It’s a concept that people are constantly looking for ways to over-complicate. In our society of upgrades, add-ons, extensions and “trial versions,” people have a difficult time accepting that mindful meditation is a practice based on keeping things as simple as possible.
Basic Mindful Meditation Steps:
- Find a quiet place to sit down (preferably on the ground)
- Cross your legs and sit up straight with your spine in a straight line
- Set a timer for 5-10 minutes
- Rest your hands on your thighs with your palms facing up and your thumb and middle finger of each hand touching.
- Close your eyes and take a slow breath in through your nose, then exhale slowly out of your mouth.
- Focus only on your breath. Give your complete attention to every aspect of your breathing.
- Set aside any other thoughts that try to compete for your attention. If thoughts of bills you have to pay and chores you have to do, etc. try and make their way into your awareness, acknowledge them for a brief moment and then send them away by redirecting your focus back to your breathing.
- If you are meditating for 10+ minutes at once, it may be helpful for you to listen to a guided meditation until you are more skilled at quieting the mind on your own.
✩ Stretch – Minutes: 5
Stretching – especially yoga – is a very important step in self care because it helps build a stronger mind/body connection. It elongates the muscles and tendons, allowing for better circulation and blood flow, while helping to prevent injury. Stretching is also the best way to “check in” with your body: you can locate any stiff or sore areas and identify energetic blocks or areas of bottlenecked prana.
For some simple ideas of where to get started, here’s a link to Victor Oddo’s Youtube Video of Yoga Poses You Can Do In Bed. It’s only five minutes long and the poses demonstrated are actually very effective, despite the fact they are done in bed!.
✩ Gratitude (journal) – Minutes: 3
We ask a lot of the Universe, whether we realize it or not. “Please let me make this green light, please give me strength to get through this, please send me love, etc.” And just as with our relationships with people, we can’t keep taking without showing gratitude and expect the generosity to continue!
One of the easiest ways to express your gratitude to the Universe is by keeping a Daily Gratitude Journal. I prefer to express my gratitudes at night, just before my evening meditation; but you can practice this whenever feels best for you. All you have to do for this step is:
Set a timer for three minutes, and just start writing a list of some of the things you are grateful for. I would then suggest taking another minute or two to go back over the list and actually verbalize, “I am thankful for: ________________” out loud for each item on the list.
✩ Journaling – Minutes: 7
Some people love journaling and some people hate it. No matter what your stance is on this step, I’m going to say one thing about it: I consider journaling to be a mandatory component of any self care routine. You can journal about anything! You can free write about your day, write a dream journal entry, respond to a shadow work prompt, create a list of affirmations…the ideas are endless. The main thing is that you get your pen to paper and write without filters for at least seven minutes.
The final thing people tend to get caught up on is the type of journal they should use. If you want to just get started, a plain spiral notebook or a binder with a few sheets of binder paper would be fine!
Lined pages, blank pages, both…that’s also something totally up to your preference. But if you want a notebook with a little more “personality,” I recommend something like this Faux Leather Tree of Life Notebook.
And that’s it! I plan on discussing each of the steps I listed in much more detail (in future posts), but for now I’ve just provided you with a pretty solid starting point for your new self care routine! While statistically it takes an average person 28 days to form a new habit, I would like to suggest that you start with setting your self care goals in 10 day increments.
For the next 10 consecutive days, commit 30 minutes a day to your new self care practices. Then check in with yourself: – If you notice any positive changes in the way you feel after 10 days, start building upon this routine and allow it to permanently integrate into your lifestyle. – Make adjustments to any areas that didn’t work for you and try them over the next 10 days.
Please share any comments or ask any questions you may have for me, I value your feedback!
Love & Light,