Developing a self-care routine to make time during the day to focus on yourself and check to see how you’re feeling can be very useful, especially when facing challenging times. Learning to identify your stress triggers is a great support in managing your mental health and wellbeing.

Here are some simple ways you can take a moment to pamper yourself and foster a calm and balanced state of mind.

Before starting your day

  • Take a couple of minutes to focus on your breathing and how your body is feeling in the present moment
  • Become aware of your surroundings and any sounds you might be hearing around you
  • Bring your attention to any physical sensations in your body and any tension you might be feeling
  • Focus on your intention for the day

During your day

  • Set a structure to your day
  • Stay active, be it some gentle movements while sitting at your desk or a work out
  • Make time for breaks, which can be making yourself a nice cup of tea, doing some exercise or getting some fresh air
  • Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated throughout the day

End of the day

  • Take a moment to think about your day
  • Acknowledge three things that were difficult today and let them go
  • Consider three things that went well today
  • Choose an action that signals the end of your work day that can help you switch your attention from work to your leisure time
  • Rest and recharge

If you feel stressed or worried

  • Transferring worries to paper can help gain perspective on what are your stress triggers and stress responses
  • If you notice your mind is not in a good space, try to focus on something else for at least 90 seconds
  • Make gratitude a habit by keeping a gratitude journal where you write at least one thing you’re grateful for each day
  • If you notice you store stress in your body, try to tense and relax different parts of your body
  • Get a good night’s sleep

Creating a self-care routine is something very unique to each individual. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different activities and timings to schedule them in during your day. In time you’ll find what works best for you and what brings you the deepest sense of enjoyment and peace of mind.

Author: Sarah Speziali, Chief Therapist at InsideOut