Creating self-care habits becomes easier when you do certain things together. It’s like having all of the numbers for a combination lock. Once they are all in place, it’s easy to open the lock. Here are some tips to help you get certain things in alignment, making in easier to create self-care habits that stick.
Take stock of your current habits, the good ones and the bad ones. Make a list. Once you are aware of them, decide what you want to keep, what you want to create and what you want to build.
Set intentions for your self-care habits, and remind yourself of these intentions daily.
“I will [BEHAVIOUR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].”
Start with small changes
Make incremental changes toward the behaviour you want, and work your way up from there. Even if you improve at something only 1% every week, the changes that accumulate over months or years are massive. Tiny changes, big results is exactly what James Clear writes about in Atomic Habits. You’ll know when it’s a good time to start stacking new habits on top of your established ones.
Update your environment
Find ways to make your good habits visible, leave cues. And find ways to make the bad habits invisible. Make changes that encourage your new habit and discourage unwanted habits. If you would like to eat healthier, keep a bowl of fruit on the counter, and put unhealthy snacks out of sight. Write a schedule for your exercise activities and pin it to the fridge. Keep your trainers by the door.
Tie new self-care habits to other activities
Make a plan using the format: “After , I will .” For example: “After I drink a glass of water in the morning, I’ll do my stretches, then hydrate with another glass of water.” This is a simple way to remember your habits each day and encourage consistency.
Some practice is better than no practice
Even if you don’t have a lot of time or energy, do something toward building your habit. Too tired for a long walk? Walk for 5 minutes. Too busy to read a whole chapter? Read one page. Consistency builds habits.
Track your habit
Keep a journal, calendar, or spreadsheet to record your habit each time you practice. It can be satisfying to record your behaviour, and to look back and see all the hard work you’ve put in. Plus, it can be motivating to keep a habit streak alive.
Celebrate your successes
Healthy habits tend to have long-term benefits that take time to kick in. While you’re waiting for these, give yourself immediate, small rewards to sustain motivation. Just make sure they don’t contradict your goals. Be your best cheerleader. The more you cheer yourself on and celebrate wins, the more enjoyable self-care becomes.
Surround yourself with support
When you surround yourself with others who are trying to create self-care habits, it makes it easier to put in the effort and to be accountable. It also makes it more difficult to back out of your commitment. Once others know you’re working toward self-care habits, they will offer encouragement and support.
You don’t have to walk this journey alone. Learning to slow down and practice self-care is easier together. Join others who understand the heartache and together commit to your self-care, to finding the courage to be you along a guided healing journey. Join the Blossome Community.
Kim Moore is the Founder of Blossome CIC. She lost her husband Chris to alcoholism in 2017. She faced a difficult journey while raising 2 children alone, with her family living on the opposite side of the world. Kim founded the Blossome Community and The Pathway to Peace healing journey so no one would have to feel alone while enduring the trauma of a loved one’s battle with alcoholism or addiction. She is also on a mission to end the generational cycle of alcoholism and addiction in families.