Self Care

How to Redefine Self-Care To Make it a Sustainable Daily Practice

Hint: it’s not what you think it is.

By: Emma Lunsford

Why does sustainable self-care sound like one of those super dry topics everyone secretly glazes their eyes over? 1.) Because most of us haven’t been taught how to make it fun and 2.) because we’re a society focused on instant gratification. We want results now, and sustainable implies a long-haul approach. But here’s the deal. Self-care exists to help you feel better. And since most of us incur large amounts of stress on a daily basis, we can’t just do one yoga class and expect our bodies to catch on.

We need consistency. We need sustainability. And we need it to be easy. Lucky for you, this article will show you exactly how to redefine your relationship to self-care so it stays in your life for a long, long time. 

RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Self-Care 

3 Tips to Create Sustainable Self-Care Habits: For Real! 

Okay, so what exactly is sustainable self-care? It’s a daily practice that you can maintain without even thinking twice about it. Of course, habits can take a few weeks to form, meaning this type of practice doesn’t just happen instantly. But there are a few things you can do to make it feel even more effortless. 

#1 Remember: Small Things Do Big Things

Let’s just put it this way: there’s no wrong way to do self-care. Whether you have 3 minutes or 30 minutes, every second counts towards your health — you can even think of it like a bank account. Those cents can add up, right? Every little bit can make a difference. It can be as simple as eating healthily or moving your body. 

So instead of putting a lot of pressure on yourself to devote hours and hours of relaxation time and then never doing it because that’s just not feasible in the first place, take it slow. Give yourself permission to do the minimum, especially on the hectic days. 

#2 Remove “Should” From Your Vocabulary

Okay, actually, that was a lie. There is one wrong way to do self-care: if you find yourself stressing about it. Otherwise, that kind of defeats the point, right? Self-care exists to help you reduce your stress and promote wellbeing, and if you spend all day worrying that you didn’t take an hour this morning to meditate, that hikes your stress.

You’re not striving for perfection. So when you catch yourself saying things like I “should” do this or I “should” do that, that’s actually a red flag. Sustainable self-care comes from a place of “I get to” or “I want to.” 

It’s about relaxing into it and enjoying the process, so make sure you’re doing things you actually enjoy!

#3 It’s Less About Doing and More About Feeling

You could do all of the facemasks and bubble baths in the world and still feel stressed. Why? Because self-care isn’t necessarily about what you do, but about how you feel doing it. For instance, you might just be doing self-care because you know it’s important. But you don’t actually do it with the intention of feeling better. 

That’s the key: go in with the intention of feeling better. And suddenly, you’ll never want to stop. 

How to Easily Incorporate Self-Care Into Your Daily Routine

Now, we’re getting to the good stuff. How can you easily implement sustainable self-care into your day? How can you make it second nature? Start with these tips. 

Listen to Your Needs, Day by Day

Humans are fickle. We absorb a lot of things every day: social media, conversations, anxiety, thoughts, to-dos, etc. And each day might look a little different, depending on how hungry you are, how much you slept, how your mental health feels, etc. So instead of being rigid in your routine, allow some room to breathe. 

Allow yourself to mix things up and give your body what it needs, whether it’s a meditation or a hardcore HIIT session. You always know what’s best for you! Trust your gut. 

Schedule It In

Wait… how can you go day by day and schedule it in? Well, you can do both. Scheduling it in can simply refer to allotting yourself time. For instance, on Monday afternoon, you have 30 minutes of free time in your schedule. Mark that off as self-care. When Monday afternoon comes, decide what feels best! Of course, you can always book in classes and workouts to keep yourself accountable, too. Whatever feels best!

Allow Yourself to Feel Good All the Time

Self-care can become dangerous in that we think we can only feel good when we do self-care. But that’s missing the point. Self-care is about reminding yourself of your personal power. It’s about remembering that no matter what’s going on in your life, you can always come home to your body. 

Start treating your life like an entire self-care routine, doing things that you love and make you feel good. Talk about sustainability! 

Keep It Simple, Keep It You: It’s Time to Uncomplicate Self-Care

Sustainable self-care isn’t about getting it right all the time or spending hours in a bubble bath. (Although that does sound all kinds of nice.) It’s about doing the things that work for you and setting yourself up for success. Keeping it simple and easy to stick to will take you so much farther than putting pressure on yourself. You got this! Remember to have fun with it. 

There are so many ways to make sustainable self-care a part of your wellness journey. If you haven’t joined our community yet, sign up for free and get access to unlimited free workouts and meditations that make finding that “me time” easier and more sustainable.