Self-care is more than a mantra or a saying; it's a way of life. Also, it's daily deliberate actions that prioritize your well-being and help you build self-confidence, self-awareness, and self-compassion. So, as with anything, it takes time to build healthy habits and self-care is no different. Moreover, today I am sharing why I decided to prioritize myself post-cancer and a self care menu to help you incorporate small self-care activities into your busy life.
How to Build Self Care Habits with a Self Care Menu
We are all busy people and it seems that finding time for ourselves always ends up at the bottom of the priority list.
Of course, work, appointments, and everyone else seem to take precedence. But, what if we cared for ourselves in the same way we care for others? Therefore, self-care should be a priority and not an afterthought. Then, how do we make that happen? Also, we can't just think this shift into existence. Therefore, we have to take intentional action to make self-care a priority.
How to Start Self-Care Habits
For me, the first step to building a life filled with self-compassion was determining why I wanted to make a change. Still, I was in a dark place after chemotherapy filled with self-doubt. In addition, I was struggling to move forward. Mentally, I knew I needed a change. However, I wasn't sure where to start. So, my first step was to throw myself into the practice of self-care. Moreover, I read articles and sought out mentors. And, I looked for tools to help build a daily self-care practice. Then, you can read more about that part of my journey here and here.
Second, I developed a list of activities that brought me joy and helped me recharge. In fact, it was as simple as taking a bath. Nonetheless, other times it was pushing through the discomfort of sitting with my thoughts to examine my fears and anxiety about life after cancer and recurrence. So, little by little I was able to build a list of activities that helped me care for myself beyond my physical health. Also, exercise and healthy eating were part of my whole life wellness. However, I needed to go deeper to address my mental health as a part of my self-care habits.
Self-Care Tracking & Accountability
Third, once I had that list of self-care activities to choose from, I needed a method to hold me accountable. Again, it's important to ensure I actually did the activities that I had deemed valuable. So, something more pressing, or something more fun always seemed to get in the way. Also, I had to purposely find ways to schedule my self-care. Moreover, over the past few years, I have used various methods to track my habits and hold myself accountable. Additionally, in my last organization post, you can see how I scheduled in my self-care.
Furthermore, I have used a Google Spreadsheet to track my wellness habits including gratitude and self-care. Not only do I note what I did, but also how it made me feel. Moreover, tracking these metrics helped me also celebrate my progress and recognize the impact of my actions. After all, I have been using my ink+volt weekly desktop pads to track my goals, habits, and tasks as well as an end of day notepad to reflect on the day.
Weekly Self Care Tracking EXAMPLE
So, if you want to use my excel chart, you can download the file here:
Why Use a Self Care Menu?
Also, that's where the self-care menu comes in. So, I have divided my self-care menu into categories based on time. This is so that even when I only have 5 or 10 minutes, there are options to choose from that meet my self-care goals. So, it can help me recharge. Furthermore, you can easily create your own self-care menu, or save mine to get started. Similarly, I create a similar model with my Wellness Menu that you can download & customized focused on exercise and overall wellness.
Master Your Self Care Consistency with a Self Care Menu
So, despite how far I have come, there are times when I let my self-care rituals fall to the wayside. Also, I notice that during these times, I am plagued with self-doubt and the negative self-talk takes over. Afterward, my insecurities are heightened and anxiety threatens to derail my progress. Of course, the scary part is how convincing that inner voice can be. Therefore, you’re not good enough, you’re not pretty enough, you’re not skinny enough – the list goes on and on.
Also, I began to see a pattern though. However, the more time I dedicated to focusing on self-care, the quicker I was able to bounce back from this negative rhetoric. So, it was my self-awareness that made me stronger, and more capable of developing my confidence.
Self-Care as Number on Priority
Still, armed with this knowledge of how a lack of self-care can impact your mental well-being, I decided to make self-care my number one priority for the year. So, I hope you will too. Truly, self-care is a frame of mind. Also, it's an understanding that your body and mind are worth caring for. Therefore, it's an intentional decision to make time for activities that help you recharge. Moreover, you are worthy of attention, care, and compassion. So, by taking preventative measures to incorporate self-care activities you will build resilience over time.
Again, mental resilience will in turn help you conquer the obstacles that life throws your way – loss, trauma, self-doubt, or anxiety to name a few.
Do a Self-Care Assessment Today
After learning more about self-care habits, it's time for a self-assessment. Are you currently making time for self-care? If not, why? What are the obstacles standing in your way? Take some time to determine where you want to go from here. If you decide to make self-care a priority in your life, get clear on why. Having an understanding of why you are making changes will help you stay motivated and give purpose to your self-reflection
Start Using Your Self Care Menu Now
So, don’t wait for the weekend, a holiday, or that perfect Instagram photo opportunity to take time for you. Again, self-care is a way of life and you can start today! You are worth it. Certainly, download the Self-Care Menu, reflect on what activities fit your needs, and start planning them into your schedule this week.
Bonus Self-Care DIY Shower Bomb Recipe
Make your own shower steamer to add a little more relaxation to your daily bathing routines.
- 1 Cup Baking Soda
- 3-5 Tablespoons of water
- 15-20 Drops of essential oil of your choice (Lavender and Peppermint work great)
- 1 Drop Food Coloring (option)
- Mold (Mini muffin pans work great)
So, mix 2 tablespoons of water, essential oil, and food coloring together in a small bowl. Also, add in the baking soda. Stir the mixture and add water until it is the consistency of wet sand. Then, place the mixture in the mold and leave for 48 hours.
To use, place the shower steamer on the floor of your shower. Then, as the ball dissolves the space will be filled with a relaxing and refreshing scent of the essential oils.
More Self-Care Resources on My Pinterest
Breast cancer survivor, lover of style, beauty and all things pink! Inspiring you to thrive through adversity.