Why All Self-Care Strategies Aren’t Created Equal.
If you scroll through my Instagram account, you may see IG stories of me in bubble baths, dancing, sitting at my love altar, and taking daily morning walks. Or, even talking about the power of affirmations. Yes, I’m that person, showcasing my self-care strategies, one IG story at a time.
And because I put my self-care routine front and center, people often contact me to let me know if they have tried my strategies and whether said strategies are working for them. Most of the feedback is positive: “I bought that same affirmation deck,” or “I get up and walk every morning before work now, too.”
But I have had a few followers tell me very frankly, “I’ve tried the strategies, but they don’t work for me,” and I tell them, “Of course, my self-care strategies may not work for you because they are for me; you have to find the strategies that work best for you.”
All self-care strategies are not created equal.
Here are five strategies to help you in the process of building your own self-care routine:
1. Make a list of all of the things that bring you the most joy, happiness, and ease.
When I created my list, I thought about all of the things that have bought me comfort and excitement. One of my friends loves yoga and finds herself on her mat often as a part of her daily care of self. I don’t enjoy yoga enough to have it in my arsenal of strategies, and that’s okay. Remember, this is your practice and you have to find what works best for you.
2. Look at your self-care strategies like a plate of food. Don’t try to eat all of the food at once.
Maybe start out with two or three strategies. Don’t over satiate your pallet by dumping all the strategies down your throat. The last thing you want is to have your self-care strategies overwhelm you instead of bringing you comfort. Additionally, if your strategies aren’t bringing you the care that you need, then maybe the next day put a different strategy on your plate to try.
3. When you figure out which strategies work best for you, do them over and over and over again.
Consistency is motivation. Walking is one of my top self-care rituals. When I started walking every day, I hated it. I tried to talk myself out of it. But the more I did it, the more I grew to enjoy it. Sometimes we allow self-doubt to override our willingness to try a thing in order to create a ritual out of it.
4. Sometimes self-care strategies are not enough.
I have seen it time and time again. People have tried to remedy their problems, relying only on self-care rituals when they also need other support alongside the self-care strategies. If you feel as if you keep hitting a wall with the strategies, think about adding psychotherapy and/or psychotropic medication to help you work through certain aspects of your life.
5. Start envisioning your self-care to be a part of a larger model of community care.
Community care is committed to being there for people. We are naturally communal people, and oftentimes, we need the care and support of others to help us in the safekeeping of ourselves.