In the past decade, I’m sure you have read or seen many articles and blogs on the importance of self-care. As a society that is trying to encourage a more wellness-based lifestyle, it’s hard to miss the variety of marketing focused on the concept. Even with all the information given to us, many people struggle with incorporating a self-care agenda into their daily lives.

So what is the definition of self-care? In a nutshell, self-care is being able to care for yourself by identifying your personal needs and taking steps to meet them. From a basic life skills perspective, are you feeding, clothing, and financially supporting yourself? But if we look at self-care from a wellness point of view, it is any deliberate activity that you do in order to balance and care for your mental, emotional, and physical health. Are you attentive to your stress levels? Are you mindful of your diet? Are you doing things that bring joy to your life?

Now trying to develop a self-care plan may seem overwhelming due to cost or time requirements based on the more prominent suggestions that are presented – spa visits, vacations, gym memberships, starting a hobby, etc. This is counterproductive to the purpose of the plan. But does self-care truly require such investments? Does it have to look like someone else’s self-care plan? Is it selfish to have a self-care plan?

Throughout my journey of self-care, I have found that the more time consuming or costly activities are amazing, but the intentional in the moment options have been my saving grace. I’ve learned that one minute of self-care is just as important as one-hour of self-care. Here are five self-care ideas from my bucket of options that can be incorporated into your daily routine:

  • Learn breathing exercises that can be performed while showering, driving, or during an anxious moment. (Ex. Square Breathing, 4-7-8 Breath)
  • Find or develop encouraging affirmations that are visibly posted in your home or office.
  • Indulge in a mindful moment while preparing your morning beverages/breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. (Take in the sound of the coffee brewing, take care in how you fill your lunch bag, enjoy the fragrance of fresh fruits)
  • Download a meditation app on your cell phone that offers short one to five-minute meditation options.
  • Have a vitamin-D moment – take a step outside for a few minutes or make the walk to your car more meaningful. (take in the sights, smells, and sounds that surround you)

An important guideline to follow when implementing a self-care routine is to do it out of self-compassion. There may be a trial and error period that you will experience before you find your ideal flow, but please don’t throw in the towel. Remember that the purpose of your efforts is to be your best self as much as possible. Once you find what works, be sure to be deliberate, purposeful, and continuous with your plan. Go have a joyful self-care moment.

Check out Dr. Kelli’s Wellness Channel interview –