Setting up Your Very Own Self Care Menu

I’m sure if you are reading this you have the tendency to over do it. You take on more responsibilities, put more on your plate, tend to put everyone else first and as a result, neglect our own needs.

Imagine we all carry around these buckets that we keep all of our responsibilities and day-to-day stressors in our life. Everyday we are adding these buckets, whether it's deadlines at work, our kids commitments, tensions with your partner or financial worries, they all go into our bucket. Not all stressors are the same, some are bigger than others and therefore take up more room in your bucket. For instance, someone cutting you off in traffic is likely not as cumbersome as caring for your ailing parent. Regardless they are all adding to your bucket. If we don’t deal with our buckets, eventually they will overflow leading to exhaustion and burnout.

This is where selfcare comes in. Self care helps us empty out these buckets. Think of self care as placing holes in our bucket, allowing water to drain out. This allows us to manage our stress and builds our resilience so we can handle whatever is thrown in our way.

Self care is any intentional activity that allows you to nourish and recharge your body, mind and soul. By practising self care you are not only managing your stress, but reducing the burden of stress on your body so you never get out to that stage of burnout. It is important to be able to identify when you are in desperate need of self care, common signs that you are beyond the point of self care:

  • Constant exhaustion

  • Constant feeling of overwhelm

  • Lack of motivation or lack of interest in things you normally enjoy doing

  • Irritability and mood swings

We don’t want it to have to get to this point. That's why it is important to practice self care so we constantly keep our stressors in check. When it comes to self care, it is important to:

  • Be intentional about self care and incorporate it into your daily routine, even if it is 5 minutes.

  • Choose self care activities that are meaningful and nourishing to you - everyone will have different things that work for them.

  • Choose a variety of activities that nourish your body, mind and soul.

If you need some inspiration around what self care activities you can incorporate into your life, here are some ideas.

Self Care Ideas for Your Body:

  • Take a bike ride

  • Get out in sunshine

  • Go for a hike

  • Stretch your body

  • Get a massage

  • Yoga

  • Have a nourishing meal

  • Take a bath

  • Limit caffeine and alcohol

  • Dance to your favourite music

Self Care Ideas for Your Mind:

  • Therapy

  • Journal

  • Learn a new skill

  • Do a digital detox

  • Read a book

  • Declutter your space

  • Listen to calming music or sounds

  • Ask for help

  • Read inspiring quotes

  • Say no

Self Care Ideas for Your Soul:

  • Practice gratitude

  • Meditation

  • Write a letter to an old friend

  • Prayer

  • Connect with friends

  • Get creative

  • Enjoy a hobby

  • Practice self-compassion

  • Create boundaries with the people around you

  • Cuddle

In order to help you to be intentional about committing to self care and finding the right practises that work for you, you can create a self care menu. On this self care menu you will include a variety of self care activities you have found to be enjoyable and helpful in the past and others you are interested in trying. I would recommend making a list of at least 15 options: 5 for your body, 5 for your mind and 5 for your soul. When you start noticing the signs that it is time to commit to self care, check in with yourself about which of these activities is most appealing at that point and fits with your routine.

Take the time and energy to create a self care menu just for you. Try it out for several weeks and see how your body responds to prioritizing your wellbeing in this way. Feel free to change up these items on your list as you feel you need to spice things up, or quite possible as the seasons change and our possible activities change.

Start investing in your own wellbeing through self care, you deserve.

Want to learn more: