We all have those days where we just need a little treat like a face mask or a really good bath. But what’s better than an indulgent day every once and a while? Building a routine that focuses on self-care, of course.

Whether you’re looking for a weekly routine for a Sunday kick-start to the work week or something to integrate into every morning, here are just a couple essential practices to include and how to make them happen:

1. Journaling

This one might be something you’ve tried and given up on a couple times. It seems like a great idea at first, use a notebook to really reflect and have a space to get out all those emotions you don’t want boiling up at the wrong time. But how do you make this self-care essential a habit?

Making something a usual part of your day is hard no matter the task, but when it’s something as time consuming as journaling you’ll need to take the extra mile. Make sure you time block your day in your calendar and set a reminder when you wake up – or go to sleep, whenever you prefer – to really make sure you’re on top of it every day. Even if you’re not in the mood, or you didn’t have a spectacularly news-worthy day, take the time to write something, even if it’s not long.

If you make sure to follow those reminders and push yourself to write no matter what, this reflective activity will be part of your routine in no time.

2. Self-Massage

There’s nothing better than going for a massage, honestly, but not everyone can afford to dish out the fee every time they’re in need of a little relaxing. There’s so many benefits to massage – like increased levels of serotonin and reduced muscle inflammation – that it’s a must as part of your self-care goals. So how do we get all these without going to a therapist?

Well, that’s where self-massage comes in. It may seem kind of silly, but there are lots of exercises you can actually perform on yourself to get that perfect massage in a pinch. The belly massage can be done in bridge pose while massaging your lower belly and working your way up to the ribcage. The neck massage – one you may already be doing after a long day at work – involves tilting your head back and squeezing the muscles at the base of your neck.

Overall, these simple exercises are not only great for muscle relief but also for relaxing at the end of a hard day.

3. Exercise

This might seem obvious, but if you’re looking to really take care of yourself, exercise is a must for your routine. For some it might even seem counter-intuitive, because when your treating yourself do you really want to work out of all things?

The trick for using exercise in a self-care routine is to make sure you aren’t overtraining and to pick routines that make you feel happy, energized, and good afterwards. You shouldn’t dread a workout, but instead focus on how it made you feel in body and mind. When you work out, adrenaline floods to the brain which can help clear your thoughts and ease muscle pain. Focus on this feeling when amping yourself up for the gym and build a workout plan that makes you feel this way every time, like high intensity cardio intervals.

Getting in a good workout might seem like a drag to add to your weekly or daily routine, but the energized and happy feelings you get after will be totally worth it.

4. Skin Care

Taking care of your skin doesn’t just have to be for your beauty routine, but can be made into a truly relaxing practice. No matter your skin type and beauty needs, finding the right products and ingredients is important as it can be super helpful in getting the relaxing experience you need.

One trick to turn beauty care into self care is by paying attention to the smells of your products. I know, who cares, right? Well beyond just making sure your products are skin healthy, look for essential oils and fragrances that make you feel good too. Natural smells like chamomile, rosemary, and green tea work to sooth your skin and mind at the same time.

This is a great addition to your self care routine as you probably already do some form of it weekly already, just make sure you’re choosing the best routine to make you feel at your best.

So, what do you do as part of your self-care routine? Let us know in the comments!

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