Self-Care Begins With You

Self-Regulation

I’m grateful to share with you this inspiring “everything self-care” article, written by a friend I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for many years. If you haven’t begun your own self-care routine and are thinking about getting started, in this article, Kaitlin shares with you how she came to discover self-care, a complete insight into her own routine, along with suggestions and tips to get started! Thank you, Kaitlin, for taking the time to share with others your own experience on such an important topic.


Shared by Kaitlin Findlay

“Honour yourself to love others.” – Paul Colaianni

Self-care is not selfish. It is a practice of self-love, respect, and appreciation for ourselves so that we can love, respect, and appreciate others. Before I began my self-love journey in March of this year, my typical morning during the week would look like this: wake up at the latest time possible, hop out of bed to get ready, pack my lunch, and off to work I went. My typical morning routine on the weekends would look like this: sleep in, grab my phone to scroll on social media for at least an hour, and then slowly get out of bed to get ready for the day. I realize now, looking back, that both routines were toxic to my mental health as I focused my attention and awareness on other people, and as a result, neglected myself.

I have found that creating and practicing self-care every morning to start my day has given me two things:

  • Motivation: My morning self-care routine has motivated me to be the best person I can be everyday. When I take the time in the morning to reflect on my feelings and thoughts and to praise myself for the beautiful human I am, it literally hypes up my soul to start my day off with positive energy. This allows me to regulate my emotions and thoughts for the remainder of the day so that I can have the best day possible.
  • Self-esteem and Self-confidence: The second thing my morning self-care routine has given me is self-esteem and self-confidence. Before this, I lacked these two things as I would self-sabotage myself throughout most of my day. Now, loving myself for the first few hours of my day has allowed me to accept that I am beautiful, worthy and therefore, I view myself differently now than before and it feels incredible.

So, what does my morning self-care routine look like?

I have tried many different things and have perfected what I do now to suit what lifts me up every morning. My routine takes me around three hours to do, but this is simply because I have the time to do it for that long.

My Morning Self-Care Routine

Drink a litre of water
Filling my body with water at the very beginning of the day helps me to rehydrate and refresh from my beauty sleep.

Listen to a podcast
I lie in bed while I listen to a podcast to help wake me up. I usually pick podcasts that will strengthen my self-love as this is something I am currently working on.

What I’m currently listening to:

Read a daily affirmation
Affirmations are powerful as they help bring truth to light. They allow us to appreciate ourselves for the beautiful humans we all are.

What I’m currently reading:

Engage in a guided meditation
This is an art that I am still practicing. My end goal is to be able to meditate on my own, but for now, I do guided meditations to help clear my thoughts and emotions.

What I’m currently practicing:

Write in a journal
I have a love for journalism as I’ve been doing it since I was 12. I have kept all of my journals and when I look back, I used to write everyday and write every small detail! In university, it started to become less frequent and I tended to only write when I was at a low. Once I started working with my life coach (shoutout to Hillary Flinn!) she suggested I journal when I was happy too and told me to get a writing-prompt journal for the days I didn’t know what to write about. I have been journaling everyday since! The art of journalism helps me to organize and clear my thoughts and emotions. It’s one thing to always be reflecting in your brain, but another to write those reflections down.

What I’m currently journaling in:

Kick my own butt with some exercise
I have recognized the benefits of working out at the start of my day rather than anytime afterwards because it gives me the energy to continue the rest of my day on a high. My current workouts entail cardio (running) and then weight training (a different muscle each day).

Here are some other suggestions of what you can add to your own morning self-care ritual:

  • Stretch
  • Make the bed
  • Clean room
  • Take an Epsom salt bath
  • Yoga
  • Morning devotion
  • Pray
  • Singing bowl
  • Skin care routine
  • Shower
  • Listen to music
  • Go outside
  • Read
  • Do a puzzle
  • Write down daily achievable goals
  • Talk to self in the mirror
  • Visualization of where you want to be

Tips to get you started:

  • Start off small
    If you’re just beginning your morning self-care routine journey, it can feel intimidating and overwhelming. I suggest you start off small! Set aside five-to-ten minutes of your time for self-care and do something simple. Become comfortable with that small routine and then you will naturally want to add to it.
  • Be consistent
    There were times in the beginning of my journey that I felt like giving up. I couldn’t stay mentally focused on the tasks and I felt like I wasn’t getting better. The famous saying, “practice makes perfect” stays true to a morning self-care routine (although perfect looks different for everyone). I’m only feeling good about it now, after six months of practicing, with way more room for growth. With time comes progress and I promise it gets easier.
  • Say no to your phone
    Do you wake up and look at your phone right away? Scroll through social media and check who messaged you? I used to! It set me back not only time wise, but mentally too. Waking up and immediately looking at my phone affected my self-esteem and self-worth as I was comparing myself to others, right at the beginning of the day. I have made it a rule to not look at anything on my phone (other than my podcasts and meditation) until I have completed my self-care routine. It allows me to focus on myself so that I have enough energy to engage with others.

I can’t even begin to explain how rewarding waking up every morning to work on myself has felt. Although Covid-19 has brought us a lot of sorrow, I appreciate the time it has given me to work on myself, as I would not be where I am right now. It takes a lot of self-discipline, time, and effort, so I am thankful this pandemic has given me the opportunity to fully engage in this process. Now that I am more comfortable with my routine, I will be able to modify it for when I do have to return back to work as I will not have as much time. I now understand that if you put yourself first and if you make your happiness a priority, then you will naturally want to make the effort to practice self-care, no matter how much earlier you have to wake up. You will want to practice self-care because you love and care for yourself and your well-being. So, ask yourself, how much do you love yourself? 


Additional Resources

Courtesy The Good Trade

How To Start A Journal (Even If You Hate Writing)

Here’s A Journal Prompt For Every Emotion You Might Be Feeling Right Now

How You Can Cultivate A Sense Of Connection During COVID

Our Editors Share Their Morning Routines

99 Ways To Add Mindfulness To Your Day

Slow Your Scroll—How To Develop A Healthier Relationship With Instagram

3 Simple Mindful Breathing Exercises To Use Anytime, Anywhere

9 Podcasts Hosting Meaningful Conversations On Mental Health

A Step-By-Step Guide To Walking Meditation

Your Guide To Writing Poetry As A Form Of Self-Care


Podcast Suggestions

The Overwhelmed Brain with Paul Colaianni

The Morning Ritual with Lilly Balch

Mindful Meditations with Mindful.org

Hurry Slowly with Jocelyn K. Glei

Being Well with Dr. Rick Hanson

Tara Brach

Unlocking Us with Brené Brown


Affirmation Cards Suggestions

Affirmators! 50 Affirmation Cards to Help You Help Yourself—without the Self-Helpy-Ness! by Suzi Barrett

Heart Thoughts Cards: A Deck of 64 Affirmations Cards by Louise Hay

Love Powered Littles I AM Affirmation Cards For Kids

Butterfly Affirmations: Affirmation Cards For Your Happy, Courageous, Beautiful Life by Alana Fairchild & Jimmy Manton

I Can Do Anything: Positive Affirmations, Inspirational Thoughts and Motivational Words Card Deck by Becca Anderson


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This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

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