If you’re looking for self-care rituals for women, this post is for you!
As a busy mom and entrepreneur, I know how difficult it can be to find the time for regular self-care, but I’ve learned the importance of listening to my body and recognizing when I need to prioritize my physical and emotional well-being. While it’s human nature to put the needs of others before our own, there is only so long we can live in a constant state of overwhelm before our bodies start to break down, and we forget that an imbalance in our physical and emotional health not only impacts how we feel about ourselves, but effects the quality of our relationships with our family and friends as well.
For a long time, I used to think engaging in regular self-care would require me to take up yoga, keep a daily journal, and make weekly appointments to get my nails done, and while I encourage you to try all of these things, the reality is that there will be seasons where self-care is more about tending to our physical versus our emotional needs.
And that’s 100% okay.
Any kind of self-care is beneficial because it reminds us that we are still important outside of our roles as caregivers, friends, and business powerhouses.
What is Self-Care?
You’ve probably heard the term ‘self-care’ floating around the internet a lot lately, but it’s a concept that not everyone understands.
Simply put, self-care is the practice of taking care of one’s own physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. The idea is that, when we take care of all of these aspects of our lives, we reduce emotional issues like stress, anxiety, and depression as well as the physical reactions they create, leaving us with more energy and motivation, and making us better able to handle the challenges life throws at us.
There are many different types of self-care, including physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual care, and self-care rituals for women can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be.
5 Ways to Make Time for Self-Care
While many of us recognize the importance of incorporating self-care rituals for women into our daily and weekly routines, the reality is that most of us don’t follow through. Time is a luxury very few of us have, and the idea of finding an additional 15-30 to invest in ourselves can feel overwhelming. What we fail to realize is that a constant GO! GO! GO! mentality makes it more important than ever for us to find a way to decompress and find balance.
If you’re looking for tips to help you find the time for regular self-care, here are some ideas to help.
1) Start small. Remember that something is better than nothing, start small, and slowly build your self-care routine over time. The more realistic and manageable you keep things, the more likely you will be to maintain them.
2) Schedule it. Planning ahead and scheduling self-care into your calendar can make a huge difference in ensuring you have the time, and it helps keep you accountable too.
3) Manage your energy effectively. Figure out when you are at your most productive each day and use that time to power through your most important tasks. This will ensure you maximize your energy, leaving you more downtime at the end of the day for the things that bring you balance.
4) Learn to say ‘no’. If you’re constantly strapped for time, get into the habit of only committing to the things that contribute to your goals, and don’t spend an ounce of time feeling guilty for prioritizing the things that are important to you – including your physical and emotional well-being!
5) Take a mental health day. If your place of employment offers mental health days, don’t be afraid to use them! Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves and our mental health is to simply take a day off to do…nothing.
21 Self-Care Rituals for Women
1) Practice daily gratitude. Take a few minutes each morning to write down 5 things you’re grateful for. These don’t need to be huge, but you do need to be intentional as you think through and write down the items you’re most thankful for. Your morning cup of coffee, the extra snuggles you enjoyed with your kids, or an upcoming date night with your significant other are all examples of small but meaningful things that can add a huge amount of joy to your life. Keeping a daily gratitude journal is one of my favorite self-care rituals for women as it takes very little time but can make a huge difference in setting a positive tone for the day ahead.
2) Write down 3 things you love about yourself. Mornings tend to be a time when women struggle most with their internal dialogue, which can set a negative tone for the day ahead. If this sounds like you, get into the habit of looking in the mirror while you’re getting ready each morning and identifying 3 things you like about yourself. This will train your brain to focus on your positive qualities and features, which will have a positive impact on how you feel.
3) Put your best foot forward. Another one of my favorite self-care rituals for women is to put time and effort into your appearance. I know a lot of people will criticize me for thinking makeup, hair, and fashion are important, but I consistently find that I feel my best when I put my best foot forward. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier and take the time to swipe on some mascara and blush, style your hair, and select an outfit that makes you feel good.
4) Make nutrition a priority. Committing to a clean diet is another way to indulge in self-care. It takes time and energy to create menu plans, stock your fridge and pantry with healthy foods, and prep and cook healthy meals, but fuelling your body with the right foods can have so many positive benefits on your physical and emotional well-being.
5) Move your body. A list of self-care rituals for women wouldn’t be complete without exercise, but before you roll your eyes, hear me out. We all know that engaging in 30 minutes of physical activity several times a week is ideal for our physical and emotional health, but when life gets busy, this is one of the first self-care activities we drop. If you can’t find the time to make it to the gym, find other ways to get your body up and moving. Chase your kids around the backyard after school, go for a walk around the neighborhood after dinner, or do some stretching or body weight exercises once everyone is tucked into bed for the night.
6) Listen to a podcast. There are so many great, inspirational podcasts you can stream to help you indulge in some self-care while simultaneously getting caught up on household tasks, like laundry, cooking, doing the dishes, or organizing closets and cupboards. I’m a huge fan of the RISE and Goal Digger podcasts!
7) Get outside. If you’re looking for self-care rituals for women, finding ways to get outside is another great option to consider. Whether it’s going for a run first thing in the morning, spending time in the backyard with your family, or enjoying a cup of tea on your front porch before bed, there are heaps of ways you can enjoy the great outdoors, and the fresh air will do wonders for your soul.
8) Make time for friends. While it can be difficult to find the time to physically get together with friends as our schedules become busier and more demanding, there are other ways you can connect. Setup a standing date to chat via FaceTime each week, organize a nightly ritual where you text each other one positive thing that happened to you that day, or do what my university BFF and I do: send each other funny memes to add a bit of sunshine and sarcasm into your days!
9) Take up a hobby. Whether it’s blogging, photography, or a home renovation project, find something you’re passionate about and make time for it! It will do wonders for your soul.
10) Cook or bake. While these items aren’t high on the list of self-care rituals for women that I enjoy, I have many friends who find cooking and baking to be extremely therapeutic. If this sounds like you, find time to test new recipes wherever possible.
11) Schedule time to play catch-up. The last few weeks have been particularly busy in our household, and last night I was really feeling the weight of it all. I usually spent 30-40 minutes lifting weights after dinner to clear my head, but I decided to use that time to get caught up on all of the household stuff that has been weighing me down instead, and it made a HUGE difference. I woke up feeling lighter and more motivated this morning, and think I may make it a weekly habit!
12) Relax in the tub. When I asked some of my mom friends what their favorite self-care rituals for women are, most of them said they enjoy pouring themselves a glass of wine, lighting some candles, and soaking in a hot tub after a difficult day. Give it a try!
13) Create a nightly spa routine. If you’re on the hunt for self-care rituals for women you can do when the kids are in bed for the night and that don’t take up a ton of time, there are tons of things you can try! Pain your nails, shape your eyebrows, repair damaged locks with a hydrating hair mask, or try out a sheet mask.
14) Unplug. Sometimes the best thing you can do after a long day is to unplug from your electronics and live in the moment.
15) Do something spontaneous. Book a day off to spend with someone you love – or to enjoy your own company – and do something totally indulgent. Get your hair done, enjoy lunch at your favorite restaurant, go to a movie…the possibilities are endless!
16) Avoid toxic people. Do you have people in your life who have a way of seeing the negative in absolutely everything? It can be so emotionally draining – not to mention depressing – to interact with people like this. I believe our lives are a direct result of the choices we make and the people we surround ourselves with, and if you’re looking for self-care rituals for women, avoiding toxic people wherever possible is a great (and easy) way to better your emotional well-being.
17) Take a nap. Another one of my favorite self-care rituals for women is to indulge in a mid-afternoon nap. Very few of us get the recommended 8 hours of shut-eye each night, and while you may feel guilty putting aside household chores in favor of sleep, sometimes that’s exactly what your soul needs.
18) Keep learning. Whether it’s signing up for a seminar or course on a particular topic of interest to you, or choosing to go back to school, never, ever stop learning! You’re not too old, and it’s never too late to learn something new.
19) Journal. For those who enjoy writing, journaling is another one of my favorite self-care rituals for women. Writing in a journal provides a great outlet, helps promote a sense of calm, provides perspective, and can help identify triggers and patterns as well as provide solutions. We’ve written a whole post about journaling for emotional well-being, including our favorite guided journals and journal prompts, which you can read HERE.
20) Prioritize sleep. As I mentioned earlier, very few of us get the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night, which can cause a whole slew of problems. Committing to an extra 30 minutes of sleep each night can do wonders for your physical and emotional health!
21) Meal prep. I realize that chopping vegetables and creating freezer meals isn’t the most exciting form of self-care, but prioritizing your health is extremely important. If clean eating and weight loss are important to you, scheduling time to plan and prep your meals is a great way to put yourself and your needs first. Listen to a podcast or some music to make it more enjoyable!
I hope these self-care rituals for women inspire you to find something – anything! – you can do on the daily to make yourself feel like a priority. Remember to start small, to schedule self-care into your calendar to keep yourself accountable, and to never apologize for putting your physical and emotional needs first.