10 Ways to Be Proactive In Your Self-Care Routine

Journaling for Self Care

While it’s absolutely important to take notice of and celebrate good news, the ultimate goal of Good Good Good's Goodnewspaper is to empower readers to become good news themselves.

On occasion, that might look like hopping on an international flight to volunteer in a community that needs your skillset, but most of the time our impact will be made in the cities, hometowns, and neighborhoods where we live.

It might look like hosting food drives for hurricane victims, voting in local elections, or fundraising for homeless shelters.

But more than that, it will look like putting intentionality and care into our everyday actions: voting with your dollar by supporting good companies, advocating for vulnerable communities, or recycling.

The list of opportunities goes on and on. And that’s where the importance of maintaining a regular, personalized self-care practice comes in.

By the way, you might also like these self-care resources: 101 Self-Care Ideas | The Best Self-Care Apps | Self-Care Quotes | How To Cheer Yourself Up | How To Build a Self-Care Kit | Self-Care Journals & Planners | Self-Care Affirmations | International Self-Care Day | Self-Care Gifts

Proactive self-care > Reactive self-care

Many people think the idea of self-care is reactive.

They believe that if we’re feeling overwhelmed by a bad day we should cancel all plans, light a candle, and just eat ice cream. “Treat yo self!” says Aziz Ansari’s Tom Haverford of NBC’s hit comedy “Parks & Recreation.”

The best kind of self-care though is proactive.

It’s built into an individual’s life in a way that creates sustainability as one continues to prioritize creating stories of good in their day-to-day life.

Try out these 10 ways to be proactive in taking care of yourself:

Try meditating 

If you’ve never meditated before, a simple app like Headspace or Calm are a great place to start. These free apps will guide you through short meditation practices that train you how to become more self-aware.

Not ready to jump in just yet? Start by just creating moments of silence in your day as you enjoy your coffee or take a shower in the morning — it can go a long way to creating more mindfulness in your day.

Move your body

Try running, group exercise classes, at-home yoga, or even just going on long outdoor walks. It doesn't have to be intense, it just needs to be active. If you can build it consistently into your lifestyle, even better.

Make sure your body is taken care of by taking regular opportunities to help it grow strong, manage stress, and release positive endorphins.

Make time for personal cleanliness/grooming 

Man shaving his beard

Prioritize time to take care of your body — to trim your nails, get a haircut, or exfoliate and moisturize your skin. Taking time to take care of your physical self will increase both self-love and self-confidence, ultimately creating a higher motivation to make more loving decisions for yourself throughout the week.

Pursue a hobby you enjoy 

Put something in your daily schedule that you can regularly look forward to. Take a coffee brewing class, start a book club, take drum lessons — pursue something that you’re curious about and excited by. By intentionally and regularly pursuing a hobby, you’ll expand your way of seeing the world. (Check out our guide to hobbies for women!)

Start a gratitude journal 

Woman writing in a journal

Dedicate a journal solely to keeping log of the good in your life, no matter how small or insignificant the good may seem. For example: a hot cup of coffee in the morning, sunny weather, or a pleasant interaction with a stranger.

Pick a regular time to make entries, whether every morning or Sunday night right before bedtime. (A guided journal might help!) Write about what is delighting you and remember to flip through it every so often — it’ll be like your own personal Goodnewspaper.

Schedule time with loved ones 

FaceTime with a long-distance friend, go on a fun adventure with your partner, or invite family over for dinner. Prioritizing connection with others on a regular basis will help increase your capacity to empathize with others and help you feel a stronger sense of self-worth.

Create strict “no phone” zones in your day

Phone on airplane mode

Choose a time frame each day to put your phone on silent or airplane mode. Whether in the morning, during meal times, or an hour before bed, having a space in your day with no phone to distract you will help you stay focused at tasks at hand and create more space for mindfulness.

Turn off unnecessary notifications 

It’s no secret that one of the best ways to keep yourself on track during a deadline is to turn your phone on airplane mode. What if you eliminated all unnecessary pings and pop-ups in the first place? Experiment with turning off frivolous notifications this week.

Fuel your body 

A woman cutting veggies

Keep nutritious snacks and water around at the office and in your car. Consider meal planning and prepping before your work week starts to minimize temptations to skip meals or eat junk food.

Attend counseling 

If you’ve never visited a counselor, there’s no better time than the present. You can try an online option like BetterHelp or ask a friend for a referral to someone they trust. (Check out our guide on how to find a therapist.)

Even if there is no significant trauma that you’re trying to work through, meeting with a professional counselor can do wonders for helping you become more self-aware and encourage you to reach new levels of personal growth.

All of the recommendations in this story are independently selected by the Good Good Good team. Some of the links may be affiliate links — which means that when you click them, we may earn a commission — which supports our ability to continue sharing good news. Thank you!

A version of this story originally ran in Issue 04 of the Goodnewspaper in May 2018. The Goodnewspaper is our monthly print newspaper filled with good news.

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