Feature Image by Daria Shevtsova

It’s crucial to take a breather whenever you feel overwhelmed by the pressures of work and life. While a healthy diet and exercise are definitely beneficial for your physical and mental well-being, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to self-care.

To help you develop your own self-care routine, we spoke with licensed psychologists Laurie Sharp-Page and Dr. Roxy Zarrabi for seven important pointers.

Reflect on what self-care means to you
“Self-care looks a bit different for everyone, and it usually is so much more versatile than the spa and face mask images that immediately come to mind,” says Zarrabi. “Imagine what your life would look like if you made your self-care a priority,” Sharp-Page adds. Try to think of how you would schedule your day, how you would feel, and let yourself really visualize what good self-care would look like.”

Consider the basics
“It’s important to consider the self-care basics that provide you with the right fuel to tackle your day,” notes Zarrabi. Evaluate whether there are ways you can increase your self-care in the areas of diet, exercise, and sleep, she explains.

Invest in self-care items that protect your energy
“It can be beneficial to consider self-care items that protect your energy,” Zarrabi advises. These activities may not be fun or exciting, she explains, but they can be just as important as the basics. “[Even] something as simple as saying no is self-care, so try to pay attention to the things you do throughout your day that honor your needs and wants,” Sharp-Page adds.

Consider self-care items that help you feel grounded
“These items will look a bit different, and you can engage in them whether you have a lot of time or are short on time,” Zarrabi explains. Some examples include a two to five-minute meditation, a brief walk, listening to upbeat music, or stretching, she says.

Be sure to include some fun activities or hobbies on the list
“It can also be fun to include activities or hobbies on the list that bring you joy,” Zarrabi says. If you’re not sure where to start, she suggests reflecting on activities that brought you joy (regardless of the outcome) when you were younger.

Personalize your self-care checklist
“Decorate your self-care checklist and make it your own, and then put it up somewhere you will see daily,” suggests Zarrabi. Try to implement at least one item from the checklist every day, she suggests. However, if that feels like too much at first, she advises aiming for two to three items on your checklist a week.

Make a flexible schedule
“Make two different schedules for when time is abundant, and for challenging weeks where your time may be more limited,” Sharp-Page suggests. Always try to give yourself permission to be flexible with your self-care, she adds.

xx, The FabFitFun Team