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Updated: Aug 10, 2022

How do you give yourself self-care? Is it watching some TV before bed? Is it scrolling Tik Tok? How about

a massage once a month? These all feel great and can give you a break from the chaos of life, but do

they really make you feel complete? If not, they may have served as a distraction and not self-care.

I like to guide clients through self-care using the PEMSS Model for Self-Care (don’t try to remember the

name-there won’t be a quiz). This model gives a guide to improve your well-being. Have you ever spent

an hour on Instagram and thought “I feel like a better person now”? The answer is probably “no”

because it did nothing for your overall well-being. Things that do improve your well-being are things that

nurture your physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social growth.

I’ll give you some examples of how to provide self-care in these areas daily. Please keep in mind that

self-care does not look the same for everyone. Find what feels right for you.

PHYSICAL- eating right, getting exercise/movement daily, get enough sleep

EMOTIONAL- doing something nice for yourself, telling someone “I love you”, practice self-compassion

MENTAL- speaking to yourself with kindness, removing yourself from negative spaces

SPIRITUAL- practicing gratitude, helping others

SOCIAL- reaching out to loved ones, setting healthy boundaries with social media

So now that we’ve identified some ways to give yourself self-care, how in the world do you do this with

a busy schedule? We have kids to feed, homework to do, partners to give attention to, and the list goes

on. Here are four ways to add some self-care into your daily routine.

1) SET BOUNDARIES (and stick to them): This has got to be at the top of the list. No one is going to

prioritize your self-care like you. Period. Humans by nature are selfish. We can love

wholeheartedly, but we will still ask things of others without considering if they have the

physical or emotional capacity to do it. You must be responsible for your own boundaries. By

allowing others to cross your boundaries, you’re showing that they’re not that important. If

you’re not showing others that your boundary is important, they won’t either (surprise!).

Identify when you plan to give yourself self-care and let others know that you need that time for

yourself to get it done.

2) START SLOWLY: It can be hard to add self-care to your day the way you want, especially when

you’re just not in the habit of doing it. It’s hard to eat right, exercise, and even speak to yourself

with kindness if you’re not used to doing it. Replace one not-so-healthy meal each day with a

healthy one. Drink more water. Walk a little more today than you did yesterday. Give yourself a

compliment daily. These small steps lead to sustainable habits.

3) DO WHAT EXCITES YOU: If you’re not thrilled about it, you’re not going to do it. Figure out what

you think you may enjoy or be excited about. Maybe helping others is too stressful for you right

now because you’re already doing so much for others right now. No big deal! Find another way

to care for yourself spiritually.

4) SWITCH IT UP: If the self-care activities you’ve chosen don’t seem to work for you, change it up a

bit. Maybe you need to spend a bit less time and energy on it. Maybe you need to figure out a

new activity altogether. It’s okay. You’re finding what works for you!

I hope you’ve gathered that self-care doesn’t have to be major changes that require a lot of time or

money. It does, however, require you to be intentional and thoughtful. But it is worth it! You take care

of everyone else. You deserve to take care of yourself as well!

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