As 2020 is coming to a close (cue confetti and balloons for getting through a tough year), you likely have your self-care routine down to a science. After all, how else would you have made it through this year in relative sanity, right? Of course, self-care is extremely important especially during times of intense stress, but there is such a thing as having a self-care regimen that’s too strict, which can actually be quite counterproductive. What does a strict self-care regimen look like? Let’s see… 

It’s scheduled down to the minute 

If you have an extremely set schedule when it comes to your self-care, your routine may be too strict. If you have everything so scheduled out that you get a little nervous when you get off schedule, you’re missing the point and likely not practicing self-care the way it is intended to be practiced. The whole point of self-care is to be able to enjoy your time and focus on yourself and your needs. When this becomes so regimented that it’s creating its own stressors, it’s defeating the purpose. Instead of having every single activity scheduled out, mark off a block of time and a general sense of what you would like to enjoy during that time; nothing too precise, just an idea of what would be good for your heart and soul. This will take the pressure off. 

It feels like a chore 

You can make self-care time feel like just another to-do rather than something you look forward to. Self-care is caring for your SELF, not everyone else. Not another something on your to-do list that just needs to be checked off so you feel like you got everything done. And it’s definitely not to fit into some idea of what you’re “supposed” to do. It doesn’t matter if your favorite celebrity’s self-care includes hot yoga and smoothies, especially if you’re not fond of either. Pick the activities YOU will enjoy. Your self-care may look completely different than anyone else’s and that’s perfectly fine.  

It’s a lot 

So many people feel like their self-care has to be elaborate; some crazy long meditation, complex healthy dishes, an hour of intense exercise, or a full day at the spa costing you hundreds of dollars. The truth is, that works for some, but for others it can be as simple as taking a 20-minute nap, reading a few pages out of a good book, taking a long way home and enjoying the scenery, or anything that makes you feel good. Keep your self-care routine simple. You’re more likely to stick to it.  

You’re not in the moment 

When you’re taking some self-care time, but you’re constantly looking at your watch anticipating what’s next, you’re likely not enjoying the experience. Be in the moment and enjoy that special time that really is about you. If you constantly find that you’re thinking about something else, maybe it’s time to consider that type of self-care isn’t right for you – at least not right now. Try something different that you can fully immerse yourself in. 

Self-care is meant to be enjoyable as well as rejuvenating. It shouldn’t be strict and rigid. Take a breath and get back to basics. You should be looking forward to your self-care time! Use these tips to get the most out of your self-care. 

Crystal Pavis

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