I’d be lying if I said I’ve stuck to every single self care activity or routine I’ve tried. Trust me, I have plenty of half-empty journals and unfinished workout plans in my past and made all of the common self care mistakes. But over the years, I’ve gotten better at crafting self care routines I enjoy and setting myself up for success in keeping them.
I don’t want to see you abandon any more journals, friend. Avoid these common self care mistakes and create a routine you’ll actually want to stick to.
6 Common Mistakes People Make When Crafting a Self Care Routine
The key to sticking to your self care routine is designing it to be as sustainable as possible. These are the most common self care mistakes I see women (especially business owners) making in their routines (and the common self-care myths they think they need to stick to).
1. They pick activities they don’t enjoy.
The only thing harder than starting a new routine? Starting one you don’t really like.
I work with so many clients who wish they were the kind of people who got up at 5:00 am, went for a five-mile run, and got ready for the day before the sun came up. But when we dig deeper into their goals, we realize that they wouldn’t actually enjoy that life. Maybe they’ve never liked running or aren’t morning people. They don’t want that life, but they’ve been conditioned to believe that this is what a productive morning routine is supposed to look like.
Instead of choosing a bunch of self care activities you’ll dread doing, start with activities you already enjoy. Read your favorite book, treat yourself to a face mask, or make a fancy cup of coffee. You’ll be more likely to make time for the things you enjoy, especially once you feel the difference self care makes in your everyday life.
2. They go too hard from the get-go.
You know what I find insanely satisfying? Those morning routine videos on Instagram and TikTok. For some reason, I just love watching someone else make a matcha latte, do an ab workout, and start their workday before the sun comes up.
Here’s the thing, though: Those people aren’t beginners. They didn’t wake up at 5:30 am one day and jump right into this lifestyle. They worked their way up to it!
If you’re trying to change your entire life in a day, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Just pick one new activity – reading for five minutes before bed, not checking your phone for ten minutes in the morning – and practice it for a few weeks. Once it feels normal, add another activity.
3. They spend too much money on self care.
Look, I know those glittery bath bombs and leather-bound journals are tempting. (I’d be lying if I said I’d never bought any.)
But self care shouldn’t be expensive. Don’t feel pressure to buy anything when you first get started. There are tons of free self care activities you can do with the things you already have (or with nothing at all).
If you do want to invest in self care, prioritize purchases that will keep on giving = like courses, coaching, books, and retreats. While a bath bomb might make you happy in the moment, one of these experiences will teach you skills you can keep using forever.
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4. They expect to keep the same routine no matter what's happening in their life.
As a coach and course creator, my schedule is entirely different during a launch season versus the regular season. My everyday self care routine just wouldn't fit into the long hours, so I don't put pressure on myself to stick to it.
Instead, I create a slightly different, more flexible self care routine that works better with this season of my life. Instead of doing my usual hour-long morning routine, I shorten it. I take a walk on my lunch break instead of early in the morning. In the evenings, I give myself grace to stay on my devices a bit later than I would otherwise.
This might not be my ideal routine, but it works with my crazy launch schedule. Whatever busy season you're in - whether you're launching a new product, taking on more clients, or balancing your work and home lives - don't be afraid to tweak your self care routine a bit to fit your new schedule.
5. They have no hierarchy for their self care activities.
When you're stretched for time, you have to prioritize. Instead of trying to keep your ten-step routine, pick three things from your list and make them non-negotiables.
For me, those three things are my morning quiet time, my afternoon walk, and my hard bedtime. Even when I feel like I don't have a spare minute in my day, I know I can make time for these three things.
As you're picking your top three non-negotiables, think about which activities in your routine bring you the most peace throughout the day. Your evening face mask might feel nice, but does it do you as much good as your morning workout? When life feels hectic, prioritize energizing and easeful activities.
6. Their expectations are too high.
Life gets crazy. Don't expect to stick to the same routine or keep the same level of consistency as you would have when life felt easy. If you hold yourself to the same standards, you're bound to end up disappointed and frustrated with yourself. That's no good, sis.
Instead, lower your expectations a bit. Even a little self care is better than none, and sometimes all we can manage are the bare essentials. Give yourself grace, get some rest, and just keep moving forward.
Ready to create a self care routine you'll actually stick to?
Let's dive in! I love helping my clients simplify their day, hone in on their non-negotiables, and craft self care routines that work with their lives and businesses. If you're struggling to switch off guilt-free without having work thoughts consume your mind, check out my Time-Freedom Blueprint or get started with my free guide with 15 life-changing habits to help you feel more balanced, productive and present (both in business and your personal life).