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How To Practice Self-Care When You Suck At Self-Care

Let’s be honest — self-care is not easy. It can be quite ugly too. Despite knowing how essential it is for your overall health and well-being, taking care of yourself can be hard. If you suck at it, that’s okay. Here are some ideas to practice self-care when you suck at self-care:

Start small.

When you’re starting a self-care routine, you don’t want to do everything all at once — it’s too overwhelming. Start small, like stretching or going for a walk. A lot of us spend our time at a desk or on the couch — being sedentary for that long isn’t good. Try incorporating a good, full-body stretch or a 20-minute walk into your everyday routine. Put your phone away and pay attention to your surroundings, your body, and your breath.

Prioritize your basic needs.

Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and eating enough fruits and vegetables in your meals. It sounds simple enough, but a lot of us have a hard time keeping up with this (valid). Try your best to make sure you’re giving yourself the essentials (water, food, and rest).

Set realistic goals.

A lot of us feel motivated to change our lives at the start of a new year or during spring (cleaning), and we often do everything we possibly can all at once. We wake up early and go to the gym and eat a healthy breakfast for 3 days in a row, and then we stop. We put so much on ourselves all at once and it’s often impossible to keep up with it. When we do this, we’re ultimately setting ourselves with unrealistic expectations and failure — and then we feel defeated.

Set realistic goals for yourself. Go to the gym three times a week instead of every day. Limit yourself to one can of soda or glass of wine a week instead of whenever you’re feeling stressed.


We have a lot of thoughts and feelings swirling around in our heads and not all of us have someone to talk to about it. Even if you do have a therapist or a friend, the best thing you can do is journal. Journaling is a great way to not only connect with yourself but also boost productivity and positivity.

Write down everything you’re feeling, everything that happened to you today, or everything you’re looking forward to over the next few days. Make a list of 10 things you’re grateful for. Scribble some affirmations. Create a to-do list or write down the goals (short-term and long-term) you have for yourself. Whatever you do — take the time to sit with yourself and get your thoughts out there.

Digital detox.

If you want to stop using your phone so much, limit your screen time. If that’s too difficult still (I get it), set a timer for 30 minutes and put your phone on silent and away. Go for a walk outside and touch some grass. Read a few pages of that book you’ve been meaning to get to. Whatever you do, do not pick up your phone.

Find an activity you enjoy.

This is what the self-care girlies are talking about. If self-care is doing an everything shower, with a face mask, hair mask, and body scrub, then do that. If self-care is taking up a new hobby or working on your current one, then do that. If self-care is going shopping or doing your makeup or playing a sport, then do that. Whatever it is that makes you feel good inside and out, do that.

These practices are just the start of building a better foundation for taking care of yourself. Eventually, self-care won’t feel like a burden or like something you have to incorporate into your life, but rather, something that just comes easy.