3 Reasons Why You Need to Create a Self Care Calendar and What to Include

As women we are used to scheduling all kinds of things on our calendar. Just think about how many things we include on an average month from work deadlines, doctor appointments, school and sports activities, family birthdays, church services, volunteering, and who knows what else!

When was the last time you added a “self care” item to your calendar? And I’m not just talking about a haircut!

Real self care goes beyond just time spent on the things we consider “maintenance.” It’s about the things you spend time on that are for nobody but yourself and give you that mental break in your routine. The things that don’t feel like tasks but instead feed the soul and give us a momentary lull in the constant momentum that is life.  PhD at Alliant International University, Anabel Bejarano, shares in her study “Self Care for Women: Now Not Later” that “women need to nurture themselves emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally.”

So, again, when was the last time you added a “self care” item to your calendar? What about an entire calendar devoted to it? Now we’re talking!

Here are three reasons why you need to stop what you’re doing and create a self care calendar for yourself!

#1 Prioritizing yourself is hard, putting it in writing helps.

Think about how hard it was just to find time to read this article? Women tend to carry a lot each day and putting themselves first doesn’t always come naturally or feel like a priority. When you create a calendar that includes both big and small acts of self care it’s a lot more difficult to ignore. Being able to see your weekly work or family tasks right up with the tasks meant only for you helps them to have an equal playing field. Get your partner and family on board in advance if you know you’re scheduling something you need help on and making sure you aren’t needed during that time.

#2 What we plan, we have a better chance at seeing through.

Life has a way of shifting and shaking things up! So often parts of our day that we planned, such as working out, making tacos for dinner, writing pages of a memoir, etc. get moved around when other things happen. The appointments and reminders on our calendar, however, tend to feel a little more concrete than those other “to-do list” type plans.  Schedule something around the same time each week and each month to make sure it happens.

#3 Self care can improve your day (your week, your month, or even your year).

While the immediate benefits of taking time to nurture yourself can often be felt, it’s even more important to realize the long term life benefits of actively practicing and incorporating self care into your life. Several studies show that women who make self care a regular practice may see benefits such as lower stress levels, lower body mass index, better physical wellness and a reduced risk of depression, chronic health issues, some cancers, and heart disease.

Here are 20 ideas to get started on your own self care calendar! Choose some ideas from the list and come up with some of your own and pick out a few dates and times on the calendar to begin scheduling these out with intention! Remember, the chances are that if you don’t schedule it in advance, it won’t happen!

  1. Coffee at your favorite local spot
  2. Go for a massage
  3. Shop for something you don’t need
  4. Apply a facemask
  5. Attend a webinar/workshop of interest
  6. Listen to a favorite album from your younger days
  7. Bubble bath with the works
  8. Pick a craft project off Pinterest
  9. Meditate for 20 minutes
  10. Go for an afternoon walk
  11. Order takeout from your favorite place
  12. Zoom coffee date with a friend
  13. Take a daytime nap
  14. Play a board game with girlfriends
  15. Spend an hour in nature alone
  16. Journal without an objective
  17. Write a letter to your younger self
  18. Take yourself on a date
  19. Listen to a Ted Talk
  20. Call an old friend and catch up
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