Self Care Sunday: How To Dedicate One Day Each Week to Yourself

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Self Care Sunday: How To Dedicate One Day Each Week to Yourself

Self-care has transformed a lot over the last few years. The term Self Care itself is fairly new in our culture. Before we can talk about self-care ideas tips, we need to define good self-care.  In plain English, self-care is pretty much what it sounds like, the ability to take care of your own physical and mental health needs without the help of a doctor or caretaker.

When you begin to think about practicing self-care, the best thing to remember is that we are all individuals with unique needs.  The best way to practice self love is to discover what makes you feel strong and healthy. Don’t be tempted to use someone else’s rules. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa.

Are you feeling overwhelmed with the idea of the perfect self care routine? Take a step back and a big breath. Fitting intentional self care into your daily routine can feel heavy and almost impossible, especially at first. Instead of focusing on fitting it into your daily life, why not start with scheduling yourself an intentional time for self care on one day each week? Having a good self care routine on one day of the week is a great way to begin.

Why Practice Self-Care on Sunday?

Sunday is the perfect day to dedicate to yourself since it is often already a Sabbath, or rest day, for many people. If you practice a Sabbath day on Sunday, you can incorporate your resting time with God and family into your self-care routine. Sundays are for winding down after a fun weekend and you are likely getting ready to begin the new week ahead. Take advantage of the downtime by adding some self-care activities to your routine.

1. Setting Up Your Weekly Self-Care Sunday Routine

First things first – a simple self-care tip is to figure out what your routine is going to be on Sunday. Don’t forget that you don’t have to practice self-care alone, so if your house is naturally busy on Sundays, you can still do this!

Try to focus on taking care of yourself on Sundays, whether that means taking a little time out during the day or changing your entire routine. You may need to schedule self-care on your calendar, and that’s okay if it helps you make it happen.

Think of Sundays as a day to reset. You can get your planning done for the week, but don’t forget to give yourself some time to relax and unwind, and reset your body and your mind for another busy week.

How is it Different from Daily Self care?

Self-care Sunday is not any different than daily self-care. You still want to choose activities that help you relax, are suitable for your body and mind, and overall wellness. But you might have a little more free time on Sundays, so you won’t feel as pressured to fit it all in before or after work or during your bedtime routine.

Focusing on yourself more than everyone else on Sundays opens up new self-care possibilities, whether you choose to do it alone or with family.

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Think About Your Current Sunday Routine

To turn Sunday into your weekly self-care day, you need to consider what you tend to do on Sundays. This self-reflection helps you determine if these can only be done on Sundays or moved to another day to give you more time for yourself.

First, make a list of things you do every Sunday. Then look at your list and cross off anything that isn’t necessary or might no longer serve you. With what is left, determine if you can move any of those activities to Saturday or another day of the week.

For example, if you do your household chores on Sundays, could some of those be moved to other days during the week, freeing up a bit more self-care time for you? How about church? For me, worship is the one thing that I won’t give up, so that stays on my list! How about sleep?

Self-care image with eodus 28:3 bible verse Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it Holy.

Related: Stressed? How to Practice a Mindful Attitude During the Holidays

2. Self Care Sunday Ideas

The good news is that self-care on Sunday is no different from self-care on any other day of the week. This practice is more about dedicating a day or a time of the day to yourself each week, especially if you don’t have much time during the week to focus on yourself. Don’t be afraid to block off a time slot and schedule yourself some good self-care! Here are some self-care ideas to get you thinking:

Sleep in

Let yourself sleep in – If you don’t get to sleep in during the rest of the week, at the very least, give yourself this time on Sundays! Your body (and mind) need rest. If you typically attend an early church service, consider switching to a later service. You would be surprised to know how much getting enough sleep makes a huge difference in your emotional health.

Spend time with friends

Go to brunch with friends – Self-care can also mean doing something you enjoy with other people (more on that later). Grab a group of friends on Sunday and enjoy brunch.  Treat yourself and your family to dinner to save time and energy cooking and cleaning up if your time is better spent with family.

Time Outside

Head to a park or the beach with your kids or grandkids – This could force you to enjoy some time without cell phones and TV, and we all need a little more of that these days!  Go outside to enjoy the fresh air and exercise. Ride bicycles around your neighborhood, have a beach day or bring a picnic to the park. 

Pamper Yourself

Have an hour of pampering – You might not be able to dedicate the entire day to self care alone, but at least fit in some pampering time.  I love to take a sudsy bubble bath on Sunday evening.  I choose a particular tv show that doesn’t interest the rest of the family to stream on Netflix while I soak in the tub.  If I’m not in the mood for a soak in the tub, I may do my nails or soak my feet while wearing a charcoal face mask.

Get Crafty

Catch up on your reading or creative projects – This is the perfect time to pick activities you enjoy but rarely have time to enjoy. Maybe there is a book you’ve wanted to finish or a creative project you would love to do.  Start knitting that scarf you bought the yarn for and tucked away in your stash!

Why It’s Never too Late to Start a New Creative Hobby

3. Self-Care for Introverts and Extroverts

Another tip is to keep in mind that what you think of self-care may look very different depending on whether you are an introvert or an extrovert.  Not sure which of those describes you?  Read on.

Self-Care for Introverts

If you are an introvert, you probably find that you are the most relaxed when alone. Just because you enjoy being alone doesn’t mean you should be alone all the time, but you often need a little bit of time to yourself each day to recharge.  Those who know me in person might be surprised to find that I’m quite an introvert.  I am very chatty and outgoing, but I require downtime and alone time each day and give myself extra time for that on Sundays.  My husband and kids know this about me and are very respectful of my needs.  I’ve worked hard at having healthy boundaries around my quiet time.

Even if you make a little quiet time each day, make time for some extra quiet solitude on Sunday – Self-care for an introvert can be as simple as just making sure you have some time alone without interruption on Sundays. You can use this time to regroup and relax.  Spending all day around other people can be a challenge if you never give yourself time alone.  When I’ve had a crazy busy week, I like to indulge in a Sunday afternoon nap.  I snuggle back into my bed with a good book and read myself into a blissful snooze.  If I’m lucky, my bald cat, Scarlett No’Hara will snuggle in with me.

Related: 5 Things they don’t tell you about Parenting grown children

a Sphynx cat peeking over a basket's edge
Scarlett No’Hara is always watching… and waiting to help me with some good self care

Self Care Ideas for the Introvert

Find Nature-Inspired Activities – Introverts also tend to enjoy time outdoors, again in a quiet and peaceful environment. Try to find some activities you can participate in that will encourage you to spend more time outside.  Fresh air and sunshine are so healing.  I love to pick a new park or location to explore with my camera.  I live near the Lake Michigan shoreline, and the drive from home to the beach is in a very rural area, so sometimes take a car ride in the evening to capture photos of the local wildlife that become active during the Golden Hour.

Embrace Your Creative Side – A smart way to practice self-care as an introvert is to do something creative. Learn how to crochet, write a poem or short story, color in an adult coloring book, or start painting.  I love to knit, so if the family is watching a Sunday afternoon movie, I will pull out the knitting instead of the laptop.  Sometimes I tackle a “just for fun” photo project I’ve been putting off due to lack of time.  Start here if you love photography as much as I do but get stuck and need some creative ideas for what to shoot.

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Related: Be Brave and Courageous – 100 Fun Ways to Say No

Self-care for Extroverts

Extroverts are more social creatures, getting their energy from being around other people. If you consider yourself an extrovert, you probably enjoy time with others more than time alone. But what does that mean for your self-care routine? Here are some tips for the extrovert.

Self-Care Ideas for the Extrovert

Enjoy Social Time with Friends – What might be a little more up your alley is scheduling time with friends. What better way to practice self-care than spend time with those you love the most?

Volunteer Your Time – Looking for something more meaningful and fulfilling? You might like to volunteer somewhere as your self-care. Look into local community centers or animal shelters on Sunday and see if they need any help.

Join a Local Club – Another social activity that helps your self-care is joining a local club, like a book club. Not only will you be encouraged to read more, but you can get together once a week with your book club to chat and talk about the book.

You may also like: 5 Ways Fear-Based Thinking Holds You Back from Becoming a Better Photographer

4. Tips for Your Self-Care Sunday Routine

Here are a few more tips for making sure you have a good Sunday self-care routine and understanding what self-care means, and how to avoid common mistakes.

You May Need to Advocate For Yourself

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If you have a busy young family or have lots of drop-in visitors on Sundays, you may have to ask your spouse to step in and handle the kids for a part of the day.  Or you may need to put a note on the door warning off visitors temporarily.

Self-Care Encompasses Emotional, Mental, and Physical Health

Self-care does not fulfill just one need in your life. Different activities provoke different benefits in your life, including helping with your emotional, mental, and physical health.  What works best for you will be something that helps you feel relaxed and de-stressed, improves your mood, and is something you love to do.

Your Self-Care Needs Can Change Regularly

Just because you have committed to writing in your journal and meditating every morning for an hour as your self-care routine doesn’t mean you have to do this forever. Sometimes, what you choose as your self-care activity changes, or you need to make adjustments based on your schedule, which is why it is so important to schedule time in your calendar for self-care.

Revisit what you are doing for self-care often. As one season moves into another and life moves forward, your self-care needs and what will benefit you the most may change.

A Common Mistake is Forcing Self-Care

I cannot say this enough:  Your self-care routine should not make you more stressed! Feeling stressed by taking care of yourself is a sign that it’s not working!  You may be forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do, and that is the exact opposite of self-care!  If you’re feeling stressed by self-care, change it up!  Try something different.  Don’t be afraid to seek help from a therapist if you need some guidance in this area.  Choosing to see a therapist has been one of the most impactful decisions I’ve made in my life. 

Be mindful of your needs.  Just because your friend participates in a particular form of self-care doesn’t mean it will be right for you.  I love a bath or a nature walk with my camera.  Those things may be the very last thing you’d like to do with your time, and that’s okay!  Remember, everyone is different, and that’s what makes us special!

What do you do to take good care of yourself? Do you practice self care Sunday? I would love to know! Please tell me in the comments below!

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