How to create a self-care routine with the foundations of self-care

healing, self-care

May 24, 2019

Alisha Galbraith

Self-care is one of those “buzz words” or whatever that everyone is talking about–I’ve had people upset with me for sharing about self-care which is really weird to be honest. Like, why wouldn’t you care for yourself? And yes, I’m talking about caring for yourself first because you can’t save anyone else if you’re drowning. Facts. So if you’re not open to self-care, then you might want to skip this article because it’s all about how to create a self-care routine using what I see as the six foundations of self-care.

I don’t have these in any particular order, because I feel like they’re all equally important. Here we go…oh and you might want to grab something to take notes with:

Foundations of self-care

Things you love

What is life without things you love? I used to think I would be happy traveling around in an RV with next to nothing–and honestly, that still sounds like fun to me, but only for a month or something and then I can come back to my home base. I realized that as conscious as I try to be about what I bring into my home, I still like things. I like shoes, even though you probably only ever see me wearing those sandals haha. I like blankets. OMG I love blankets. I love house plants. I love cute dishes. I love being close to Target. I love drinking tea and eating breakfast with the windows open.

Basically, write down all the things you love; write down anything that comes to mind and you can sort it out into the other foundations later. Maybe you love sewing. Maybe you love gardening or shopping or trying new foods. Write the things down.

While we’re here write down some things you do that you don’t love. Maybe you really don’t like last-minute plans. Maybe you don’t actually love social drinking. These are things you can say no to without feeling guilty! Once we’re aware of what we don’t actually love we can start eliminating it.

Rest and relaxation

100% this is a foundation of self-care. I LOVE sleeping. I love feeling rested and energized. Plus, resting and relaxing is good for your body and helps fight stress (read more about how stress manifests in the body here).

As a kid I worked really hard, but I also really loved to rest, but for some reason it was sometimes seen as lazy and selfish. Maybe you’ve felt that too; guilt when you decide to take a nap, but there are dishes in the sink or laundry to be done. Rest is important. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? How many would you like to get? Start working your way towards that and let your people know that this is important. We were doing pretty good about getting in bed by 9:30 and it was so great for not only us, but our kids because it forced us to create and stick to a bedtime routine. They’ve been so much happier!


if you saw this post I wrote then you know that the average american spends 93% of their life indoors. In the winter here in Missouri I try to spend 100% of my life indoors. *laughs at own joke*. But really, we need to spend more time outside because it makes us happier and healthier.

What are some things you like to do outside? It doesn’t have to be anything crazy physical like bouldering or hiking. It can be reading–but not on an electronic device. Maybe you like to eat outside, exercise outside, watch some birds, garden, etc. We’ve got to get it out of our minds that “outside” only happens on a tropical island for some influencer on Instagram. Which if that’s actually you and your real life, then awesome. But for a lot of us it takes a conscious effort to go outside and be outside, especially if you live in a suburban or urban area.

Check out that post I wrote and there is a link for like 93 thing to do outside if you’re looking for ideas!  


Our subconscious brain dictates 97% of our behavior–and our brains, for whatever reason, are wired to see negativity first. Weird, right? So it takes awareness of your thoughts to break negative behaviors and thought patterns. Gratitude journaling has been awesome for me, letters to the universe, therapy last year, and meditation have been really good for helping my negative thought patterns. Choose just one to start including every day.


Basically, well-being has three categories; what you eat, how you move, and essential oils/other routine health practices (like taking any medication you have!).

We all know exercise is good for us–but that doesn’t mean we have to do things our body hates. Like there is no way I’m running a marathon ever. I hate that idea. I don’t care how strong my body gets. And group fitness classes? Hard pass. But weight lifting and pilates, yes to those!

Well-being isn’t just about working out; it can be as simple as limiting the number of times you eat out in a week. Maybe making five dinners each week meat-free. Diffusing a mood-boosting blend every morning or every night.

Energy + Connections

I really hate the saying ‘people only love you as much as you love yourself’ because it’s bullshit. You can love yourself so damn hard and there are still going to be those people who don’t like you. But they can only continue to hurt you if you allow it. You are responsible for your energy.

Yes, people can do shitty things that make you feel horrible, but you do not have to live in that space. It took me a while to drag myself out of one of my holes, but it’s been worth it. Yes, this sometimes means creating boundaries or removing yourself from the picture. I realized I cannot force anyone to accept the changes in me and I released the expectation to mold myself into anyone else’s ideal person. Thank you, next.

So this foundation is about two things; being responsible for your own energy and cultivating connections with other people. I have a whole post on toxic relationships that you can read here.

Maybe your self-care routine looks like therapy with your partner every week. Maybe it means you’re going to have a tough conversation with some people who have been crossing lines. Maybe it means you’re making peace with the choices you’ve made.

So your daily self-care checklist can look something like this:

  • In bed by 9:30 pm (diffuse breathe and wild orange) // rest + relaxation
  • 30 minutes of yoga in the am (use frankincense and wild orange) // well-being + thing you love
  • Gratitude journal for literally five minutes (or however long it takes to write down three things) // mindset
  • Lay in the hammock for 20 minutes // nature + rest + relaxation (remember your tick spray)
  • Phoneless/Netflix-less convo with partner // energy + connections

And honestly, that may not happen every day–maybe it’s easier for you to create a weekly checklist:

  • In bed by 9:30 except on weekends or date night
  • Go the gym three times a week
  • Gratitude journal nightly
  • Date night once a week
  • Nature adventure every Saturday or Sunday

And if feels like too much, choose one area to focus on.

I’d love to know what your routine looks like!