As humans, we do tend to complicate things more than necessary don’t we? Picking a more difficult route to get from A to B. Over-thinking every situation – even more so if you’ve suffered with anxiety, like me. Adding more and more flavours to our food when simple salt and pepper would have sufficed. We’re even complicating self care these days. So let’s look at how to make self care uncomplicated.

how to make self care uncomplicated

So what is self care? The definition of self care from Wikipedia states: “Self-care has been defined as the process of taking care of oneself with behaviors that promote health and active management of illness when it occurs. Individuals engage in some form of self-care daily with food choices, exercise, sleep, and dental care.”

Obviously that definition only scratches the surface because as our knowledge and self awareness has grown, so has our understanding of self care and the different elements that can contribute towards an effective self care practice. We now know:

  • Self care looks different for everyone, based on their needs
  • There are different areas of self care, some of which may need more focus than others
  • Self care can be seasonal and change during seasons of our own lives
  • Self care doesn’t have to cost anything

But as I said at the start, us humans have a wonderful knack for over-complicating things that really don’t need to be complicated and I feel like self care has definitely become one of those things.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely been guilty of complicating my own self care over the years, trying harder and harder to search for that “perfect” self care routine and those things that are going to transform me into a completely new woman.

Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work.

So in this post, let’s look at how to make self care uncomplicated as well as some things that you might be doing which is overcomplicating what should be a simple and pure practice.

how to make self care uncomplicated

Does what you’re doing feel like self care? If not, then you’re making it complicated

In 2020, I invested a LOT of time and energy into manifestation coaches. I bought their courses, listened to their podcasts daily, followed their blog posts and tried to replicate everything they suggested in the hope it would 1) help me manifest shit and 2) improve my daily self care and well-being.

But it didn’t feel like self care. It felt like a chore.

I was trying to stick to these long-winded morning routines which although might work for some, bored me to tears and made me agitated more than anything else. I realized that just because THEY considered it self care, didn’t mean that I would. I had unintentionally made my own self care incredibly complicated.

You don’t always have to make lists, notes, journal or keep track of your self care

Self care should come from intuition. Not from a to-do list.

I think it’s become more common, with the rise of things like bullet journals, to track EVERYTHING. Including self care. Which, has it’s place and can definitely help some people and is beneficial for certain things. I personally have started tracking my habits over the last few months, which has benefitted me trying to get out of a state of depression and low mood.

But self care that targets what your soul needs at any given time, I don’t personally believe can be tracked. Journaling is a great act of self care in and of itself. But will talking about what I’m going to do for self care help me? No. Actually doing it will. 

Putting acts of self care on a to-do list is a great way to remind yourself that self care is important. But if you DON’T end up doing them or don’t feel like doing what you’ve written down, it’s going to push back your self care and make you feel worse

how to make self care uncomplicated

You might be doing more than what you need

I established a 10 step morning routine once because manifestation influencers told me to. It took too long. And it didn’t achieve anything other than me trying to rush through it because I was bored and wanted to get on with my day. This was NOT self care.

This was me, copying other people because they said it worked and it’s what you “should” do.

When it comes to how to make self care uncomplicated, there is NOTHING that you *should* do. And lumping everyone together in a box will not help. If you’re finding your self care isn’t working for you, you might simply be doing too much of it.

One of the easiest ways of how to make self care uncomplicated is to stop feeling like you need to “do it all”. Which I know is easier said than done.

Tune in to your inner voice or intuition 

Self care comes from within or at least, the knowing of it does. Your inner voice and intuition knows what it needs to do to tend to your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. So stop talking over it and dismissing what it has to say and start tuning it and listening to it’s frequency.

I’ve had plenty of moments where I’ve taken a bath, thinking that that’s what I “needed” because it’s a commonly recommended act of self care. Only to get in the bath, be agitated and distracted and not wanting to be in there at all. That wasn’t what I needed.

But perhaps had I actually tuned in and listened, I would have realized that I actually needed to go for a walk or journal or spend some time alone.

Turn to nature for inspiration on how to make self care uncomplicated 

Nature is a beautiful teacher. I’ve started leaning on nature and the seasons for how I’m going to spend certain months of the year. December 2021 was a good example, as I continually reminded myself of the word “comfort”. It’s cold, it’s Winter and in those months we require comfort. So that’s what I gave myself.

Seeing the seasons change so effortlessly can be a wonderful boost of inspiration for you to finally stop complicating your life and your self care practices and start seeing your seasons for what they are.

Nature is so simple and so beautiful. It does what it needs to do, all the time. Every day. It’s the most beautifully uncomplicated thing in the world. You might want to simply spend more time in nature, take up a gardening, learn about the moon phases or something else to let nature help you make your self care uncomplicated.

It’s so easy to get caught up in wanting to do *ALL THE THINGS* to help your self care practices that we forget that sometimes it’s not about adding things into your routine, it’s about taking them away.

It doesn’t matter how generic your self care practice is – whether that’s the age old light and candle and have a bath or go for a walk – if it helps you in that moment and gives you what you need, then that’s all that matters.

How do you know when your self care practices are starting to get complicated? How do you simplify your self care?

42 Comments

  1. I love this, Jenny! Self-care has been such a big trend in recent years that it can sometimes feel like we’re constantly being pushed a bunch of products and a very “insta-worthy” idea of what it is. If that works for some people, amazing – but my ADHD brain simply cannot do a 10-step routine and consider that relaxing!

  2. I really like how you pointed out that self-care should be intuitive and based around what works individually. For some people lists and journaling is effective, and for others it feels like a chore. Everyone is different so what works as self-care will be different from person to person, too. Thanks for sharing!

    xoxo,
    Sydney

    http://www.thelotuslist.com

  3. I am a big over thinker, so I definitely make things more complicated than they need to be. These are some really good tips to help with self care. I have definitely been more spontaneous with my self care rather than ensuring I have a habit tracker. Thank you for sharing.

    Lauren.

  4. For us, self-care is about deciding what we need in the moment. For example, after a long day at work, sometimes we want to be more social to destress, while other times we want to take a bath/watch a movie.

  5. I’ve honestly never even thought of it that way, but that’s such a great point – if it feels like a chore, it’s not really self-care. Thanks for this!

  6. I definitely agree that self-care should come from intuition not from a to-do list. I never keep track of my self-care routine, well just tv show schedule lol~ For me, self-care has to be done when I need it, like I’m going to exfoliate my skin or make an appointment for a facial on weekends because I can’t do it on weekdays. Self-care shouldn’t be complicated and expensive, and I love the feeling I got from that 😀

  7. You’re right, self-care should not be complicated and expensive, it’s important not to do all your self-care practices at once either. I like how you mentioned not needing to make lists to make sure you achieve your self-care. Self-care should be done as and when you need it, you shouldn’t need to find space for it in your schedule! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

  8. I love this post so much! I completely agree that self-care depends on the person – there’s no one set thing which will work for everyone, it has to come for you. I love being in nature and just taking some time for myself! Thank you so much for sharing x

  9. I try to remember I can’t do ALL the things I enjoy. I try to get some activity every day and one pleasurable thing. Like tv, reading etc

  10. I love the idea of making self-care simple; it has to be something we can maintain and access with ease (so that it doesn’t become something else to stress about). This is a great reminder that I’m going to use to rethink how I approach this for myself. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I love this post, Jenny! I think sometimes we see all these articles about self-care, but they are so complicated or daunting, so we don’t actually start. This post can help us realise that self-care is anything and everything that helps you feel good- it doesn’t have to be a long routine or something complicated. Thank you for the reminder, I am trying to do my tasks more mindfully to avoid burning out again 🙂

  12. Absolutely agree with all of this. Self care shouldn’t be complicated, nor should it feel like a chore. The ten step morning routine sounds wild to me. It sounds so unnecessarily lengthy. I can imagine it’s quite disheartening if you don’t manage to get a step done. This was such a lovely read, I found myself nodding along with so many points.

    Claire.X
    http://www.clairemac.co.uk

  13. Great post, I think we’re all a bit guilty in thinking we’ve to do things in a certain way because influencers tell us to. I took up gardening this year, I love the peace and satisfaction I get from it

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