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Building a habit of self-care

Building a Habit of Self Care Hayley GillardI want to share with you an idea I use with clients who feel exhausted, overwhelmed and ready to take action to make some dramatic changes in their lives.

You already KNOW that you need to put your own oxygen mask on first. You KNOW the benefits of looking after yourself, relaxing and reducing your stress and you KNOW you’re a nicer, fairer, happier, more energetic person when you do make time to relax…

But, remembering to do it, getting out your old habits of putting yourself last, and prioritising yourself is a who, le other ball game isn’t it?!

I know that. The technique I want to share with you is being used my my VIP clients to help them build up the habit of relaxing and taking time out.

It’s really simple. Journalling. Or more specifically, self-care journalling.


Some of you will already have heard about journaling and how great it can be at helping us to clear our mind, work on goals and practice gratitude. It can also help you document your self-care and self-compassion journey.

This idea first came about because my client were finding some days were better than others with regards to developing a habit of prioritising their wellbeing.

Clients would tell me that sometimes they would get into bed at night having had a completely chaotic day (often filled with too much screen time) and realise they hadn’t even spent a minute looking after themselves. Eating on the go, running the dog around the block for his walk, multitasking collecting the kids from school with replying to emails and absolutely burning out.

You know it’s now time to prioritise your wellbeing, you wouldn’t be following my work and reading this blog if you didn’t!

Here’s how it goes.

  1. Find yourself an amazing notebook. It’s a great excuse for new gorgeous stationary!I have a complete notebook obsession!
  2. When you get into bed at night jot down the things you are proud of that you’ve done that day for your wellbeing. Ones you feel really great about. If you’ve been to the gym but you absolutely hated it, it doesn’t count. I write anything from “I had a really great conversation with my friend” to “I made an amazing dinner full of veg” to “I spent the whole night crocheting it was bliss”. It doesn’t need to be big, grand or expensive things. Listening to your favourite songs count.
  3. You can write a list or just free flow write – there are no rules. I tend to write about what I’ve done that day and how it’s made me feel. Here’s an example:

Journalling Blog Hayley Gillard

  1. Try and create a habit. Put it next to your pillow to remind you or where you keep the make-up remover so you see it before you go to bed. Don’t worry though if you don’t do it every day. Yes, the point of journaling is to form a habit, but some days I forget and some days I don’t really fancy it. That’s ok. It’s time to stop beating ourselves up. We need to build kindness to ourselves so beating ourselves up over not writing about self-care is just ridiculous! 
  2. Focus on the positives. Think about what self-care things you have you done rather than what haven’t you done. If you wished you’d done more then write something like “I am excited about getting really good at self-care” rather than “why didn’t I do more. I know I should. I’m useless”. You get the idea.

You can then look back and see how far you’ve come. It’s a great way to record your journey. I use it to feel great about how well I’ve done. It allows my clients to see that they are doing things for themselves so allows them to change their mindset.

Give it a go!

I’d love to see your photos of gorgeous notebooks on Facebook and Instagram.


If you’d like more help practicing your own self-care, consider working with me one to one or in my all-female group wellbeing community Ignite + Glow.

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