What is self-care?

Google’s dictionary, provided by Oxford Languages, defines self-care as:

  • the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.
  • the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

Is planning self-care? Based on this definition, yes, yes it is.

Planning can help you manage stress. When you plan, you know what your day, week, and month consist of. You will be able to see what you have going on and set boundaries for your time. You can also prioritize your to-do list and include time for self-care. After you have been planning for a bit you start to figure out how much you can really do in a day or week and stop overextending yourself which helps keep your stress levels down.

Planning can also help you be more mindful which will help reduce stress. By planning, you are creating intentions. You are directing your time and energy. Planning as part of your routine can be very grounding. You know every Sunday you will sit down for 30 minutes and set your schedule for the week.

Planning can increase positivity. When you plan, you put things on your calendar to look forward to. Knowing you have a vacation or BFF brunch coming up can make you smile, even when you are having a tough day.

Being an active participant rather than letting things happen helps reduce stress. 

Planning in and of itself can be an act of self-care. If you set aside time each week to sit with your planner and set everything up for the coming week, you feel more relaxed and prepared. You will also have this “me time” to look forward to. Let your family know these 30 minutes are your time and ask to be left alone.  Make your favorite beverage, light a candle, and turn on your favorite playlist. Then enjoy your time!

Since you are using planning as self-care, plan how you want. Not how you think you should based on youtube or Instagram. Enjoy a minimal planner using pencil? Go for it! Love laying down all the stickers? Yes! Or maybe you don’t have a pre-printed calendar and make a bullet journal. You do you. Your planner is for you and only you. 

Plan the way that makes you happy. And be sure to schedule some time for other self-care activities! 

How can you make time for planning and self-care? Besides planning, what are some of your favorite ways to practice self-care?

Don’t have a planner? Check out my favorite pre-printed planners at Erin Condren! More interested in bullet journaling? Head over to Archer and Olive for beautiful dot grid notebooks! 

I am an Erin Condren and Archer and Olive affiliate. If you purchase through my links I will earn a small commission. And if you want to save 10% at Archer and Olive use my affiliate code Runsonespresso. 


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.