Getting started on your Self Care Plan
When you hear the term self-care, what comes to your mind?
Perhaps you’re familiar with what it means, maybe you’re struggling to find moments of self-care of your life, or maybe you think only certain people can benefit from it.
I’m here to tell you anyone can benefit from taking care of themselves. The biggest challenge is finding the time and taking action.
What is Self Care?
Self-care is defined as the intentional, proactive pursuit of integrated wellness through balancing mind, body, and spirit personally and professionally (Gill Lopez, 2017). In other words, self-care is purposeful and takes planning and consistency to care for the whole person. Anyone can practice self-care and the more they build this habit in their daily routines, the more they will see the benefits to their health on a holistic level.
Self-care is NOT selfish.
Your Self Care Plan
There is no right way of practicing self-care, but there are ways to help you stay on track and build consistent habits for your overall health.
1) List it Out – Download my free guide sheet to get started (insert PDF). Next, write down activities for each category that you enjoy or want to incorporate more of. For example, Emotional – journal, Mental – reading, Environment – watering plants, etc.
2) Customize your Self-Care Plan to your Needs – The habits you choose for your self-care plan should reflect what you want and need. It shouldn’t be a list of activities that you feel like you should do, but rather things you want to do. Take a look at your list and highlight the activities that make you feel most excited.
3) Find Times that Work Best for your Schedule – Now that you know what it is you need, it’s time to find time during the day that you can practically fit this in. I prefer to have certain activities in the morning before I start my day (journaling, stretching, playing with my cat) and some in the evening (reading, meditating, tidying up my space). This might take time and practice to figure out what works best for you and when. Set an alarm, write it in your planner, put up sticky notes to remind yourself to do this.
4) Recognize Any Barriers or Challenges – Self-care can be tricky for people who have a certain work schedule or who have young children in their homes. Acknowledge them and plan for ways around it. Perhaps you might have to wait until your kids are off to sleep before you can focus on yourself or you might need to get up 30 minutes earlier to fit some alone time in.
5) Keep Track and Assess your Progress – Try your self-care plan for about a week and reflect on what worked and didn’t work. Perhaps the activity wasn’t bringing you joy or excitement in your life or it wasn’t the right time during the day. Make changes and adapt.
Remember, be gentle with yourself because this is a learning process.
Heather Thom, RPC