Self-Care is not an indulgence, a luxury or a selfish act. Self-Care is about knowing what we need to do in order to take care of ourselves and, by extension, being able to take care of others as well. It is vital in developing and/or boosting the resilience needed to manage the many challenges that emerge daily, challenges that hinder us from being our best selves.
The emergence of significant life stressors in US adults has risen sharply in recent years, making self-care a necessity rather than a luxury. These stressors can stem from all areas of our lives:
- Personal Relationships
- Workplace Stress
- Emotional & Psychological Health
- Physical Health
What Is Self Care?
By definition, Self-Care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. It can be as simple or involved as you need it to be. The practice of self-care to improve your state of well-being is a personal matter and everyone’s definition or approach will be different.
Self-care isn’t something that just happens. It needs to be an intentional decision to incorporate a consistent set of practices/activities that rejuvenate our minds and bodies.
Take some time to define how the activities within each of these categories impact your overall wellness- either positively or negatively. Develop a plan to help decrease the number of negative outcomes associated with these categories by thinking of strategies for improvement.
A Self Care Plan
Below are three steps for developing a successful Self-Care plan:
1. Incorporate Activities
Finding activities and/or practices to incorporate into your daily schedule to maintain your balance is essential. Do you enjoy being around a group of friends or spending quality time alone? Would you rather be physically active and take a walk or curl up on the couch to read a book?
Pick those activities that you enjoy to help clear your mind of all the noise and be intentional about prioritizing at least one of them each day.
Take a look at some activities and exercise recommendations the University of Buffalo created specifically around the topic of self-care.
2. Plan and Commit:
Once you have those activities listed, write down a plan and commit to it. Yes, take out some paper, and connect dates and times with specific activities.
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you failed at something because you can’t stick to it. Part of the reason we fail, is because we don’t plan to succeed. Take working out for example. We know the health benefits of regular physical activity can provide to our long-term health. We can (eventually) see/feel the results of our efforts and may even enjoy the social aspect of it. But for whatever reason, we miss two consecutive appointments and we think all is lost.
3. Evaluate Progress
Set a time period- maybe every month, to look at your activities and chart your progress. Physically seeing your success will go a long way in helping to ensure that your wellness practice comes as natural as brushing your teeth.
Remember, self-care is your own responsibility and you shouldn’t feel guilty prioritizing your own well-being. Adopting self- care practices is not only a means of survival, it’s necessary to thrive.
We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below. Tell us about your self-care journey, your hesitation to start or, share a self-care practice you enjoy.
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