How to customize a self-care plan that works for you

This is how to be there for yourself.

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How to customize a self-care plan that works for you

Modern parenting is a lot like trying to juggle a bunch of on-fire chainsaws…while pogo sticking…and reciting “Jabberwocky” from heart. In short, there are a lot of needs to balance and it requires a lot from you all the time and you need to take care of yourself. Yes, who has the time? But creating a self-care plan — that is, a curated mix of activities that support your physical and mental health — is a crucial tactic to prevent burnout and be all you can be for yourself and your kids.

Self-care – especially for busy, stressed-out parents – isn’t as easy as signing up for a gym membership or committing to wake up early to meditate every day. To get the most out of self-care, it’s important to evaluate your own skills and what you need to improve. From there, you can create a curated self-care plan that’s right for you. Much like a specific diet, a good self-care plan is one that is tailored to your particular needs.

So how do you create a self-care plan that works for you? According to California-based marriage and family therapist Amber Trueblood , developing a self-care plan that works for you has five steps that work together. This is what it takes.

1. Identify Your Baseline

Stress is pretty much universal –– but we all have different values, priorities, lifestyles, personalities, and family dynamics. Practically, that means it’s important for you to develop a self-care plan that will be effective for you , given all these unique factors.

Begin by identifying your baseline (your normal stress levels) and the moving parts that add stress. When you’re aware of your currently emotional state and how it fluctuates situationally, you can better implement self-care resources that work for you, when you need them.

“Allow yourself space and time to consider your emotional state, or your emotional bank account,” Trueblood says. “You’re the only person and the best person to accurately calculate the ‘balance’ in that emotional bank account and determine if and when you may need a refill.’”

2. Be Honest With Yourself About What You Really Need

Self-care isn’t a new idea. It’s very easy to look around and see what activities or tools appear to be helping others, whether it’s running, meditation, journaling, podcasts, or hitting the heavy bag at night. But before you jump on the bandwagon and adopt someone else’s self-care practice, you need to think through what actually rejuvenates you. Trueblood says mindlessly engaging in “self-care” that doesn’t actually work could easily set you up for failure, frustration, and further depletion of your emotional bank account.

Instead, she suggests creating a list of “true” self-care tools –– a custom menu, so to speak. In the process, keep in mind that true self-care should reduce your stress hormones and increase your good-mood hormones well beyond the actual activity. Here are some prompts to think about when you’re brainstorming your self-care “menu”:

  • Your senses: For instance, do you absolutely love the smell of the woods? Does 1980’s hip-hop music make you smile and want to get up and dance across the room? Do you love the feel of that fuzzy robe and a warm mug of tea?
  • Connection with others: Do you need more alone time? Do you need more time with that one best friend who makes you laugh? Do you need less time with that neighbor who leaves you feeling drained (Note: Avoid energy vampires who leave you feeling depleted and drained and avoid Zombie Content which is any material that eats away at you the rest of the day.)
  • Basic needs: Are you getting enough water? Are you eating healthy? Are you breathing slowly and deeply? Are you moving your body every day in a way that feels good for you? Are you protecting your sleep with a nighttime routine of unwinding, disconnecting from devices, and mindfulness practice?
  • Pleasure: What do you love to do? When we feel busy and stressed, we often look to what we can do less of than what we can do more of. However, adding something you love to do, just for the delight of it, is a powerful self-care tool. Ask yourself what can you do twice a week that truly delights you?

3. Select Your “Preventative Activities”

Now that you’ve created your list of all the activities, practices, and tools that personally replenish your emotional bank account, select two that you can reasonably do on a daily basis. “Keep these simple and as easy as possible to implement into your current lifestyle and schedule,” Trueblood says. “For instance, you might decide that every day this week you will drink two full glasses of water before noon and at night you’ll do a ten-minute guided breathing practice.”

4. Select Your “Emergency Activities”

Return to your custom menu again and circle two self-care tools that’ll work for minor irritations, two that are great for moderate stressors, and two that you’ll save for big-time emotional overwhelm. Trueblood suggests putting this list, your Emotional Emergency Plan, on a sticky note near your computer, on a slip of colored paper that you keep in your wallet, or as a digital note on your phone. Then, when you experience an emotional challenge, determine the level : minor, moderate, or major. Pick one of the two items and do them as soon as possible.

If you’re in a low place, Trueblood says clearly and specifically telling your loved ones you’ve hit a wall and need to engage in self-care ASAP can be extremely helpful, too.

5. Reassess occasionally

Stress –– and the things that help relieve it –– is just as dynamic as we are. Depending upon how much change and uncertainty is in your life at the moment, Trueblood says it’s a good idea to reassess your list on a weekly or monthly basis. If you tried something and it didn’t work, find a way to change it. If you thought of something even better, try that. If you need to have more grace with yourself and try again next week, do it. The goal is to pay attention to yourself and your needs, and when needed, pivot accordingly.

How to customize a self-care plan that works for you

With all that’s going on in the world right now, we have to take care of ourselves and those close to us more than ever. Most importantly, we have to learn proper self-care if we want to stay mentally and physically healthy.

What is Self-Care?

Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is self-care?

Really, it’s anything that we do that takes care of our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health. Because it is such a broad term, it gives us some liberty as to how we want to implement it into our life.

We can also think of it in terms of this question: “how do you take care of yourself?”

When asked this, we can start to think of how we tend to our most primal needs. In essence, self-care is a habitual, conscious routine that we do to take care of our wholesome self. It brings us back into balance with ourselves, as we ebb and flow with the ups and downs of life.

Our self-care plan acts as an anchor when things get too one-sided and reminds us that we have a routine in place that can bring us back to homeostasis. [1]

What Are the Benefits of Self-Care?

Think back on a time when you really treated yourself. How did it feel? Did you feel lighter, more joyful, more present with the world?

These are some of those butterfly feelings that you can expect when you tune into your self-care plan. When we do good by our wholesome health, we feel good! Sticking to a self-care routine reduces our anxiety, curtails depression, and brings us back to present-moment awareness.

These mental and emotional improvements significantly affect our physical health: lower blood pressure, improved sleep, focused concentration, and a clearer path to exercise and proper nutrition.

A self-care plan also allows us to better take care of our immune system. To paint this in a clearer picture, imagine your immune system as the master dashboard screen on a highly-technical computer. It governs everything. When we take care of this dashboard system, we know everything that feeds off of it is running smoothly.

The same can be said of our physical immune system. When we take care of ourselves in every way, our immune system can be stronger to fight off pathogens and diseases, thus keeping us healthier for longer. In this day and age, that is more important than ever! [2]

Customizing Your Plan

Now that you’re ready to get started creating your own routine, here are a few suggestions on how to begin.

1. Observe What Is Out of Balance Today

It may be your physical health or your emotional state of being. Perhaps you’ve been under a lot of stress at work and your mind just needs a reset. Observe what feels out of alignment and where you tend to struggle. This will give you a clearer picture of where you need to prioritize your self-care.

2. Make a Clear Outline of Prioritizing Your Health

When you know what needs more care, you can create a roadmap for yourself. This may look like a simple outline on a piece of paper, or you may want to draw it out or use this template as a creative starting point.

This allows you to get all of your ideas out of your head and into something tangible that you can hold on to. For accountability, stick it on your fridge or your mirror! [3]

3. Keep It Simple

Before you get into the nitty-gritty, remind yourself to keep it simple. There is so much information online and in self-help books that it can be overwhelming to take it all in.

Sometimes, it may feel as if we need to completely revamp our entire life to feel like we’re truly taking care of ourselves. In reality, when we come back to simplicity, this is where our health truly blossoms. When we can cut ties with too much work, involvement, stress, and over-doing, we can return to the basics of a happy life.

Keep this in mind as you attract what brings you peace and health and what (and who) keeps you from it.

4. Choose Categories That You’d Like to Give More Attention To

These may be relationships, work, intimacy, money, exercise, or anything else that is important to you. Think back again on areas where you feel like you could use some more love and attention. From there, categories may naturally arise.

On the other hand, if it’s easier, feel free to simply list out categories that are broad and general, such as mental health, physical health, spiritual health, and emotional health.

5. Creatively Ask Yourself How You’d Like to Take Care of Yourself

For each of the categories above (or any that you created), think about ways that you’d like to take care of yourself. This question really gets into the marrow of self-care. It’s all about what you want.

If you’re a caretaker or someone who gives a lot to others, this may be a hard question to answer. Stick with it! It is teaching you how to prioritize yourself, perhaps for the first time! Some of your answers may be super simple, like taking more walks during lunch rather than sitting in your office. Perhaps they’re more complex and grandiose, like finally taking that dream vacation.

There are no right and wrong answers here; only what brings you joy!

6. Implement Your Answers

Make an appointment in your calendar or set an alarm to remind you to take that walk or drink more water. Plans without action just collect dust on pieces of paper. When you implement your ideas, they slowly begin to create your new healthful habits.

Over time, this will become second-nature. For the time being, if it helps, think about an accountability buddy with whom you can share this experience. They can help you stick to your self-care plan and maybe even join in!

7. Give Yourself a Break

Life happens, and we don’t always stick to our self-care routine. Practice forgiveness! This is also just as much a part of your self-care plan as anything else. Forgiveness reminds us that we are human and that we have off days. It removes the guilt and grief that we carry when we’re subconsciously striving for perfection.

Final Thoughts

Self-care is any practice that brings us back to our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. When we align with what brings us joy, we take better care of ourselves! Not only do we directly benefit from this, but so do the people and the world around us.

While the overload of self-care information is available to us in large dosages, it’s helpful to know that our self-care plan is entirely up to us to create. There is great liberty in knowing that we can craft the kind of routine that speaks to us in simplicity and authenticity.

More Tips on Having a Self-Care Plan

Published at Mon, 20 Jul 2020 15:00:55 +0000

With all that’s going on in the world right now, we have to take care of ourselves and those close to us more than ever. Most importantly, we have to learn proper self-care if we want to stay mentally and physically healthy.

What is Self-Care?

Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is self-care? Really, it’s anything that we do that takes care of our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health. Because it is such a broad term, it gives us some liberty as to how we want to implement it into our life. We can also think of it in terms of this question: “how do you take care of yourself?” When asked this, we can start to think of how we tend to our most primal needs. In essence, self-care is a habitual, conscious routine that we do to take care of our wholesome self. It brings us back into balance with ourselves, as we ebb and flow with the ups and downs of life. Our self-care plan acts as an anchor when things get too one-sided and reminds us that we have a routine in place that can bring us back to homeostasis.((PsychCentral: What Self-Care Is and What It Isn’t))

What Are the Benefits of Self-Care?

Think back on a time when you really treated yourself. How did it feel? Did you feel lighter, more joyful, more present with the world? These are some of those butterfly feelings that you can expect when you tune into your self-care plan. When we do good by our wholesome health, we feel good! Sticking to a self-care routine reduces our anxiety, curtails depression, and brings us back to present-moment awareness. These mental and emotional improvements significantly affect our physical health: lower blood pressure, improved sleep, focused concentration, and a clearer path to exercise and proper nutrition. A self-care plan also allows us to better take care of our immune system. To paint this in a clearer picture, imagine your immune system as the master dashboard screen on a highly-technical computer. It governs everything. When we take care of this dashboard system, we know everything that feeds off of it is running smoothly. The same can be said of our physical immune system. When we take care of ourselves in every way, our immune system can be stronger to fight off pathogens and diseases, thus keeping us healthier for longer. In this day and age, that is more important than ever!((Community Partnerships: The Importance of Self-Care))

Customizing Your Plan

Now that you’re ready to get started creating your own routine, here are a few suggestions on how to begin.

1. Observe What Is Out of Balance Today

It may be your physical health or your emotional state of being. Perhaps you’ve been under a lot of stress at work and your mind just needs a reset. Observe what feels out of alignment and where you tend to struggle. This will give you a clearer picture of where you need to prioritize your self-care.

2. Make a Clear Outline of Prioritizing Your Health

When you know what needs more care, you can create a roadmap for yourself. This may look like a simple outline on a piece of paper, or you may want to draw it out or use this template as a creative starting point. This allows you to get all of your ideas out of your head and into something tangible that you can hold on to. For accountability, stick it on your fridge or your mirror!((Social Work Tech: Making a Self-Care Plan))

3. Keep It Simple

Before you get into the nitty-gritty, remind yourself to keep it simple. There is so much information online and in self-help books that it can be overwhelming to take it all in. Sometimes, it may feel as if we need to completely revamp our entire life to feel like we’re truly taking care of ourselves. In reality, when we come back to simplicity, this is where our health truly blossoms. When we can cut ties with too much work, involvement, stress, and over-doing, we can return to the basics of a happy life. Keep this in mind as you attract what brings you peace and health and what (and who) keeps you from it.

4. Choose Categories That You’d Like to Give More Attention To

These may be relationships, work, intimacy, money, exercise, or anything else that is important to you. Think back again on areas where you feel like you could use some more love and attention. From there, categories may naturally arise. On the other hand, if it’s easier, feel free to simply list out categories that are broad and general, such as mental health, physical health, spiritual health, and emotional health.

5. Creatively Ask Yourself How You’d Like to Take Care of Yourself

For each of the categories above (or any that you created), think about ways that you’d like to take care of yourself. This question really gets into the marrow of self-care. It’s all about what you want. If you’re a caretaker or someone who gives a lot to others, this may be a hard question to answer. Stick with it! It is teaching you how to prioritize yourself, perhaps for the first time! Some of your answers may be super simple, like taking more walks during lunch rather than sitting in your office. Perhaps they’re more complex and grandiose, like finally taking that dream vacation. There are no right and wrong answers here; only what brings you joy!

6. Implement Your Answers

Make an appointment in your calendar or set an alarm to remind you to take that walk or drink more water. Plans without action just collect dust on pieces of paper. When you implement your ideas, they slowly begin to create your new healthful habits. Over time, this will become second-nature. For the time being, if it helps, think about an accountability buddy with whom you can share this experience. They can help you stick to your self-care plan and maybe even join in!

7. Give Yourself a Break

Life happens, and we don’t always stick to our self-care routine. Practice forgiveness! This is also just as much a part of your self-care plan as anything else. Forgiveness reminds us that we are human and that we have off days. It removes the guilt and grief that we carry when we’re subconsciously striving for perfection.

Final Thoughts

Self-care is any practice that brings us back to our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. When we align with what brings us joy, we take better care of ourselves! Not only do we directly benefit from this, but so do the people and the world around us. While the overload of self-care information is available to us in large dosages, it’s helpful to know that our self-care plan is entirely up to us to create. There is great liberty in knowing that we can craft the kind of routine that speaks to us in simplicity and authenticity.

This is how to be there for yourself.

  • EMAIL
  • SHARE

How to customize a self-care plan that works for you

Modern parenting is a lot like trying to juggle a bunch of on-fire chainsaws…while pogo sticking…and reciting “Jabberwocky” from heart. In short, there are a lot of needs to balance and it requires a lot from you all the time and you need to take care of yourself. Yes, who has the time? But creating a self-care plan — that is, a curated mix of activities that support your physical and mental health — is a crucial tactic to prevent burnout and be all you can be for yourself and your kids.

Self-care – especially for busy, stressed-out parents – isn’t as easy as signing up for a gym membership or committing to wake up early to meditate every day. To get the most out of self-care, it’s important to evaluate your own skills and what you need to improve. From there, you can create a curated self-care plan that’s right for you. Much like a specific diet, a good self-care plan is one that is tailored to your particular needs.

So how do you create a self-care plan that works for you? According to California-based marriage and family therapist Amber Trueblood , developing a self-care plan that works for you has five steps that work together. This is what it takes.

1. Identify Your Baseline

Stress is pretty much universal –– but we all have different values, priorities, lifestyles, personalities, and family dynamics. Practically, that means it’s important for you to develop a self-care plan that will be effective for you , given all these unique factors.

Begin by identifying your baseline (your normal stress levels) and the moving parts that add stress. When you’re aware of your currently emotional state and how it fluctuates situationally, you can better implement self-care resources that work for you, when you need them.

“Allow yourself space and time to consider your emotional state, or your emotional bank account,” Trueblood says. “You’re the only person and the best person to accurately calculate the ‘balance’ in that emotional bank account and determine if and when you may need a refill.’”

2. Be Honest With Yourself About What You Really Need

Self-care isn’t a new idea. It’s very easy to look around and see what activities or tools appear to be helping others, whether it’s running, meditation, journaling, podcasts, or hitting the heavy bag at night. But before you jump on the bandwagon and adopt someone else’s self-care practice, you need to think through what actually rejuvenates you. Trueblood says mindlessly engaging in “self-care” that doesn’t actually work could easily set you up for failure, frustration, and further depletion of your emotional bank account.

Instead, she suggests creating a list of “true” self-care tools –– a custom menu, so to speak. In the process, keep in mind that true self-care should reduce your stress hormones and increase your good-mood hormones well beyond the actual activity. Here are some prompts to think about when you’re brainstorming your self-care “menu”:

  • Your senses: For instance, do you absolutely love the smell of the woods? Does 1980’s hip-hop music make you smile and want to get up and dance across the room? Do you love the feel of that fuzzy robe and a warm mug of tea?
  • Connection with others: Do you need more alone time? Do you need more time with that one best friend who makes you laugh? Do you need less time with that neighbor who leaves you feeling drained (Note: Avoid energy vampires who leave you feeling depleted and drained and avoid Zombie Content which is any material that eats away at you the rest of the day.)
  • Basic needs: Are you getting enough water? Are you eating healthy? Are you breathing slowly and deeply? Are you moving your body every day in a way that feels good for you? Are you protecting your sleep with a nighttime routine of unwinding, disconnecting from devices, and mindfulness practice?
  • Pleasure: What do you love to do? When we feel busy and stressed, we often look to what we can do less of than what we can do more of. However, adding something you love to do, just for the delight of it, is a powerful self-care tool. Ask yourself what can you do twice a week that truly delights you?

3. Select Your “Preventative Activities”

Now that you’ve created your list of all the activities, practices, and tools that personally replenish your emotional bank account, select two that you can reasonably do on a daily basis. “Keep these simple and as easy as possible to implement into your current lifestyle and schedule,” Trueblood says. “For instance, you might decide that every day this week you will drink two full glasses of water before noon and at night you’ll do a ten-minute guided breathing practice.”

4. Select Your “Emergency Activities”

Return to your custom menu again and circle two self-care tools that’ll work for minor irritations, two that are great for moderate stressors, and two that you’ll save for big-time emotional overwhelm. Trueblood suggests putting this list, your Emotional Emergency Plan, on a sticky note near your computer, on a slip of colored paper that you keep in your wallet, or as a digital note on your phone. Then, when you experience an emotional challenge, determine the level : minor, moderate, or major. Pick one of the two items and do them as soon as possible.

If you’re in a low place, Trueblood says clearly and specifically telling your loved ones you’ve hit a wall and need to engage in self-care ASAP can be extremely helpful, too.

5. Reassess occasionally

Stress –– and the things that help relieve it –– is just as dynamic as we are. Depending upon how much change and uncertainty is in your life at the moment, Trueblood says it’s a good idea to reassess your list on a weekly or monthly basis. If you tried something and it didn’t work, find a way to change it. If you thought of something even better, try that. If you need to have more grace with yourself and try again next week, do it. The goal is to pay attention to yourself and your needs, and when needed, pivot accordingly.

To develop your self-care plan, you will identify what you value and need as part of your day-to-day life (maintenance self-care) and the strategies you can employ when or if you face a crisis along the way (emergency self-care).

How to customize a self-care plan that works for you

There is no “one-size-fits-all” self-care plan, but there is a common thread to all self-care plans: making a commitment to attend to all the domains of your life, including your physical and psychological health, emotional and spiritual needs, and relationships.

How to customize a self-care plan that works for you

Think of your self-care plan as a roadmap — with planned vehicle maintenance, travel activities and rest stops along the way.

Think of your self-care plan as a roadmap — with planned vehicle maintenance, travel activities and rest stops along the way.

Steps to guide you.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the steps in this process! They are simple and straightforward and will help to guide you on your path.

On this page:

1. How do you cope now?

Identify what you do now to manage the stress in your life. The Lifestyle Behaviors (pdf) (Transcript of Lifestyle Behaviors) (“Is your life causing you stress?”) assessment can help you to identify the coping strategies you currently use and whether they are likely to be good (or not so good) for your well-being.

Decreasing or eliminating at least one “negative” coping strategy can be one of the goals of your maintenance self-care; employing more “positive” strategies can be another.

2. What do you do for self-care now?

The Self-Care Assessment (pdf) will help you highlight the good things you are already doing for yourself and whether there is an imbalance in the areas in which you practice self-care.

The items in this assessment can also give you some ideas for additional things you may want to do in the future to help prevent stress and burnout and to maintain and enhance your well-being. Make a note of the items that you would like to add (or add more of) to your self-care practice. In considering this, try to be sure that each domain of self-care is well represented. If you think of things that are not included in this list, just add them at the end.

3. Maintenance self-care: Adding self-care practices and eliminating obstacles

“Maintenance self-care” refers to the activities that you have identified as important to your well-being and that you have committed to engage in on a regular basis to take care of yourself.

My Maintenance Self-Care Worksheet (pdf) (Transcript of My Maintenance Self-Care Worksheet) provides an opportunity for you to identify the activities you would like to add to your self-care practice in each self-care domain (“new practice”).

It is also useful to identify possible barriers or obstacles that could get in the way of implementing and/or maintaining these new activities. Think about what you anticipate these barriers/obstacles to be (try to list at least 3 or 4 in the spaces provided), how you can address them, and how you can remind yourself to follow your plan. Write these solutions on the last page of the My Maintenance Self-Care Worksheet. If you have chosen to limit or eliminate a negative coping strategy that you currently use, note this as well.

You can revisit this topic and revise your list as the demands of your personal and professional life change.

4. Emergency self-care: Be prepared

So far we have focused on maintenance self-care: the kinds of things one does regularly to reduce stress and maintain and enhance well-being. But planning out what you would do under extremely trying circumstances, even though they are rare, is also important. To do this, develop a framework using your Emergency Self-Care worksheet (pdf) before you are faced with a crisis or feel overwhelmed. This is not to suggest that you will invariably face such a situation; the idea is to be prepared just in case.

Think of developing your emergency self-care plan in the way you would think about preparing for other possible emergency situations: it is important to figure out your plan in advance when you have the time, wherewithal, and concentration to do so effectively!

5. Make a commitment to yourself

Remember: Just like the flight attendant says, you need to put on your own oxygen mask first before you can be of help to others. So, take a moment, think it over, and then make your personal commitment to your own self-care. You deserve it!

If you find making a commitment to be a challenge, then take some time to explore your reservations. Do you have a tendency to put the needs of others first? The truth is that your self-care is not only essential to your well-being, but it is also a necessary element for you to be effective and successful in honoring your professional and personal commitments.

Preparing a plan is important; it identifies your goals and the strategies to achieve them. However your success in implementing your plan is ultimately based on the level of commitment you make to your self-care.

6. Share your plan

Once you have developed your plan and made your commitment, remember that friends, family, peers, and/or colleagues may be good additional resources for exchanging new self-care ideas/strategies and to provide support and encouragement.

Consider taking your commitment a step further by joining or starting a support or discussion group (see Tips for Starting a Support or Discussion Group).

7. Follow your plan

Now that you have completed the assessments and worksheets described above, you have identified the core elements of your personal Self-Care Plan. The final step is to implement your plan and keep track of how you are doing. Keeping track of your progress will help you recognize your successes and identify and address any difficulties you may not have anticipated. Don’t forget that you can revise your plan as needed. Remember, also, to employ your emergency plan should emotionally difficult circumstances arise.

Remember that self-care is always a work in progress!

Everything but the bubble baths

Self-care is essential. In May 2019, the World Health Organization deemed burnout an official medical diagnosis. And while burnout doesn’t solely affect women and it’s definitely not the only reason to develop a self-care plan, it is more common among women than men, and its prevalence is indicative of how taxing work, both paid and unpaid, can be.

So before you’re clouded by lethargy, feel helpless, and join the 69 percent of women who dread going to work Monday morning, set aside time right now to develop a self-care plan to guide your personal health.

What is a self-care plan?

A self-care plan is a roadmap to dealing with times when your life feels like it’s getting off-track. Having a written plan in place helps you visualize how your personal and professional lives can be integrated and encourages you to take a step back when you’re overwhelmed—or about to be.

A good term to use here is holistic because effective self-care tactics treat aspects of mental, physical, emotional, and social health in order to protect your whole self.

How to create a self-care plan

Everyone’s self-care needs are different, so while your coworker swears by meditating every morning before work, you might not be as keen to wake before the sun. In fact, it might make you even more miserable. Step one in self-care is to stop measuring yourself by other people’s yardsticks.

Now let’s get started.

Make a list of what makes you happy

Start with four categories—mental, physical, emotional, and social—and in each one, write down the things you do that contribute to your wellbeing in that area. You can indicate “work” or “life” to clarify how those self-care activities play out. That might look something like this:

Work: I don’t keep my work email on my personal phone, so I can’t check it if I’m away from my computer.

Life: I do activities that keep me engaged but aren’t related to my job, like reading or listening to podcasts and music.

Work: I work at a desk, so I take breaks to stretch my legs in the middle of the workday, even if it’s just a lap around the building.

Life: I go to the gym three or four times a week.

Work: I take personal days when I don’t feel up to snuff.

Work: I spend time with people who enjoy what they do and don’t fly off the handle when something at work goes wrong.

Life: I find ways to disengage completely—I turn off my phone or go to a movie.

Work: I take lunch or walking breaks with coworkers to make sure I build strong relationships with the people I see every day.

Life: I make time to call or spend time with the people I care about.

Life: I plan activities I know I’ll enjoy, and I’m not afraid to turn down something I know will make me unhappy.

Now make a list of the barriers to that happiness

Once you’ve written down what you do to care for yourself, write down for each example something that could or does get in the way of you following through with that item. Then explain how you can shift that roadblock to keep your plan on track. For example:

Work: I don’t keep my work email on my personal phone, so I can’t check it if I’m away from my computer.

BLOCK: I do have the Slack app on my phone, so when someone references an email they sent, I’m tempted to check it to see what’s happening.

SHIFT: Either delete the app or put notifications on silent after a certain hour so you won’t see them until the workday begins.

Life: I do activities that keep me engaged but aren’t related to my job, like reading or listening to podcasts and music.

BLOCK: Sometimes I’m tired after work, or when I’m really stressed, these activities aren’t distracting enough.

SHIFT: When this is the case, go for a walk or call a friend. Grab a drink. Go to a movie.

Share your plan

Self-care is personal, but it doesn’t have to be done alone! Creating a self-care plan is an excellent bonding activity for coworkers or teams, and sharing the experience helps to hold you accountable. If you’re not comfortable with discussing your plan with your team, share it with a friend or family member. Ask them to check up on your progress and help you evaluate areas where you’ve struggled. Your self-care plan should ebb and flow as your needs change over time.

How to know if your self-care plan is working

Effective self-care takes practice and consistent evaluation. You’ll know your self-care plan is working in that moment when you feel one or many of your solutions help you navigate the stress of your life and work. When nothing seems to be fixing the issue at hand? Your priorities might have shifted, or the problem might be a bigger one than you were prepared for when you wrote the plan.

Take another stab at creating a revised self-care plan that makes you feel more fulfilled. Try to fill those self-care buckets in other ways— instead of getting drinks with a friend once a month, invite your crew to a weekly dinner. Instead of coming into the office bright and early, ask your boss if you can change your work hours slightly so you can make it to the gym in the morning.

And finally, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Even if your self-care plan is working, talking your worries through with someone who deals with worries for a living is a healthy way to manage stress.

How to Customize a Self-Care Plan That Works For You

8 monthes ago | By Lifehack

With all that’s going on in the world right now, we have to take care of ourselves and those close to us more than ever. Most importantly, we have to learn proper self-care if we want to stay mentally and physically healthy.
What is Self-Care?
Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is self-care?
Really, it’s anything that we do that takes care of our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health. Because it is such a broad term, it gives us some liberty as to how we want to implement it into our life.
We can also think of it in terms of this question: “how do you take care of.
Read more .

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To develop your self-care plan, you will identify what you value and need as part of your day-to-day life (maintenance self-care) and the strategies you can employ when or if you face a crisis along the way (emergency self-care).

How to customize a self-care plan that works for you

There is no “one-size-fits-all” self-care plan, but there is a common thread to all self-care plans: making a commitment to attend to all the domains of your life, including your physical and psychological health, emotional and spiritual needs, and relationships.

How to customize a self-care plan that works for you

Think of your self-care plan as a roadmap — with planned vehicle maintenance, travel activities and rest stops along the way.

Think of your self-care plan as a roadmap — with planned vehicle maintenance, travel activities and rest stops along the way.

Steps to guide you.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the steps in this process! They are simple and straightforward and will help to guide you on your path.

On this page:

1. How do you cope now?

Identify what you do now to manage the stress in your life. The Lifestyle Behaviors (pdf) (Transcript of Lifestyle Behaviors) (“Is your life causing you stress?”) assessment can help you to identify the coping strategies you currently use and whether they are likely to be good (or not so good) for your well-being.

Decreasing or eliminating at least one “negative” coping strategy can be one of the goals of your maintenance self-care; employing more “positive” strategies can be another.

2. What do you do for self-care now?

The Self-Care Assessment (pdf) will help you highlight the good things you are already doing for yourself and whether there is an imbalance in the areas in which you practice self-care.

The items in this assessment can also give you some ideas for additional things you may want to do in the future to help prevent stress and burnout and to maintain and enhance your well-being. Make a note of the items that you would like to add (or add more of) to your self-care practice. In considering this, try to be sure that each domain of self-care is well represented. If you think of things that are not included in this list, just add them at the end.

3. Maintenance self-care: Adding self-care practices and eliminating obstacles

“Maintenance self-care” refers to the activities that you have identified as important to your well-being and that you have committed to engage in on a regular basis to take care of yourself.

My Maintenance Self-Care Worksheet (pdf) (Transcript of My Maintenance Self-Care Worksheet) provides an opportunity for you to identify the activities you would like to add to your self-care practice in each self-care domain (“new practice”).

It is also useful to identify possible barriers or obstacles that could get in the way of implementing and/or maintaining these new activities. Think about what you anticipate these barriers/obstacles to be (try to list at least 3 or 4 in the spaces provided), how you can address them, and how you can remind yourself to follow your plan. Write these solutions on the last page of the My Maintenance Self-Care Worksheet. If you have chosen to limit or eliminate a negative coping strategy that you currently use, note this as well.

You can revisit this topic and revise your list as the demands of your personal and professional life change.

4. Emergency self-care: Be prepared

So far we have focused on maintenance self-care: the kinds of things one does regularly to reduce stress and maintain and enhance well-being. But planning out what you would do under extremely trying circumstances, even though they are rare, is also important. To do this, develop a framework using your Emergency Self-Care worksheet (pdf) before you are faced with a crisis or feel overwhelmed. This is not to suggest that you will invariably face such a situation; the idea is to be prepared just in case.

Think of developing your emergency self-care plan in the way you would think about preparing for other possible emergency situations: it is important to figure out your plan in advance when you have the time, wherewithal, and concentration to do so effectively!

5. Make a commitment to yourself

Remember: Just like the flight attendant says, you need to put on your own oxygen mask first before you can be of help to others. So, take a moment, think it over, and then make your personal commitment to your own self-care. You deserve it!

If you find making a commitment to be a challenge, then take some time to explore your reservations. Do you have a tendency to put the needs of others first? The truth is that your self-care is not only essential to your well-being, but it is also a necessary element for you to be effective and successful in honoring your professional and personal commitments.

Preparing a plan is important; it identifies your goals and the strategies to achieve them. However your success in implementing your plan is ultimately based on the level of commitment you make to your self-care.

6. Share your plan

Once you have developed your plan and made your commitment, remember that friends, family, peers, and/or colleagues may be good additional resources for exchanging new self-care ideas/strategies and to provide support and encouragement.

Consider taking your commitment a step further by joining or starting a support or discussion group (see Tips for Starting a Support or Discussion Group).

7. Follow your plan

Now that you have completed the assessments and worksheets described above, you have identified the core elements of your personal Self-Care Plan. The final step is to implement your plan and keep track of how you are doing. Keeping track of your progress will help you recognize your successes and identify and address any difficulties you may not have anticipated. Don’t forget that you can revise your plan as needed. Remember, also, to employ your emergency plan should emotionally difficult circumstances arise.

Remember that self-care is always a work in progress!

How to Customize a Self-Care Plan That Works For You

8 monthes ago | By Lifehack

With all that’s going on in the world right now, we have to take care of ourselves and those close to us more than ever. Most importantly, we have to learn proper self-care if we want to stay mentally and physically healthy.
What is Self-Care?
Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is self-care?
Really, it’s anything that we do that takes care of our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health. Because it is such a broad term, it gives us some liberty as to how we want to implement it into our life.
We can also think of it in terms of this question: “how do you take care of.
Read more .

Search by Tags

Africa unique travel experiences

For travelers looking for unique holiday experience, small group travels are one of the best to way to do so. They usually offer tourists an opportunity to interact with. Read more .

Unique Travel Experiences Offered In Small Group Travels

For travelers looking for unique holiday experience, small group travels are one of the best to way to do so. They usually offer tourists an opportunity to interact with. Read more .

Unique Travel Experiences Offered In Small Group Travels

For travelers looking for unique holiday experience, small group travels are one of the best to way to do so. They usually offer tourists an opportunity to interact with. Read more .

Mutton Kosha to Bhapa Doi, 5 Poila Bosihakh special recipes

How to customize a self-care plan that works for you

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Esha Gupta nails beach look in kaftan dress worth Rs 11k Read more .

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Members of fashion dynasty hit out at roles played by Al Pacino and Jared Leto in House of Gucci The Gucci family has hit out against the “horrible, horrible” and “ugly”. Read more .

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Black hoodie from streetwear label Overpriced is part of growing NFT one-of-a-kind asset trend A virtual hoodie has sold for £19,000, bought as a non-fungible token. The black. Read more .

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Tune in above to watch a live stream of the Gucci Aria collection, Thursday at 9 a.m. EST. Homepage test trends, news and people shaping the fashion industry. Sign up for our. Read more .

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