When was the last time you spent some time just for yourself? Have you ever thought of what makes you happy? If you can’t remember, it’s time for some self-care.
Self-Care: Definition and Importance
An article in the American Psychological Association journal defines self-care as “a multidimensional, multifaceted process of purposeful engagement in strategies that promote healthy functioning and enhanced well-being.”
When you’ve taken care of all the facets of health from physical to spiritual, you’re better equipped to handle life’s stresses. You’re also going to enjoy life more.
While self-care is in itself a necessity, many people consider it a luxury. Some even have a notion that it’s selfish.
The truth is, we need to make self-care a priority. And every successful undertaking needs a plan.
Let’s come up with a self-care plan for you.
Developing A Self-Care Plan
While you can do the self-care practices anytime, it’s a good idea to have an individualized self-care plan to make them more effective.
Here are the steps to take:
Identify your stress level
Do you experience sleeplessness, fatigue, or muscle tension? Are you feeling anxious, depressed, or overworked?
Be honest with yourself and accept your situation.
You can just do a simple personal assessment, or you can take a stress inventory for a more in-depth evaluation.
Determine your stressors and coping mechanisms
Pinpoint your stressors at work and in your personal life.
Is your workload too much? Do you have a health issue that’s bothering you? Are you having issues in your personal relationships?
Next, what are your coping mechanisms? List down the healthy and unhealthy ones.
Make your personal self-care plan
There are two ways you can deal with stress: direct and indirect approaches.
When you use a direct approach, this involves removing the stressor, changing your view about the stressor, or avoiding the stressor.
On the other hand, indirect approaches include ways of reducing the impact of stressful situations. These include meditating, exercising, good sleeping habits, Reiki, enjoying a hobby, asking for help, and many others.
You can just make three (3) columns in your plan. Your stressors fall in the first column. The second is for your common self-care strategies while the last contains additional self-care strategies.
Simple Ways To Take Care of Yourself
Now that you have a personal self-care plan, let’s talk a little more about self-care practices.
There are probably a hundred ways you can do self-care from getting pedicures to having a bubble bath.
But we’re sharing practices that focus on your emotional, mental and spiritual health. These areas are often neglected when you’re occupied fulfilling so many responsibilities.
Learn to say no
Let’s admit it, it can be hard to say no. We feel guilty and obligated when somebody asks us a favor. However, when you’re stressed out, always saying yes at the expense of self-care can lead to burnout.
Keep those boundaries firm.
Make self-care time sacred
Even if you’re busy juggling all your responsibilities, be sure to carve out time for yourself.
Everybody In Mind Wellness Center, in Sudbury Massachusetts, has a wide array of wellness technologies and services for self-care. Even if you just have an hour or so to spare, you can arrange for a relaxing session in our Somadome Meditation Pod, Ajna Light meditation, or perhaps try our chakra Crystal Healing Bed.
Nurture your spirit
It’s important that from time to time, you do what makes your soul happy.
Moreover, find time for gratitude and mindfulness in your daily life. Keep a gratitude journal and have some quiet time with your thoughts every day.
Take note of compliments
Compliments make us feel good and keep us motivated. A Japanese study even concluded that receiving a compliment is like receiving cash! So, keep a list (physical or mental) of those words that can make your day.
Strengthen your connections with others
Besides being good for your mental health, maintaining healthy social relationships can make you live longer… literally!
Yes, a systematic review of 148 studies involving 308,849 participants showed that you’ll increase your survival rate by a whopping 50% with strong social relationships.
As you can see, self-care is essential for us to survive and thrive in this tough fast-paced modern world.
So, what have you done to take care of yourself today?