Do you care for yourself?

Work-life balance

 

 

 

How many of us really care for ourselves? Do you even understand what true self care is really all about? Self-care isn’t just about brushing your teeth or combing your hair. Self-care is for those needs within you.

 

Self-care is caring for your soul, your inner self, and your very being.

To successfully achieve self-care, you must think it through and have some sort of self-care plan. Using that structured plan as a tool you’re going to be able to properly care for your very being.

Building a Solid Self-Care Plan

Your self-care plan gives you a solid foundation for what you want to do and how you can accomplish it.

Hopefully you have values, goals, and a purpose in your life. The beginning of a new year is the time when we tend to focus more on these things. However often we tend to focus more on tangible achievements such as growing our business by x%, or finding a new home, or gaining a qualification. But what we often miss is the fact that we need to look after ourselves so that not only can we go after our goals but that we actually enjoy the process and the final result. It is not a good strategy to focus on building your business at the expense of your health and relationships for example.

A good self-care plan reminds you of what you want to accomplish, and should also remind you about what you need to do to take care of you. Having some sort of plan and using tools such as a day planner, checklists or making notes to yourself can remind you of your goals and the things you need to do to take care of your body, mind, and soul.

Stay focused on the ‘Why’

Your self-care plan should inspire you and remind you of why you want to take care of your body, mind, and spirit.

To keep you focused on your own personal well being you could surround yourself with inspirational quotes and affirmations. Not only do you have the reminders of what to do, but you also have little pieces of inspiration around you to remind you of why you’re doing it!

In addition to inspirational quotes, you can hang motivating pictures throughout your home and office. These pictures may be of exotic places you’d like to visit someday, or tranquil images of nature. Your pictures may be something that you want to attract into your life or may remind you of a positive memory from your past. You can also have a photo of your family to remind you of what’s important to you.

The Vision Board process as mentioned in an earlier post is useful here. Just remember to include images which portray how you want to feel, not just images of things you want to obtain.

You can use these aspects of planning toward anything in your life so you have that solid foundation you need to take care of yourself. Just make sure to take care of the inside as well as the outside.

Creating a Personalized Self-Care Plan

Your self-care plan sets out your intentions and tracks your progress to help you stay on track toward your goals.

You may need to motivate yourself to initiate your self-care plan. One way to do this is to envisage your ideal week. For example, you might think that starting each day with some form of exercise routine would be great.

You might like to allocate a certain time for bathing and personal care, or time for walking in nature or meeting with friends. Draw up a schedule of your ideal week and  pencil in those activities. Then make determined efforts to move towards implementing that ideal schedule.

Track your progress. Let’s say you have a hard   time getting motivated to exercise. By keeping a log of your exercise time and a checklist of achievements, you can keep yourself focused on achieving a healthier you.

Track your eating patterns by keeping a food diary. It is often quite revealing when we write down everything that goes in our mouths.

In addition, you can use a journal to record your mental and emotional health. Write down what’s going on inside of you so you can evaluate your feelings. Take some time each day just to focus on being aware of how you are ‘feeling’ at any point in time, (angry, sad, helpless, joyful etc.) and what events or circumstances might have triggered these feelings.

A good motivator to keep you on track is to have a family member, friend, or spouse hold you accountable. If you slip up in your efforts to proactively take care of yourself, they will let you know so you can renew your focus and get back on course.

Final thoughts

It’s important to have some sort of structure in place for successful self-care. It is all too easy to put self care aside, seeing it as not so important, or too self indulgent., or something to be ‘fitted in’ around  the everyday business of life. You need to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. You also need to ensure you are healthy and happy in order to take on your life journey successfully. A good self-care plan will provide you with the vigour, attitude, and energy to enjoy life to its fullest!

Comments

  1. Great post Dot, i firmly believe that in order to look after others you need to first look after yourself, I like the way you have added an extra to vision board and inc what you feel not just what you want to achieve.
    Sarah recently posted..Shaping images with natural light from your window..My Profile

  2. Found you via Ultimate Blog Challenge.
    Perfect post for starting the new year! As a new mom, I am realizing that I must take care of myself in order to provide the best care for my children.
    Mercedes recently posted..2012: My Strange, Stressful, Wonderful YearMy Profile

  3. I honestly think this should be mandatory reading for new mothers, for me that was a critical point where I just stopped caring for myself.

    (Found myself via the Blogging Challenge, good luck!)
    Crystal Touchton recently posted..How To Get Your Picture Next To Your Articles In Google Search And Why It’s ImportantMy Profile

  4. I think that vision boards are really effective. I’ve made 2-3 over recent years and it’s amazing how much of it I achieved. Such a great way to really focus 🙂

  5. Hi Dot!

    I loved the part that your plan should inspire you! Honestly think I have missed that part…maybe that’s why it has always feels like a “should” not a fabulous “do”. 🙂

    Thanks!

  6. It’s so easy to put yourself last. Thanks so much for the reminder. I’ve been trying to get better about doing things for me, but … This gives me motivation to get myself in gear! Thanks!
    Julie Myers recently posted..What’s Your Favorite Gift Ever?My Profile

  7. Self care is so important! We ignore it at our peril. I worked too hard last year and it’s taken me months to get back to equilibrium. Thanks for the great reminder!
    Louise Myers Graphic Design recently posted..New Year’s Resolution Ideas: Your Words for 2013My Profile

  8. I always find November/December busy & tiring, and it is so easy to forget to look after yourself. But to look after others, you need to look after yourself. Especially important if your are running your own business. I am definitely going to try and not burn myself out in 2013!
    Michelle Nichols recently posted..My Top 9 Software & Online ToolsMy Profile

  9. This is definitely something that is on my agenda. I get carried away working and the time goes by and before I know it I am not eating properly and sleeping properly (it is 1:52am right now). Thank you for giving me the nudge!
    Stacey Myers recently posted..Which Dog Are You?My Profile

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