Where our focus goes, energy flows.
And all too often, our focus goes towards things external to us – work, family, friends, and so on. Many of us believe it’s selfish to take time out for ourselves, but in reality, we’re better for everyone around us when we take care of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Because it’s not always natural or automatic to focus on self-care, we recommend committing to creating a self-care plan.
Below, we’re sharing the top 5 things a great self-care plan should include!
Self-care extends far beyond massages and vanilla lattes (though we do love these self-care acts!) It’s not a luxury; it’s a necessity. It’s also one of the best investments you can make, generating exponential returns for your life.
- Prioritizing your overall well-being
- Being mindful of how you feel throughout the day (and being committed to adjusting your actions accordingly!)
- Setting healthy boundaries for your time and emotions
- Nourishing your body with everything it needs to function at its best (think sleep, hydration, and healthy foods!)
- A commitment to thrive, not just to survive
Steps for Building an Effective Self-Care Plan
A comprehensive self-care plan will account for your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. A great plan can result in enhanced personal relationships, increased productivity, reduced stress and anxiety, and so much more!
Our top 5 tips for creating an powerful self-care plan:
1. Consider Your Current Habits
Before you can decide what new habits need to come into your life, it’s helpful to look at where you are now. How are you currently coping with the demands of life? Which current habits make you feel good? Which ones leave you feeling drained, bored, or defeated? Be brutally honest with yourself about how you are currently treating yourself, and the resulting impact.
2. Identify Your Needs
How could life look better for you? What needs do you have that perhaps aren’t being fulfilled? Examine this from all areas of your life:
- What do I need in order to feel fulfilled in my work? Consider your actual workspace, schedule, coworkers, customers, and services you provide.
- What do I need in my friendships and romantic relationships? How do you feel loved, appreciated and nurtured? How – and how often – do you wish to communicate with or see others? What is it that you truly want from your friends or romantic partner?
- How does my body currently feel? Consider how this may differ from when you feel at your best. What would make you feel more alive and more comfortable in your skin?
- How does my spirit feel? Do you feel connected to yourself and the world around you, or are you just going through the motions? What practices could shift you more into alignment?
- How am I feeling emotionally? Are you suffering from anxiety or depression? Do you feel lonely? What do you need more of in your life in order to shift into peace? What might need to be removed from your life?
3. Identify the Practices that Can Address Those Needs
Get specific here! For example, if you do not feel good in your body: What steps are you willing to take to shift that? Can you commit to healthier eating? Drinking less alcohol? Working out three times each week?
List 2-3 practices you would like to incorporate for each area of your wellbeing:
4. How Can You Work Those Practices into Your Schedule?
For your self-care plan to stick, you’ll want to schedule your acts of self-care just as you would your work or family responsibilities. Treat them as non-negotiables when it comes to your time. Remember: Everything else in your life will be better as a result of taking this time for yourself!
Some examples include:
- Meditating for 10 minute every morning and before bed
- Taking a walk outside during your lunch break
- Dedicating one night each week to your favorite hobby
The key is to be specific about when and how you’ll make it all happen.
Example: If you want to have fresh flowers in your home at all times (because of how great it makes you feel), you could state: “On my weekend grocery store runs, I will also pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers.”
5. Note Any Potential Obstacles
You know yourself better than anyone. What are some potential barriers to accomplishing your self-care practices? Being mindful of these in advance can help you to overcome them. Oftentimes, the biggest barrier to following a self-care plan is our own self-talk. Never doubt that you deserve to feel great – and that everyone in your world will also be better for it!
Self-Care in Orange County, CA
One of the highest forms of self-care is knowing when you need outside help. Barn Life Recovery provides holistic, community-based treatment for chronic stress and other mental health conditions. Our facility is a haven for people from all walks of life who are living with these issues. We specialize in non-pharmacological treatment with the goal to help you Love Life Again. Learn more about what we do and attend one of our free community events to see if we’re a good fit for you.