How to Develop a Self-Care Plan

Published by Julie Anne Byrne on

In a world that is so fast paced we all should take time out to switch off, stop and “smell the roses” as it were in order to recharge our batteries. Do not confuse Self-Care with being selfish or being indulgent, you cannot pour from an empty vessel, so you need to help yourself before you can attempt to help anyone else.

What Is Self-Care?

Self-care is about giving ourselves a break and often when it’s needed most. It is important to stop and take stock so to avoid a burn out especially when we feel out of our depth or overwhelmed.

Self-Care is the gift you give yourself, it can be a mindset or an activity or a practice that we partake in order to combat the stress or unhappy situation we find ourselves in.

“Self-Care is how you take your Power back” ~ Lalah Delia

Can Practicing Self-Care Change Your Life?

Without doubt, we all feel rested and refreshed after we take a break from our working lives whether that is a couple of days or a couple of weeks break. So it stands to reason when your personal life gets busy we should also take a break and practice some self-care. The benefits for your mental health and physical health are two-fold.

The trick with taking time out for your self-care is to treat it in the same way you would do a holiday from your working life, no-one ever feels guilty for taking leave from work so there is no reason to feel guilty for taking time out to care for yourself. Your HEALTH is your WEALTH

Everyone’s approach to practicing self-care is different, you need to ascertain what works for you and what your needs are and also what activities you enjoy doing. What you practice one day may differ the next day, what is important is the find the right balance of activities for you.

The following are some basic guidelines that we all should embrace and include in your self-care calendar

  1. Get a good night’s sleep – try to go to sleep around the same time every night and keep it consistent.
  2. Drink plenty of water during the day and keep yourself hydrated.
  3. Include lots of fruit and vegetables in your diet and avoid eating too much processed foods.
  4. Switch off from the grid – take a few 10 min break each day
    from all electrical devices, put it down, mute it, switch it off whatever it takes.
  5. It’s ok to say NO…don’t get caught up in trying to people please, you are of no use to anyone if you take on too much and get stressed out.

Self-Care Ideas

As I mentioned previously this will differ for each individual according to their likes and dislikes. I have compiled a varied list below to show you exactly how simplistic self-care can be for us all. Pick and choose what appeals to you from the list below and leave what doesn’t.

    • Dance to your favourite music.
    • Read whether it’s a favourite book or some inspiring prose.
    • Sing at the top of your lungs.
    • Sit in a coffee shop or on a park bench and people watch.
    • Start a blog and write anything.
    • Light scented candles around the house.
    • Enjoy a home spa. Take a long, hot bath, light a candle, and pamper yourself.
    • Take a leisurely walk in a nearby park or around your neighbourhood.
    • Treat yourself, splash a little money and buy a small luxury just for you.
    • Watch funny YouTube videos and Laugh Out Loud!
    • Allow yourself a “Netflix day”
    • Get a foot, hand, face, head or back massage
    • Get a facial.
    • Wrap yourself up in a blanket and sip a hot beverage while reading a book or watching your favourite classic film.
    • Bake something just for fun.
    • Take a two-day holiday for the weekend.
    • Book a night in a fancy hotel. Take a bubble bath. Get room service. Relax.
    • Build something with Lego.
    • Buy yourself some of your favourite flowers.
    • Create a piece of art. It could be a poem, song, or painting.
    • Eat your favourite comfort foods.
    • Give yourself or better still have someone else give you a manicure or a pedicure.
    • Make a date with yourself and take in a movie at the cinema.
    • Call an old friend and reminisce about the good old days
    • Go to an antique shop or a museum.
    • Go to the farmer’s market.
    • Splurge on expensive skin care products.
    • Go wine or food tasting.
    • Walk someplace with a nice view of the sunset or by the pier.
    • Order in dinner and indulge in your favourite tipple.
    • Hire someone to clean your house for a day.

Spiritual Self-Care

Not all self-care activities need to be physical. Many self-care activities fall into a category that we know as spiritual, religious, or mindfulness.

Spiritual self-care revolves around your principles and not just your beliefs. Spiritual Self-Care can help to foster a calming awareness and sense of understanding outside of your current state of mind.

A few ideas to begin and which you can add to as you go along might involve the following;

  • Checking in with yourself, take time out to perform a 10-minute scan of all parts of your body and really tune into how your body feels.
  • Practice some meditation, guided or breathing, taking 1-minute, 5-minute or 10-minutes
  • Be kind, it only takes a second but the rewards can last you all day
  • Pay it forward, pay for the person’s coffee in the queue behind you, or a toll for the car behind you, or pay for someone’s lunch when you leave a café.
  • Donate your time or expertise to someone in need, or money to a charity of your choosing.
  • Pay mindful attention to the things you do during your daily routine.
  • Sit and take in the beauty of nature all around you, be still and quiet for a few minutes.
  • Take a break from social media by deleting or deactivating it or removing yourself altogether.

I hope you found some of these self-care ideas useful and maybe discovered a few new ideas that you hadn’t thought of trying before.

I’d love to know what YOUR go-to self-care practice is, please do share in the comments below.


16 Comments

Henderson · September 17, 2019 at 9:39 pm

Oh my, there are so many self care ideas here. I never thought that you will be able to put together such a comprehensive list. 

I think I understand the concept of selfcare better than I did in the past. It’s a very nice one though I do one of this. 

For me, when I have a problem, I eat my favourite food and take a walk. This are things that calm me and I guess it counts as self care right? I think I’d try out some of your ideas too. 

Nice!

    Julie Anne Byrne · September 18, 2019 at 9:35 am

    Hi thanks for leaving a comment, the list is endless to be fair as each individual is different so what might work for you might not work for me 😉 

    I think it is so important to embrace this concept at least once in our daily lives, happy person = happy life. 

Charles · September 17, 2019 at 9:40 pm

Thank you so much for this nice and amazing post, I have worked out some self care plans in time past but people easily misinterpreted it for me being egoistic and selfish. 

I think having great principles is key and meditation is also important in developing a self care. I really look forward to your next post. 

    Julie Anne Byrne · September 18, 2019 at 9:39 am

    Hi Charles, I am glad you enjoyed reading my post.  I guess the trick here is to try and ignore those who do not agree with principles especially when it comes to your own self-care.  

    Everyone is different and that’s ok.  Don’t worry about what people think of you, it is really none of your business as it merely reflects who they are as a person.  

    Mediating even a little during the day brings it’s own rewards…

Andy Zeus Anderson · September 17, 2019 at 9:40 pm

Sadly I didn’t heed my own advice in the strong mind and strong body portions of my 4 secrets of success. 

I was CEO of a small search engine social media network hybrid and pulling 100 plus hour weeks for too many years when suddenly I just snapped and walked away from all of that. 

I developed bipolar and social anxiety, and my physical health also suffered immensely. 

I now am disabled and work entirely from home and know that be it a couple of days at a time or even a couple of minutes a day make a world of difference in terms of caring for your own well being.

    Julie Anne Byrne · September 19, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    Hi Andy, I’m very sorry to hear of your ailments, it’s never too late to turn the clock and strengthen your mental health. 

    I wish you well on your journey to recovery, all the best, Julie Anne 

Shelley · September 17, 2019 at 9:40 pm

Balancing the spiritual and the physical when it comes to self care is the only real alternative we have. 

Getting to recognise our body needs and feeding it with them is a great way to take care of our body. 

The various ideas suggested here are great and I do some of them most times I need to treat my body. I love music a lot and whether it is by dancing or listening to the songs. I just must get myself engaged in flowing with songs whenever I am taking care of my body.

    Julie Anne Byrne · September 19, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    I agree Shelley it’s very important for our own sanity to have a balanced approach to life. 

    Listening to your body which is a fantastic machine is tantamount to creating a healthy body and healthy mind.

    I hope you enjoy trying out some new ideas listed above.  All the best, Julie Anne 

Steve · September 17, 2019 at 9:45 pm

Hey! Thanks for writing this post. I feel that self-care is something that so many people desperately need to start doing, but this busy world makes us think we don’t have time for it. Little does anyone realize, without self-care, we can’t be as effective in any activity we take on. 

For me, self care involves several things depending on my mood. Sometimes, I love listening to calming music or reading a good book. Other times it’s just watching a show. Most importantly, for me, reading the Bible and praying is essential to my emotional and spiritual well-being. 

Thanks again for the post!

    Julie Anne Byrne · September 19, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Hi Steve, lets spread the word and encourage those around us to practice more self-care, now wouldn’t that be wonderful!

    It’s great to hear you embrace the idea of minding your emotional and spiritual well-being.  Thanks for the positive feedback. 

    All the best, Julie Anne 

Stella · September 17, 2019 at 9:49 pm

The only favour we can ever do to ourselves is to care for ourselves. Self care means self love. 

I have learnt how to realise that nobody can care for me than myself. This is why I can never underestimate anything that can hinder my happiness that can deny me of caring for myself. 

There’s no lies in everything you’ve mentioned about self-care. I love all these plans and I won’t hesitate to include some of them into my ways of life 

    Julie Anne Byrne · September 19, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Stella, glad you liked these ideas and will use some in the future. 

    Yes you are right, you must love yourself before you can love anyone else! 

    All the best, Julie Anne 

C · September 17, 2019 at 9:49 pm

What a great article! I totally agree that practicing self-care can change your life. Having a self care plan can help you be healthier and happier, which leads to lots of good things and your external life as well. 

I like that quote in that self-care is how you take your power back. 

There was one program that said, nurture yourself, and then give from your overflow, as opposed to constantly giving giving giving while you are actually having an empty tank. 

Thanks for encouraging people to do self care.

    Julie Anne Byrne · September 19, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    Hi I’m delighted you liked my article. Self-care is so very important in all aspects of our life, in my opinion without it we really cannot function.  

    There definitely has to be give and take, ebb and flow, I believe the more you practice self-care the more others will to. 

    All the best, Julie Anne 

C · September 17, 2019 at 10:03 pm

All of this self-care stuff is so nice! It’s a great contrast when compared to all these articles I read about work harder and push push push. Sometimes I need a reminder to practice self-care instead of just being workaholic. I’m glad you put this message out there because it is greatly needed to balance out all of the pushing and straining and working harder. 

My main practices for self-care are my workouts, dream journaling and lucid dreaming, going for a walk, and building my online business. I also like watching funny clips on YouTube. For example at one point I watched tons of clips of The Office and I really want to go back and watch this one where they do a leg curl competition and they have Dwight Schrute and it’s really funny.

    Julie Anne Byrne · September 19, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks balance is so important in this fast paced world we live in.  

    Do what makes you happy and forget about the begrudgers 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *