How to Develop a Self-Care Plan
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
- Get a good night’s sleep – try to go to sleep around the same time every night and keep it consistent.
- Drink plenty of water during the day and keep yourself hydrated.
- Include lots of fruit and vegetables in your diet and avoid eating too much processed foods.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.