Updated: Aug 29, 2019
A good self- care plan can change your life for the better. It can improve your mental health, your overall well-being, and reduce your stress levels.
Unfortunately, the term self-care can be a sensitive subject for those who view it as a self-centered, over indulgent activity. One question I typically get asked when encouraging clients to create a self-care plan is, “Won’t that make me selfish?” The answer I always give is a resounding, “no”.
Self-care is not an indulgence but rather a fundamental necessity for long-term wellbeing. By self-care I mean purposefully taking time for yourself. Actively doing something, just for you, that energizes and rejuvenates you mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Additionally, caring for yourself in a kind and compassionate manner, allows you to be on your "A-Game". Regardless what your primary role(s) in life are e.g., parent, biker, business owner, ball player, spouse, nana, employee, artist, et cetera, looking after yourself with kid gloves, so to speak, will not only enhance the quality of your own life, it will allow you to care for and interact with others, in a healthier and more productive way.
Added benefits of self-care include, though are not limited to:
Increased energy levels
Feeling good about your body
Feeling more positive about life as a whole
Think you're ready to create a self-care plan, but aren’t quite sure where to start? The first step is to assess your needs. If you’re an online quiz person, check out an interesting self-care assessment quiz from an Australian website www.reachout.com. I’ll post a direct link at the end of this article.
After better understanding what your specific self-care needs are, whether by completing the quiz above, or by taking a few moments to mindfully decide which areas of your life feel the most neglected, it’s time to develop your plan, and put it into action.
Pinterest has scores of interesting, and easy to copy self-care worksheets. Google Play Store has several self-care apps, or if you prefer, you can create one independently.
Help yourself follow through by placing your self-care plan in a high visibility location such as your vanity mirror or on the kitchen counter. Placing a daily reminder in your phone is another great way to keep your plan front and center.
Remember, the act of self-care is far from selfish, but rather central to living a life that’s fulfilling, productive and one that you can feel great about. You deserve to make yourself a priority. Your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health will all thank you for it.
Link to the Australian based self-care assessment quiz is here.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only and should never be used to diagnose or treat any health condition.
Misti Luke is a licensed behavioral healthcare provider. She maintains a small private counseling practice in beautiful Broken Bow, Oklahoma. For correspondence, firstname.lastname@example.org