4 Tips for Making a Self-Care Plan That Sticks
A t our most recent Find Yourself workshop, one of the most popular sessions was our Self-Care Plan workshop. Self-care is a hot topic right now. But what does it really mean? For me, self-care is more than a juice cleanse and a monthly facial. We need to go deeper than that. Anxiety and stress are on the rise, so it’s extremely important, now more than ever, to keep your mental health in check. This means taking care of more than just your physical health. Creating a personalized self-care plan is a great place to start.
Why do we need self-care?
Did you know that for the average person, 70% of their waking moments are in fight or flight mode? That’s a lot of stress! Times are tough. In this new age of technology, we are constantly being bombarded with information that we never had even just 30 years ago. An amount of information that our bodies and mind were not designed to process at the rate we currently are. On top of that, we have expectations from employers, family members, and friends to be constantly connected. We have our own desire to be constantly connected. In other words, we are dealing with overload.
The most common reason that people give for not practicing self-care is time. What they don’t know is that self-care actually expands time. With a proper self-care routine you can actually improve your focus, productivity, creativity, connections and so on and actually do more with less. Besides that, we hear over and over that we can’t look after others if we don’t look after ourselves. You can’t pour from an empty cup so why don’t we start working on making sure there’s something in there.
While I love seeing my peers take steps towards bettering their lives through these self-care acts, I know that making big lifestyle changes is not easy for everyone (myself included). So here’s a few tips that helped me get started in my self-care journey.
Start by thinking about the areas of your life that you want to improve. Maybe you want to manage your stress and anxiety levels. Maybe you want to eat cleaner and increase your level of fitness, or maybe you want to switch out your hair and makeup products for something clean and environmentally friendly. From there, start thinking about things you can do, products you can buy, or services that you can look into to help you make the changes you want in your life.
Ex: I want to start eating healthier
Know that this is a process and doesn’t need to happen overnight. If you’re someone who is resistant to change, consider implementing things one at a time and take your time adding in the next step. I’m the kind of person who is never satisfied and is constantly looking for the next thing and to be moving forward in all areas of my life so my self-care plan includes a lot of goal setting and manifesting. I do this by journaling for a minimum of 15 minutes every weekend (either Saturday or Sunday) and meditating for at least ten minutes each week night.
Example: For the first week, I will add a healthy smoothie to my lunch. For the second week, I will start meal prepping three healthy meals every Sunday. For the third week, I will limit my fast-food eating to once a month.
With each self-care step you take, be realistic. If you’re the kind of person who’s idea of a fitness routine includes the walk from your car to the office, don’t tell yourself you’re going to start working out five times a week. If your diet largely consists of skip-the-dishes, weekly taco nights with the girls, and a bagel and cappuccino every morning for breakfast, it’s not realistic for you to start meal prepping each meal and going on a lengthy juice cleanse. Start small. Maybe you start by going to spin once a week. Maybe you switch out the morning bagel for some eggs and a granola bar. If you’ve never journaled before but want to give it a go, start with a couple times a week and work your way up.
Make a schedule ahead of time and stick to it. Give yourself a non-negotiable (a task that you will prioritize and do no matter what). I am a detail-oriented person and I carry a day planner with me at all times. I find it’s easier for me to stick to something when it’s already been built into my schedule. For example: I take a hot-yoga class Tuesday nights at 6 p.m. and weight train Thursday mornings at 9 a.m. On weeknights, I try to be in bed by 10 p.m. so that I can meditate for at least 10 minutes. Saturdays when I wake up, I journal for at least 15 minutes (this action is also written in my day planner). I write all these things down so that it becomes a priority for me and that I can continue to build the rest of my weekly schedule around them, making it a non-negotiable.
There you have it, folks! These are just the things that personally helped me with my self-care plan. If you have any other helpful tricks or ideas, let us know in the comment section.