Article: Make Self-Care a Priority
Updated: Jul 26, 2021
“There is power in the pause. It is in this place of self-reflection and inquiry that you wake up to what’s important.” – Terrie Elizabeth Reeves
Click here to listen to our 2 Scoops of Inspiration Podcast titled, Make Self-Care a Priority – the quality of your life depends on it.
Don’t wait until New Years to do self-reflection. Start now! Pause, and think about the things in life that make you feel physically healthy, mentally happy, emotionally whole, and socially connected. Then consider how self-care fits into the equation and what you can do in each area so your life is better balanced.
Self-care is something you may think about, but are you actually carving time out to do it? Integrating healthy sustainable habits into your day is easier said than done, and often it is your own self-care that lands at the bottom of your to-do list. Question: do you find yourself with a well-intended self-care plan that gets upstaged by life? If so, you are not alone.
Research indicates 1 out of 3 Americans feel bad about taking time for themselves, and a whopping 67% say they desperately need more self-care.
All the more reason you shouldn’t wait for vacations to practice self-care or worse a serious conversation about your health with your doctor. You may be saying to yourself, is it time for me to start taking better care of myself. But, how can you put this desire into action and better yet, make it sustainable? Creating a self-care plan for yourself and integrating it into your lifestyle should be realistic, self-guided, and fun. If not, there is less than a 20% chance that you will adopt it.
So, how can you create a plan that is self-focused and sustainable? These are loaded questions that could take hours of coaching to unpack, but I will provide some insight on the subject. All change starts with desire and awareness. However, there are varying degrees to both. Pause and consider answering the below questions, because developing healthy self-care habits requires self-awareness. Record your answers so that you can reflect on how you responded. Need some motivation, consider hiring a coach or doing this self-reflection exercise with a friend. It is nice to have the support and an accountability buddy.
Everyone has their own thoughts about self-care, but be sure not to limit your thinking when answering this question. Consider activities that you may not love while you are doing them, but you feel better after having done them. i.e. paying your bills, cleaning your office, organizing your closet, going to the doctor. Not necessarily fun activities but important, and they probably leave you feeling inspired and accomplished. However, balance these types of activities with activities that are fun, and help you feel peaceful, happy, healthy and energized. i.e. exercise, getting a massage, taking a long nap, basically any activity that allows you to focus on your own self-care and well-being.
Below is a list of questions that will invite you to do a deeper dive into the subject of self-care.
What does self-care mean to you?
Why is self-care important?
What do you do to practice self-care?
What barriers keep you from practicing self-care?
What areas of your life feel in balance? i.e. social, work, relationships, exercise, rest
What areas of your life feel out of balance? i.e. social, work, relationships, exercise, rest
What do you do that makes you feel happy?
What do you do that makes you feel healthy?
What do you do that energizes you?
What would you like to do more of to practice self-care?
What activities do you do that make you feel better once they are over?
What is holding you back or making practicing self-care hard for you?
What tools, support and/or accountability would help you stick to a self-care plan?
What is one thing you can commit to doing each day that will help you feel physically healthy, mentally happy, emotionally whole, and socially connected?
You may have asked yourself these questions before, or maybe this is the first time. Regardless, these are important questions to process during the first phase of change, because awareness is at the foundation of change.
It is important not to judge your answers. The intention is to increase your awareness so you can create a self-care plan that reflects your individual needs. Awareness also helps you make more informed decisions.
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