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6 Self-Care Ideas to Create a Self-Care Plan That Works For a Healthier and Happier You

Updated: Apr 29


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Introduction

I have been overworked and underpaid and stretched myself to the limits for it. If it had not been for my knowledge and practice of self-care I could have easily burned myself out. Now I am thriving! The threat in modern society is real.


There are different self-care types we all need to incorporate into our lives to nurture our holistic well-being. According to Sutton, J. P.h.D. (2020), the Olga Phoenix Project based on the work of Karen Saakvitne and Laurie Pearlman described the different types of self-care as:

Mental Self-Care. This refers to exercising your mental functions and you can exercise these through learning, gaming, and addressing negative thought patterns.

Emotional Self-Care. How you identify and manage your emotions will have a major impact on how resilient you can be in the face of adversity. Enhance your emotional resilience through exercise, talking to someone, or journalling.

Spiritual Self-Care. Spirituality doesn’t have to include or exclude religious practices. You can embrace spirituality by connecting with what you believe through meditation, self-reflection, and connecting with nature or the universe.

Personal Self-Care. This is all about personal development and embracing your journey to what is important to you. It will be personal to you and your goals and can be discovered through reflecting on yourself.

Professional Self-Care. Professional self-care references our ability to set boundaries in our careers. It involves maintaining a work-life balance and can require skills such as assertiveness to reinforce boundaries.

Physical Self-Care. Caring for ourselves physically involves paying attention to what we consume, how much we exercise, and how well we sleep among many other factors. It is about maintaining our optimal health.


All of these self-care types overlap. For example, when we care for ourselves physically we are also nurturing our emotional and mental health. Likewise, when we are able to manage our emotions that impacts our physical and mental health. When you focus on balancing how you care for your needs between these categories you can become unstoppable. You can achieve your unlimited potential. You can be who you want to become.


Self-care is vital to enhance your holistic strength. You deserve it. Here are six ideas to take into consideration when you are creating your self-care plan.


Focus on What You Enjoy

It is important when you are considering how to take care of yourself that you focus on activities that enrich you and that you enjoy. Otherwise, when it comes to performing said activities you may become demotivated and bored while undertaking them. The focus in all of this is you. It is about what will alleviate your stress. It is about what you will enjoy. It is all about improving your quality of life.


Sometimes, we can all find ourselves uninspired as to what will make us happy. What will bring you joy? What will reduce your stress levels? I find that keeping a journal is an amazing way to overcome such obstacles. Keep track of what you are doing, how it makes you feel, and what it makes you think about it. Monitoring your own behaviours in this way is quite revealing. It can reveal what causes you stress. It can reveal what makes you smile and laugh. It can be the foundation for your self-care plan.

 

Also note, how other people react to you. Sometimes, we can all lack self-awareness. It is not a constant and our emotions and moods can impact our ability to be self-aware. Noting how others are reacting to you can be a fantastic indicator of how you are behaving. Are they avoiding you in some instances? Are they laughing at your jokes? Are they drawn to you today?

 

In addition, journalling can highlight areas where you have a self-care deficit. This is dynamic and will change depending on the week, day, and moment to moment. Monitoring where we feel we are thriving and enjoying ourselves, can also highlight areas of self-care we may need to prioritise. It is a holistic practice to improve our overall health, well-being, and happiness.

 

Focus on Areas Where You Have a Self-Care Deficit

As mentioned above, a journal can highlight where you think you are thriving. For example, you may be out, out a lot, and enjoying a thriving social scene. However, often when we are thriving in one area, it is to the detriment of other areas we may need to pay attention to. In this example, if we are out a lot, maybe we are having too many late nights and not getting sufficient, quality sleep. This can impact our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It is about finding a balance that works for you.

 

Experiment With New Activities

We all have a comfort zone where we get into a routine and develop habitual behaviours. When considering your self-care plan, try to expand on your existing portfolio of activities. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is an amazing way to build confidence and find new activities that tap into your joy and alleviate your stress. It could be something you have never tried before. It could also be something you have tried and discounted in the past because it didn’t suit you at that time. We are all evolving into different versions of ourselves with every moment that passes. Have you ever tried a food and disliked it, only to discover later in life you now enjoy it? It can be the same for activities. Be mindful that you are evolving into a better version of yourself every day. Simply reminding yourself of this can be an emotional elevator in itself.

 

Find Inspiration From Those With Similar Interests

When you become stuck for things to incorporate into your self-care plan, and we all likely will at some point, seek inspiration from those you admire or share similar interests with. While I advocate this in times of low inspiration I also advise you to exercise caution here. We are all different and will all enjoy different things or different variations. It is important to remember this is about you and what you enjoy. If something someone else enjoys doesn’t fit with your skillset or joy, that is fine. It can however be a good place to seek inspiration for activities to experiment with.

 

Practice Self-Compassion 

As mentioned above, we are all different. It can be all too easy to become demotivated or hard on ourselves if we don’t extract that same level of joy from an activity as we think we should. With this in mind, it is imperative to be realistic about our expectations of what we can and want to accomplish at any time. If you find yourself beating yourself up because you don’t enjoy the same things as your partner or friend, don’t. Practice some self-compassion and remind yourself you are wonderfully unique and individual just as you are. Likewise, if you don’t enjoy it initially, this doesn’t mean you never will. Some things take practice, like skills. We can all benefit from personal development. Just remember to monitor your expectations and be kind to yourself if things don’t work out as you want. Again, a good way to monitor your expectations and feelings can be journalling. Whether that is a written, oral, video, or some other type of journal will be down to the wonderfully unique individual that you are.

 

Be Flexible 

I have indicated repeatedly above that we are all different, evolving, and will require different activities at different times depending on our circumstances, our deficits, and our moods. This is why I recommend keeping a self-care portfolio of varied activities that are accessible to you and that you enjoy. When you have such a collection to draw from you can change it up depending on your needs, desires, and circumstances at any given time. Not to mention that experimenting with joy is a fun activity in itself.

 

Conclusion

So, in conclusion, experiment with your joy. Have fun with it! Take time to improve your quality of life for you. I wish you every success in your endeavours.

 

If anyone, requires any support with setting up a self-care plan to promote joy and inner peace in their life, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I can support you with developing your emotional intelligence skills for improved personal and professional relationships and enhancing your emotional self-care. I can support you with incorporating mindful activities into your self-care plan for heightened self-awareness and stress relief. All the programmes that I offer are tailored to the wonderfully unique individual that you are. No two programmes will be the same. I focus on the holistic health of you and what you want to achieve. Book a free Mindset Meeting with me to discuss how I can support you by sending a DM or visiting my website here chloemephambsc.com. I want to support you to be who you want to become!

 

References

Scott, E. P.h.D (February 13, 2023) 5 Self-Care Practices for Every Area of Your Life Very Well Mind 5 Self-Care Practices for Every Area of Your Life (verywellmind.com)

Sutton, J. P.h.D. (August 13, 2020) The Self-Care Wheel: Wellness Worksheets, Activities and PDF Positive Psychology The Self-Care Wheel: Wellness Worksheets, Activities & PDF (positivepsychology.com)

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