The Importance of Self-Care
We are taught to work hard, take ownership and care for everybody else. Do you feel like everyone is demanding more of us every day? So many of us feel exhausted physically and emotionally due to the lack of self-care, as we feel responsible for other people.
In my book "Juggling Health & Wealth", one of the chapters is "Oxygen Mask". It's an important concept that we are reminded to put our own oxygen mask on before assisting others. That way, we can give to others from an overflow. Taking care of yourself is not selfish and self indulgent - it is actually a loving spiritual practice that opens doors to a life of joy and abundance that you deserve. And it's about self-preservation.
Creating A Self-Care Plan
Your Self-Care Plan is a blueprint to help you find your way back to balance by providing a clearly defined route back on track if you find yourself out of equilibrium.
Creating and following a plan helps you anchor your spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and social needs while reminding you of the self-care goals you wish to accomplish.
Below are the 3 steps to create a self-care plan:
1) Create an activity list around different parts of your life: I’ve found that the easiest way to start is by breaking up this daunting task into several categories, for example:
- Physical Fitness
- Emotional Life
- Relationships & Community
For each area above, write down the activities or strategies that you can call on, that are authentic to you and contribute to your wellbeing. Some examples include spending time with family & friends, eating healthily, being active, mindful practice, have fun, be creative, and most importantly, be real with yourself about what works for you and what doesn’t.
2) Note any barrier that may be in your way and how to shift them. As you write down each activity, ask yourself what barriers might get in the way of you being able to accomplish it. Then, try to strategize ways that you might be able to shift these barriers (FYI, this works even better when you do so with a friend, partner or community!). If you find that you can’t shift the barriers, feel free to adjust the activities. Your Self-Care Plan is NOT written in stone! It’s meant to be a living, breathing guide that adapts as your life circumstances and demands change.
3) Share your plan with your closest friends. Don’t forget to rely on your network of self-care buddies. Share a copy of your Self-Care Plan with them and ask them to hold you accountable. Encourage them to create their own Plan and share it with you so you can do the same for them.
When you allow yourself to be in the really lean into caring for yourself first, you are usually ready to finally extract yourself from the stresses of life. And by having a self-care plan in place for those moments when all seems lost, you can more easily find your way back to center.