It’s a brand new year! I know you’ve got your fancy new planners and set new goals, but have you thought of making a plan for self care?
A plan for self care?
If you haven’t, it’s okay, I’ll show you how. Consider this your ultimate guide to planning for self care in this new year.
Now I know that the word self care immediately conjures images of spa treatments, face masks and all. Don’t get me wrong, it can be all those things but it is so much more than that.
Have you thought about the people who make you feel so horrible about yourself?
Do you have a sinking feeling in your chest when you see certain posts on Instagram?
Do you even realise that you haven’t been eating properly?
Self care isn’t just something you slap like a good DIY face mask, It is so much more!
I made a free self care activity guide you can download now.
So what are the key areas of self care?
I don’t want to bore you because this is not a self care essay but I still think it’s important to know what self care really is. If you are going to make a solid plan to take better care of yourself, it’s important that you know exactly what it is.
Spiritual self care
Spirituality simply isn’t something we all care about. But if you do, this is for you.
I am a Christian and one of the ways I practise self care is by spending time with God in fellowship. In fact, recently, I started praying and journaling every morning. I would wake up at 5 am, meditate on the words in my Bible, read a devotional, sing, dance and journal my thoughts. OMG, I can’t even explain how freeing that is. I don’t think I could ever stop now.
There is so much more to you than the woman you see on the outside. I would love you to get in touch the spiritual side of you. You won’t regret it.
Physical self care
Now, this is the part a lot of us have accepted as self care. There is no doubt that physical self care is important.
What you do on the outside actually affects how you feel inside. So take this very seriously.
Are you eating well, getting enough sleep? Are you exercising? Drinking enough water?
The body we have is our home on this earth and paying attention to how we treat it is so important. This means a variety of things from eating the right food, to exercising and doing some DIY projects.
Emotional self care
Are you reacting to people in a healthy way? Do you have emotional intelligence? Have you ever paid attention to this?
I recently did an emotional self care assessment and recognised that I needed help.
So guess who is seeing a counsellor? Yes! I am finally seeing someone.
Moving to a different country at 27 and working with people who don’t look or act like me took its toll on my confidence. This is something people don’t discuss or are aware of. So my counselling session will hopefully help with confidence-boosting activities.
Have you assessed your emotional health? I’ll show you how to, later in this post.
Social self care
Family is so important. So are friends. Good friends.
If we are going to be our best selves, it’s important that we stay rounded. Throughout last year, I was so busy focusing on other areas of my life that I completely forgot to nurture the friendships I already had. To spend time with them. To give to them and receive from them.
No relationship can grow if we don’t take time out to nurture them.
Professional self care
For a lot of people, the main cause of stress is work and a lot of us struggle with finding a perfect work life balance. Let me ask you this, do you work overtime? Do you take your lunch break? Do you use all your sick days and do you take all your vacation?
Many of us forget to practice self care at work, especially in this age where the ‘work till you’re dead’ mentality is glorified.
Let’s all evaluate our self care at work and that is whether you work for yourself or ‘the man’.
If you want to delve deeper into types of self care, this is a blog post I recommend
I hope you feel like you know enough about self care? Let me show you how to create your own customised self care plan. After that we will go through some activities you can start incorporating into your plan.
How does that sound?
Let’s do this! I am so excited.
I even made a video on how to create your own personalised self care box
How do you write a self care plan?
Creating your own personal self care plan is more of a prevention rather than a cure. A lot of us wait till we feel symptoms of our lack of self care before doing anything about it. If you have read this far, it means you don’t want that to be you.
A good self care plan is not a one size fits all. For instance, I usually don’t know when I am stressed because I am wired to keep going until I reach the finish line. Someone like me would need to create a plan and set boundaries around my work life balance.
A plan helps you answer the all important question “What am I needing right now” or “What will I need a month from now?”
Let’s do this shall we?
- Whip out a piece of paper or create a self care notebook. Draw this
- Assess yourself based the self care categories I listed above. For instance I could ask myself these questions regarding my Physical self care:
- Am I exercising and eating the right food?
- Am I breaking out a lot lately?
- Am I sleeping well?
- Have I indulged in any hobbies lately?
- Am I wearing clothes that make me feel confident in my body
Carry on listing these types of questions and repeat for all five aspects of self care I listed earlier.
Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Social and Professional
- After listing all the questions, score yourself on each one from 1-5, 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. Let me show you an example based on the questions above:
|Physical self care questions||Score (1 is the lowest and 5 is the highest)|
|1.||Am I exercising and eating the right food?||5|
|2.||Am I breaking out a lot lately?||3|
|3.||Am I sleeping well?||1|
|4.||Have I indulged in any hobbies lately?||5|
|5.||Am I wearing clothes that make me feel confident in my body||2|
- Based on the number of questions you wrote, score yourself. I had only 5 questions which means my total should be 25, if you had 10 questions then your total would be 50.
In this case, my total is 16 out of 25. That result is not too poor but it shows me that I have some work to do.
Can you try it? What was your score? Let me know in the comments below.
With this guide, you can make a proper plan and decide more accurately which areas of self care need work.
Now that you have identified the areas you need self care, I’ll share a few self care activities that will help
50 self care ideas to inspire your plan
Spiritual self care activities
- Pray. And if you are a Christian, I highly recommend this video
- Spend time alone in nature or wherever you feel comfortable and journal your thoughts
- Use a self care app like headspace and calm to meditate (Affiliate?)
- Visualise. Close your eyes and picture the way you want things to be in a certain area of your life. Did you know that your brain does not know the difference between a thought and a real life action? Amazing!
- Go to church. I love going to church because I get to hear the word of God and learn more about being a Christian.
Physical self care activities
- Make time for hobbies and activities that light you up
- Do a DIY activity- I have loads on my website and Youtube channel
- Give yourself an at-home spa date
- Buy yourself a fancy new bottle to drink more water. The benefits are divine.
- Make your own skin care products. You get better quality less nasty ingredients
Emotional self care activities
- Say some positive affirmations, say them out loud. These mind cards are incredible.
- Get a journal and write how you are feeling everyday
- Take a solo walk in your environment, you might be surprised by what you find
- Create a gratitude journal
- Unplug from social media
Social self care activities
- Spend quality time with your partner or schedule date night
- Buy thank you cards and write a hand-written letter to your friends
- Send a random care package to your friends. Tell me who doesn’t like a good surprise?
- Ask your friends for their birthdays and put it on your calendar
- Send an anonymous gift to a co-worker/ someone you are not close to that cannot be traced back to you! The thrill is unmatched.
Professional self care
- Create a vision board of your professional future
- Take your lunch break
- Find professional networking opportunities
- Learn something new, or enrol in a new professional course or get free ones online. Get two months free unlimited classes here
- Put and encouraging word or quote where you can see it. Mine is “How do you eat an elephant- one bite at a time” This helps me when I feel overwhelmed with work
But Torera, you promised 50, I know, I know…. I compiled all 50 self care activities in a FREE guide so you can access it at any time.
Some self care quotes to drive it home
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare,”Audre Lorde
“Solitude is where I place my chaos to rest and awaken my inner peace.”Nikki Rowe
Self care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”Parker Palmer
Be you, love you. All ways, always.”Alexandra Elle
Always make decisions that prioritize your inner peace.”Izey Victoria Odiase
“Self care has become a new priority – the revelation that it’s perfectly permissible to listen to your body and do what it needs.”Frances Ryan
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”Anne Lamott
If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.Jack Kornfield
Self care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of youKatie Reed
If you don’t remember anything, I want you to remember that creating a plan for self care is not selfish, it is the only way you can give more to the people that need you.
- Assess yourself in all four areas of self care
- Ask important questions in every area. Am I eating right? Am I stressed about work?
- Score yourself and note which areas of self care need the most work.
- Use the activities list to develop your self care plan
And don’t beat yourself up if your plan fails. Just get up and try again.
Here is to becoming the best versions of ourselves in 2020.