At the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness, we often talk about self-care. Self-care is the specific, intentional tactics we employ to ensure that we are taking care of our physical, emotional, social, and environmental health. One of the great things about self-care is that there are many ways to practice it. The activities that we incorporate into our self-care practices can be anything from running to listening to music to cooking. However, with there being such a wide range of ways to practice self-care, it can be challenging to find the self-care routine and practices that work for you.
If you are struggling to create and perfect your self-care plan, consider some of these tips:
- Assess your needs. It is important that we have self-care practices that address our physical, social, emotional, and environmental health. However, some of us may need to focus more on one are of health than another. Try to look objectively at your overall health to see if you need to spend more time on activities for one type of health over another. For example, if you find that you struggle with stress, you may want to prioritize self-care activities that will help you cope emotionally.
- Try new things. When it comes to having self-care activities lined up, it is important that you enjoy said activities so you are even more motivated to do them. While you might already have some things in mind that you know you like, be sure to try something new every once and a while so that you can add to your tool kit of self-care practices.
- Consider your schedule. Take note of how much time you have for self-care activities during each day of the week. Maybe your weekends have larger open periods of time than your weekdays. If this is the case, have a list of self-care activities that last 5 to 10 minutes to do during weekdays and have a list of activities that take a bit longer than you can utilize over the weekends. Be sure to customize your plan to your schedule so that you are able to practice self-care every day.
- Be prepared for your plan to grow and evolve with you. As human beings, we are all always learning and growing. Because of this, it is understandable that your current self-care plan may be different from what your self-care plan is a year from now- and that is okay! Take time to reassess what is and is not working and adjust your plan from there.
With these tips in mind, it is important to create the best self-care plan that will work best for you. Moreover, it is equally important that you begin utilizing these strategies as soon as possible so that you have tools in your toolkit before you get stressed, burnt out, or run down. For example, if you wait until finals week to start creating a self-care plan, it will be harder for that plan to feel effective and to find the time to begin employing these strategies. However, if you begin a few weeks before finals, you will have a set routine that feels more comfortable and natural to help prevent you from feeling entirely overwhelmed once finals do come around. All in all, be sure to do what you can to take care of yourself every day, even if it is just for a few moments. If you need any support, always feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.