What is self-care?
Self-care is taking active steps every day to protect, nurture and care for yourself. Doing something every day that brings you joy, even if it’s just a spark. It’s eating
healthy foods and exercising. It’s talking back to that annoyingly negative voice
that tries to insinuate itself into your thoughts. Self-care looks different for
everyone. For some people, its a massage. Others get involved in a hobby. I’m going to focus on Emotional and Psychological Self-Care Plan, but self-care also involves the following:
Physical, Relationships, Spiritual and Workplace.

Self-care needs to happen every day. Yes, you’ve really gotta do it every day.
Because it keeps you bouyed above rough seas. It will help get you through
when the nasty ass depression comes to call.

So how do you figure out the best way to take care yourself?
Positive  Coping                        Negative Coping Strategies
Deep Breathing                         Yelling
Stretching                                   Acting aggressively
Meditation                                 Overeating
Listening to music                   Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
Exercising                                  Smoking
Reading                                      Pacing
Go for a walk                             Biting your fingernails
Take a bath                                Taking drugs
Socializing with friends          Skipping meals
Sitting outside and relaxing  Withdrawing from family/friends
Engaging in a hobby                Dangerous driving
Which habits do you engage in? Do you need to add more positive ways to take care of yourself?

Self-Care Activities
Write in a journal
Volunteer for a cause meaningful to you
Make a gratitude list
Take a fresh air break
Meditate or listen to guided visualization
Snuggle with pets
Treat yourself to a nice meal
Take a nap
Listen to music
Practice yoga
Lay in the grass
Go for a nature walk
Read a good book
Write a blog
Try a new hobby
Get a massage
Have a movie marathon
Play a game
Browse your local music store or book store
Join a support group
Have a game night with friends
Work in the garden
Get creative: draw, paint, write a song

Self-Care Assessment
To further guide you in planning for your Self-Care Plan (www.mentallyinteresting.com/self-care-plan), answer the following questions using the Self-Care Plan Activities (or your own activities).
What helps me relax?
What do I like to do when I’m in a good mood?
What can I do that will help me throughout the day? (Examples: avoid too much
caffeine, remember to breathe, stay present, watch my
Who can I contact (text,phone, email, etc) that makes me feel better and provides
support and direction?
Refer to the Affirmations below and choose three that really speak
to you. (The affirmation doesn’t have to be true right now).
Self-Care Affirmations
I am enough.
I am patient, tolerant and diplomatic.
I experience love wherever I go. Loving people fill my life, and I find myself
easily expressing love to others.
All is well in my world.
Today I listen to my feelings, and I am gentle with myself. I know that all my
feelings are my friends.
Today I create a wonderful new day and a wonderful new future.
My day begins and ends with gratitude and joy.
I look within to find my treasures.
My life is joyously balanced with work and play.
My body takes me everywhere easily and effortlessly.
As I forgive myself, it becomes easier to forgive others.
Every decision I make is the right one for me.
My self-esteem is high because I honor who I am.
I draw love and acceptance into my life, and I accept it now.

Positive Self-Talk
One thing that sabotages our peace and joy is negative self-talk. In many cases, it is has become so ingrained that we don’t even recognize  the negativity.
Choose three things that you currently say to yourself and make them into
positive statements. Some examples:
I’m not good at my job. Change to: I am very proficient at my job and my boss appreciates the work that I do.
People don’t like me. Change to: I am liked and admired by many people.
I will never be free from my negative past. Change to: Every day I gain new perspective on my past and learn how to free myself.
Now come up with three negative things you find yourself repeating in your head
Turn these statements around to reflect positive self-talk.

What to Avoid
Part of self-care is avoiding potential pitfalls and people that bring us down.
Who are three people you need to avoid when you’re feeling down?
There are also some habits you should try to avoid when you’re
feeling blue:
Staying in the house all day
Staying in bed all day
Listening to sad music/watching sad tv
Drinking too much alcohol
Self-Care Kit
A Self-Care Kit is made up of items that bring you joy and lift your spirits. I
suggest keeping the following in your kit (you can use a shoe box or other small
container to hold your items):
A scent that you really enjoy
A soft piece of fabric
Affirmations written on 3X5 cards
This worksheet
Pictures of your favorite people/places
Journal and pen
Craft supplies (some paper and colored pencils)
Music that lifts your spirits

Now it’s time to put it all together!
My Self-Care Kit
List three positive affirmations to repeat throughout the day.
List five positive self-care actions you can take today. (Use the answer to
“What Helps Me Relax”? and Self-Care Activities
List three negative thoughts and your positive responses.
List three people and three things to avoid today.

Positive Quotes
Learn from yesterday, dream about tomorrow and live in the moment.
Feelings are neither dangerous or permanent.
I’m learning to love myself. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
It is not what you are that holds you back. It is what you think you are not.
So many people think you’re awesome and special and worthwhile. Why
would you listen to the one person who thinks you’re not.
What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what
lies inside you.
To see your drama clearly is be to liberated from it.
When one door closes, another one always opens.
Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to
the object, and you shall find a way around or through it.
Notice that your internal critic is making you a victim and commit yourself to
replacing it with a loving voice.
Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.

Now you should have your own Self-Care plan ready to put into action.  Remember to use it every day.  You are enough.

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11 Comments on Self-Care

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