You need a self-care plan – here’s why (and how to create one)

25 March 2019 | beando_admin

How many responsibilities would you say you had on a daily basis? A lot, right? Many of us are often so busy making sure everybody else is ok, that we sometimes neglect our own needs. Life just gets in the way and before you know it, you’re skipping the things that make you feel calmer and less stressed. But if you want to lower your stress levels and approach each day with a clear head, you have to prioritise self-care.

‘Self-care’ is a funny term in 2019; so often advice says to ‘take a bath’ or ‘enjoy a glass of wine’ and while those things might make you feel better in the short term, the chances are the effects will soon fade. What you need is a longer-term self-care strategy.

Why You Need a Self-Care Plan

The beauty of devising a plan is you can refer to it every time you feel overwhelmed. Create a plan at a time when your stress levels are low and design one that suits you, nobody else. You’re the only person who really knows how stressed you get, so use your self-care plan as a preventative measure.

In moments of stress, having a self-care plan helps you to respond to the situation, rather than react to it. This premise is at the heart of modern meditation. By arming yourself with the right resources, you can learn to take control of a situation, rather than letting it consume you on the inside.

How to Create a Self-Care Plan

Organise your plan around the different categories in your life for example, work and relationships. Next, write down a couple of activities for each that will boost your wellbeing. This could be spending time with friends, not overloading your work calendar with meetings and practising modern meditation regularly. The key here is to be honest about what really works for you – if you pick something that looks good on paper, but just appeal to you in reality, your self-plan is likely to fail.

Break Down Barriers

As you write down each activity, ask yourself what barriers might get in the way of you being able to achieve it. For example, if you’re in the habit of being negative about yourself, when you catch yourself saying something, say something positive about yourself to counteract it. Or if you want to meet up with friends more regularly, but don’t think you have time, plan ahead and put a regular date in your diaries in advance. That way, you’ll less likely to cancel.

If you’re new to self-care, there will be moments when you forget about your plan and start to become distracted with stress. If this happens, know this: that’s totally normal. Simply refocus and recommit to your plan as soon as you can.

What does your self-care plan look like?

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Let the mental ‘spring clean’ begin!