As you enter college, you follow a degree plan. As an entrepreneur, you have a business plan. When you’re ill, there’s usually a plan to help you get better. What about a plan to help you not get sick; is there such a thing? Yes, it’s called a self care plan … but what does that mean and how do I apply it to my life?
I’ve started a new process. Each Sunday afternoon I take an hour or two to create my to-do list and care plan for the next two weeks. My to-do list helps me prioritize and remind me of the items that need to be completed for the week.
Your health is more than just physical. It includes your mental or emotional state of mind, your spiritual status and your social outlook. Each of these 4 components play an instrumental part of your approach to life, business, communication to others and more. I will be the first to admit that until recently I didn’t know much about what self-care meant or how to make it apart of my daily life. Let me share with you what I have learned.
A self-care plan can assist in your health, stress levels and your well being. When you are able to identify practices, you are helping to maintain a positive self-care plan long term. It’s all about taking the time to take care of you.
I have goals to focus on, achievements to make and deadlines to meet. In life/as an entrepreneur, I’ve learned that my success and my failures or forgetfulness are usually based on my health, my attitude, my mindset and what’s happening in my life. When I am sick, I have to take time off to recuperate. That recuperation time is due to my physical self-care; my plan to staying fit and healthy. I’ve revised some of the tasks that I do throughout the day to reflect my physical self-care and take care of myself better. What I’ve added are:
·Take a regular scheduled lunch break daily
·Step away from my desk every few hours
·Stretch my neck, back and legs every so often
·Drink more water and have a healthy snack
I can’t neglect my mental or emotional care because it is just as important to my self-care as my physical side. If I’m stressed, having a day of self doubt or simply not focused, those are signs that it is time to STEP AWAY!
A few things that have helped me are:
·Journaling daily or weekly – it’s good to get the thoughts out of the mind so they are not bottled up
·Find a non-work related hobby – for me it’s cooking and watching movies
·Having positive reinforcement and energy around – game night with my kids and family or a small party with close friends usually does it for me
I don’t push religion on anyone and I don’t judge whether people believe in God, Allah or whomever and whatever they want but I do believe that your spiritual self-care needs a reflection and looking at from time to time. For me, spiritual self care is the perspective of day to day life and beyond. It is the meaning of life and how you see it. My ideas of spiritual self-care may not work for all but:
·Pilgrimages or worship
·Read the Bible or Koran
When I’m not sick (physical self-care), burnt out or stressed (emotional self-care) or questioning my purpose (spiritual self-care), I have to get out and have some fun – that’s social self-care. As social media plays a large part of my daily life, I have to maintain healthy “real world” relationships with peers, colleagues and friends. I have to make sure that my social world is not always related to business and I accomplish this by:
·Attending friends and family functions
·Going to sporting events with my family
·Networking and attending conferences
·Having GNO and going on dates with my sons and husband
·Making a day of R&R for me – Rest & Relaxation; usually a massage, pedicure and lunch
As we all have different challenges and situations that we have to deal with in life, our approaches and perspectives will differ as well. That is okay. Create your own self-care plan and in doing so, ask yourself …
1. What do you enjoy doing alone?
2. What do you enjoy doing with others?
3. What may get in the way of you enjoying that activity?
4. How can you plan around that roadblock (#3) so that it is no longer a roadblock?
Even if you don’t get to do something off of your self-care plan each week, it’s a beginning and a beginning is a great start. There will be days when you fall off. Weeks when you don’t have time or don’t feel up to it. Do not fret or lose focus. Each day is a new opportunity and a brand new start. Start off slow. Schedule your self care into your day so that it becomes second nature and a habit … just don’t give up on yourself.