Feel better with a self-care plan.

At this point, everyone has heard of self-care. So, the question is are you practicing self-care? Unfortunately, more often than not the answer I hear is no.

Self-care can be simple.

When you think of self-care, you may think of getting a massage or a mani/pedi with your girlfriends. Those are both great ways to take care of yourself. But, self-care is something you practice daily and it’s taking care of your mind, body and soul.

You may be thinking that you don’t have time for self-care. You are saying that you don’t have time for yourself. If that’s the case, then you are putting everyone else first.

When you put everyone else first, you will begin to feel resentful and may even experience burn out. This can hurt your relationships with your friends and family. You need to take time for yourself.

Here are 10 simple self-care tips:

  1. Utilization of relaxation techniques to decrease body tension and manage stress. Some examples are developing a Mindfulness practice and using deep breathing techniques.
  2. Surround yourself with positive people. Start by reviewing the social supports available to you. If necessary, work at developing an adequate and appropriate support system. Utilizing your social supports can offer relief, distraction and pleasure. Make a list of your supports.
  3. Start writing in a journal. Instead of keeping thoughts and feelings inside, where they can build up and cause confusion and emotional/physical distress. Get them down on paper. A journal is useful for venting thoughts and feelings, clarifying issues and problem solving. It can also be helpful in determining patterns, relationships, health and emotional functioning. Keeping a journal will help you monitor progress in life goals.
  4. Get adequate sleep and rest. (7 to 9 hours a night)
  5. Smile and have laughter in your life. Be spontaneous at times and playful.
  6. Feed your body, mind and spirit. Eat meals regularly and nutritionally. Practice good hygiene and grooming. Participate in life for personal, spiritual and professional growth.
  7. Approach each day with a purpose. Be productive by outlining daily structure. No task is too small to feel good about. Each step can be important to reach goals that you can develop.
  8. Avoid being self-critical. Be kind to yourself. Use positive self-talk to reassure yourself, and to cope effectively. Allow yourself to see that there are always choices.
  9. Be sure to build time into your schedule for relationships and pleasurable activities.
  10. Life is about choices. Take responsibility for your own life. Understand yourself, your behaviors, your thoughts/beliefs, and your motivation.

Life can be stressful. You can’t go back and you can’t really predict the future. It’s important to stay in the present and show up for yourself.

If you liked this article, there are more in Taking Care Of Yourself. It is filled with helpful tips. Once you start using them, you will begin to feel better about yourself.

Lianne Avila is a Marriage & Family Therapist helping people in San Mateo, CA who are looking to create a life that is happier and more fulfilling. Please subscribe to Lianne’s newsletter on www.LessonsforLove.com to learn more about her services and expertise.

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