For many of us, this time of the year our own self-care is pushed to the back burner. For others, self-care is always on the back burner. Self-care is defined as “any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental, and emotional health”. Often times we are busy taking care of others (children, elderly family members, spouses, or friends) and our own self-care does not receive the attention that it needs. Without adequate self-care, it makes it difficult to be the best possible version of ourselves. Our relationships, work, and life experiences may suffer. It is important to periodically check in and ask yourself, “What do I need most in life right now?”
5 strategies to commit to self-care
Take 5-10 minutes to reflect on, and write down a response to this question: Who do you want to be/ what do I need in life right now?
You may find that you have a few different answers to this question. Prioritize your answers-determine which things need to be met first. When self-care is neglected, often times this could be because we are either not prioritizing ourselves or making the time for ourselves. It is important to do both.
Ask yourself, “What is the single most important thing I can do to take care of myself that will have the greatest impact?”
- Drink less alcohol
- Eat more vegetables
- Walk and be more active
- Get better sleep
- Watch less TV
- Be less tied to the cell phone/social media
- Connect more with family and friends
- Be more mindful
- Take a moment every day to reflect on feelings
From these needs, choose a single self-care goal.
Start with one goal and commit to this goal for 30 days before moving on to the next. To ensure this happens, schedule time in your day to do something to help you reach this goal. Often times, the excuse “I’m too busy” gets in the way of our self-care. Scheduling in time for yourself can help ensure you are taken care of.
Enlist support and set boundaries.
Set boundaries and learning to say no to commitments and requests interfere with your own self-care. This can be challenging at times, be sure to spend time with people whose goals/values are aligned with yours.
This could be having a journal where you write down the steps you take toward your goal or just checking in with a friend about your goals. Accountability can increase your chances for success.
Remember, self-care is essential to your physical and mental health.
Diabetes Educator Newsletter – “5 strategies to commit to self-care” by Shelli Johnson