Recovery Starts Here

Self-Care Plan

Self-care should be a priority on our daily to-do list. For most of us, it is an afterthought. By this time of year, most new year’s resolutions are long forgotten. Self-care planning is an ongoing process helping us look at what we are doing well, what we need to improve, and creating small changes and achievable goals. By taking time to care for ourselves, we become more productive, resilient to life’s stresses, and are better equipped to take care of others. That is why the flight attendant tells us to put our oxygen mask on first, after all.

Most self-care plans include the following areas:

Physical: Take care of your body, but don’t obsess over it.  Eat healthy foods. Get plenty of rest. Go for regular check-ups. Play a sport you enjoy just for fun. Make time for regular exercise (going for a walk with a friend or your dog).

Psychological/Emotional/Intellectual: Have a healthy relationship with yourself. Decrease stress. Write in a journal. Be curious. Try new things. It’s OK to say no sometimes. Create and use a safety plan to express emotions in a healthy way. Seek professional help when needed. Find things that make you laugh. Identify and engage in comforting activities.

Spiritual/Political: A spiritual path helps overcome life’s obstacles. Identify what is meaningful to you. Make time for reflection and be open to inspiration. Meditate. Pray. Sing. Have an experience of awe. Contribute to causes you believe in. Read inspirational literature. 

Professional: Find out what you really love to do. What would you do if you had no limitations/ Create a comfortable, comforting and quiet workspace. Balance your day and take breaks. Get regular supervision or consultation. Negotiate your needs. Have a peer support group.

Social: A positive social life nurtures healthy relationships and ends hopeless or negative ones. Spend time with people you enjoy. Stay in contact with important people in your life. Balance work and play.

Financial: Taking care of responsibilities creates self-esteem and competence. Identify expenses and income, and create a budget with an emergency fund. 

Follow this link to create a self-care plan by reviewing current practices and identifying practices to try. 

Be sure to make concrete commitments. Here are examples:

  • I will improve my sleep by turning off TV/electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime.
  • I will dedicate at least one night a week to make plans with family and friends
  • I will create and use a safety plan to help manage my emotions.
  • I will read inspirational literature/meditate at least X times a week.

Self-care plans are a vital part of the Sanctuary model of trauma-informed care at Counseling & Recovery Services. Staff and clients create these plans to encourage positive changes in health and behaviors.