There will be some days in your lifetime when you will be overwhelmed with everything going on in your life, and you’ll be tempted to quit all your activities and let go of everything you have on your plate. This might mean a number of things like underperforming at work, neglecting your family, or just saying no to any and all social gatherings altogether. While most people would tell you to take a breather when that happens, what you have to do is to be proactive and anticipate that these things happen to any well-rounded individual and you need to be ready when that day comes. You don’t have to lose it and resolve to be a hermit. What you need is a self-care plan.
What is a self-care plan?
A self-care plan can help you enhance your health and wellbeing, manage your stress, and maintain professionalism as a worker.
Everyone has a different self-care plan, but all of these plans have one thing in common – it involves doing activities that you enjoy so that you can holistically develop your wellbeing. These are things you do so that you can improve yourself and be able to meet personal and professional commitments.
What I did.
To anticipate the time when I would need to break off from the pressures of work and other commitments, I decided to make a self-care box. Most people have a list of go-to activities that they find relaxing. Me, I made a box. This box would contain things or reminders of things that would help me relax and clear my head to get into that healthy mindset and be able to re-engage in daily activities.
The contents of the self-care box would be different for everyone. For me it contains the following:
- Art supplies – Copic markers, felt-tipped pens, a few sketch pads of various sizes, oil pastels, coloured pencils, pencils, compass, templates, rulers, coloured pens, an eraser, charcoal pencils, cartographer pens, and a set of origami paper (origami is a very fun activity, I promise! ).
- Old pictures – postcards and snips of old drawings and images for drawing inspiration.
- Movie DVDs – all of my favorite cartoons.
- Guitar picks – in varying materials and thickness.
- Books – mostly graphic novels.
What to do with your self-care box.
Every time I feel the need to decompress and take a break, I open the box and pick one activity. I usually default to mandala drawing.
You can start your self-care box, or more conveniently, make a list of all the activities or hobbies you enjoy doing. List down all the things you can do to clear your mind and bring back your sense of perspective. Here are some suggestions:
- Go for a walk.
- Go to church/ temple/ service/ mosque/ worship.
- Exercise. Do yoga or pilates.
- Have coffee with a friend (pick one you enjoy talking to – if, for anything else, you’ll enjoy the conversation).
- Get a massage/ back rub/ foot rub/ shoulder rub.
- Start/ go back to journaling your thoughts – keep them from buzzing inside your head by committing them to paper.
- Engage in a non-work related hobby – drawing, sketching, sports, gardening – generally things that you do with your hands and create with your mind.
- Meal prep – this may sound silly, but meal prep is a very relaxing activity – try it!
- Take your pet out for a walk or play with your pet.
As I said, self-care activities would be different for everyone. Take the time to sit down and reflect. Find the activities that you think will help you clear your thoughts and get into a more productive workspace. You’ll feel better and lighter for it. As always, remember to stay humble and hustle hard.
Written by Jaie O.- The Help