Developing a Self-Care Plan

Self-care is a mix of practices that promote mind-body wellness. Life is not always smooth. When we feel emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted, it can be more challenging to make self-honoring decisions, function at work or home, and leave us feeling worse. A self-care plan reflects your specific needs. Whether it be when you are feeling emotionally and physically well or when you have identified that you need to take time for yourself – it acts as a guide to assist us in noticing what we need in a given moment.

It’s not a size fits all, and what works for you to calm down, destress, or find comfort may not work for a friend or loved one in your life. It’s important to remember that self-care plans are unique to each individual and designed to be the best activities and routines to boost your overall wellness.

It can be helpful to spend time brainstorming activities that are beneficial to include in day-to-day routines and what activities help you recharge. Identify what you are already doing that promotes your wellness. Notice when you feel your best and examine what patterns or activities you incorporated during that time. For example, if you know that exercise boosts your mood, you may prioritize physical activity five days a week. Next, notice areas of your life that may need reinforcement. Examine where you may need to set aside more time to meet your needs and add value to day-to-day life. You may identify that when you feel drained, a hobby or increasing time with others boosts your mental & emotional health. A self-care routine can always include activities that may be less frequent but represent extensions of self-love and boost overall happiness.

The following are areas (with some examples) of life that may benefit from exploring or reinforcing self-care rituals:

  • Physical
    • Exercise
    • Walking
    • Stretching
    • Nutrition
    • Sleep
  • Emotional & Mental
    • Coping Skills
    • Compassion & Kindness
    • Mindfulness
    • Therapy
    • Journaling
  • Social/Interpersonal
    • Boundaries
    • Support System
  • Spiritual
    • Prayer
    • Meditation
    • Time Alone
  • Work
    • Time Management
    • Work Boundaries
    • Breaks
  • Personal
    • Creativity
    • Hobbies
    • Life Goals
    • Money Management

Developing a self-care plan helps us maintain wellness and identify what to do when we need more support. Self-care routines remind us to nurture ourselves and encourage self-love practices not just from time to time but every day. 

Written by: Chardyce Kott, LSW