Self-Care 101 Part 1

As I mentioned in my last post, Self-Care is an essential part of living a bright and shining life. It isn’t overindulgent.  It isn’t selfish.  It isn’t a waste of time. It’s absolutely necessary, and in some cases, the difference between a long, healthy, vibrate life and one that’s cut short due to dis~ease or illness.  I’ve seen many different statistics on the number of doctors visits and illnesses that are related to stress and all of them are between 70 and 90%. That’s a huge and concerning number, but the empowering and exciting part is that we can make daily choices to help prevent the havoc stress plays on our bodies, hearts, minds, and souls.

The following is a slightly modified tool from the American Counselor’s Association’s website. I think it’s an incredibly useful in helping reflect on current level of self-care, as well as providing a great list of ideas for effective strategies to begin or maintain self-care.

Using the scale below, rate the following areas in terms of frequency:

5=Frequently; 4=Occassionally; 3=Rarely; 2=Never; 1=It never occurred to me

Physical Self-Care:

Eat Regularly (e.g. breakfast, lunch, and dinner)

Get regular medical care for prevention

Take time off when needed

Get massages, manicures, pedicures, facials etc.

Dance, swim, walk, run, do yoga, play sports, sing, or do some other physical activity that is fun

Get enough sleep

Take vacations and day trips/mini-vacations

Psychological Self-Care:

Make time for self-reflection

Write in a journal

Read literature unrelated to work

Let others know different aspects of you

Notice your inner experience–listen to your thoughts, judgments, beliefs, attitudes, feelings

Practice receiving from others

Say “no” to extra responsibilities sometimes

Emotional Self-Care

Spend time with others whose company you enjoy

Stay in contact with important people in your life

Use positive affirmations

Be loving & compassionate to yourself

Allow yourself to cry

Find things that make you laugh

Express your emotions in healthy ways

Spiritual Self-Care:

Be open to inspiration

Find a spiritual connection or community

Be aware of nonmaterial aspects of life

Meditate

Pray

Have experiences of awe

Contribute to causes in which you believe

Read inspirational literature (talks, music etc.)

Workplace or Professional Self-Care:

Take a break during the workday (e.g. lunch)

Take time to chat with co-workers

Make quiet time to complete tasks

Identify projects or tasks that are exciting and rewarding

Set reasonable limits

Arrange your work space so it is comfortable and comforting

Have a peer support group

Balance:

Strive for balance within your work-life and workday

Strive for balance among work, family, relationships, play and rest

Did this reflection present any new ideas you hadn’t thought of before? Any surprises?  How can you practice a self-care this week? You are worth it.

Breathe Deeply & Shine Brightly,

Leslie ~Sparkling Yogini

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