We hear a lot about the importance of good self-care as an aid for mitigating stress and enhancing well-being. While we may yearn to improve our self-care, realistically we know that just as it's hard to give up a habit, it's also hard to develop new ones.
Smart Self Care requires consistent, intentional practice to become habitual and it's totally worth it!
Take a look at these six Life Dimensions enriched through the Smart Self-Care practices suggested below.
Have nourishing, intimate relationships with family and/or friends. Enjoy comfortable and stimulating interaction with others on a regular basis. Have at least one person with whom I can share almost anything and a network from which I can access feedback, help, and support. Am able to accept feedback from others and stick up for myself when it's necessary and appropriate.
The ability to personally feel and express a wide range of emotions and respond appropriately to the feelings of others. Make it a choice to be optimistic. Work on developing and maintaining confidence. Seek positive outcomes. Bouts of feeling blue or depressed seldom occur.
Along with a healthy, well-balanced diet, engage in vigorous exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, three time a week or more. Maintain the ideal weight for my height and build. Do not smoke, Limit alcohol consumption to seven drinks or less per week. Enjoy adequate and restful sleep most nights.
Keep my Life Purpose, Principles, and Priorities clearly in mind as a guide for goal setting and decision making. Offer my time and possessions in service to others. Set aside 15-20 minutes daily for meditation, mindfulness practice or prayer. Am able to forgive myself and others.
Face up to problems and effectively cope with change. Do not worry about things I cannot change. Laugh often and frequently. Fit "play" and "fun" into my schedule. Maintain a realistic and positive self-image. Accept my limitations or inadequacies without embarrassment or apology.
Ensure my work is congruent with my Essence (Heart/Soul) and provides a means for expressing my vocational priorities. Be in a healthy work environment (Physical, emotional, spiritual). Feel good about and celebrate my accomplishments. Maintain a workload that allows form time and energy in my other important life dimensions.
I invite you to go through the Smart Self-Care suggestions in each Life Dimension. Perhaps you're already practicing each of the ideas or something similar. If not, are there any that you'd like to add as a consistent habit in your life?
A personal note: I started a daily 15-minute Yoga practice on July 1, 2017. Along with other stretches and poses, I can now do a forward bend with my hands on the floor (fingertips reached my ankles at first). The difference in my flexibility and general well-being feels great! My self-care change in 2018 was weight loss. I downloaded the Lose It! free app and using the BMI guide for an ideal weight goal I have 5 more to go. I'm not looking for "kudos" here just sharing what's possible at any age and stage of life. You can change personal habits too!
Take excellent care of yourself,