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Artwork © 2015 Jocelyn Patrick

Developing a Self-care Plan

A self-care plan can work alone, or in combination with, standard treatment (therapy, mediation, etc). It means incorporating strategies to develop a plan of self-care, behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes that can become a new and healthy lifestyle. This is preventive medicine.

  1. Positive Thinking. Look for the opportunity instead of the negative.
  2. Task oriented. Feel good about your efforts and accomplishments.
  3. Accept yourself. Don't be self-critical. If there is something you want to change then change it.
  4. Be flexible. Not everything is black and white. Be open to the gray areas of things
  5. Develop realistic goals. Evaluate what it will take to reach a goal.
  6. Develop a positive view of life.
  7. Nurture your spirituality.
  8. Distract yourself from stressors. Sometimes you have to put everything aside to relax and have fun.
  9. Deep breathing, relaxation, meditation, and visualization.
  10. Finding humor in things.
  11. Spending time with people you enjoy.
  12. Keeping a journal for venting, and at the end of the entry closing with something positive.
  13. Take time regularly to do activities that you enjoy.
  14. Utilize your support system. This could be friends, family, individual therapy, group therapy, or community support groups.
  15. Practice being assertive. You will feel better for taking care of yourself.
  16. Good communication.
  17. Take short breaks throughout the day. Take 5 to 10 minute breaks throughout the day to relax and remove yourself from stressors or demands.
  18. Regular exercise. Walking is excellent for decreasing body tension and alleviating stress.
  19. Get adequate rest and sleep. If you don't get enough sleep you can't cope well.
  20. Practice good nutrition.
  21. Massage. A good way to relieve muscle tension and relax.
  22. Choose to be in environments that feel good to you.
  23. Work on your financial security.
  24. Practice good time management.
  25. Do things that demonstrate respect, care, and nurturing of the self. That means take good care of you.