Hey friends, it’s January!
I don’t care about resolutions, but I do care about our self-care plans, because if we don’t think about our self-care plans now, the year will roll on, and we’ll be left gasping in the dust somewhere down the road.
Last January, I asked you this: what would you do daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly to care for yourself in 2016?
So, how did it go?
- Looking back, were you able to carry out the plans you made?
- Were your plans adequate?
- In other words, did your self-care do its job?
Like I said last month, my self-care plans weren’t adequate for 2016. By mid-year, several unexpected difficulties had arisen, and it was clear that I needed to adjust my self-care accordingly.
I adjusted in three areas, based on a biopsychosocial understanding of mental health care.
- I took better care of my biological self through yoga and body work.
- I took better care of my psychological self through emotional and spiritual work.
- I took better care of my social self through boundary adjustments with work and rest.
Not only am I feeling much better now than I was back in the summer, but I can also touch my nose to my knee! This may sound like small potatoes to you, but I’m pretty sure I was partially fossilized from general disuse before yoga got ahold of me, so it’s a nice accomplishment for me, and it means that I’ll be able to crawl around in the floor with my brand-new granddaughter when she gets to that stage in a few months. Good self care, unexpected benefits! I like it!
Here’s a quick checklist to evaluate your self-care of the last year:
How’s your body doing now, compared to a year ago?
- Are you sleeping well?
- Eating normally?
- Exercising regularly?
- Able to carry out the physical tasks of your day as needed?
- If not, what adjustments can you make for the year ahead?
How’s your emotional/spiritual life today?
- Are you able to enjoy life in general?
- Are your close relationships nourishing and supportive to you?
- Are you able to identify and process your emotions on a daily basis?
- Are you noticing unusual levels of sadness, anxiety, anger, or numbness?
- Are you feeling satisfied and connected in your relationship with God?
- If there are trouble spots, where do you need to work in the year ahead?
How’s your boundary world right now?
- Does your life reflect respect for you as an individual?
- How’s your work-life balance?
- What would your spouse and/or kids say about your work-life balance?
- What did you do for fun this last year?
- What helped you to rest and relax this last year?
- If your boundaries are out of balance, how can you adjust this coming year?
My challenge to you this year is the same as last year:
What will you do daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly to take care of this one life you’ve been given?
Think in terms of the biopsychosocial model, and make a plan that cares for the whole you.
I guarantee that life is going to happen to all of us again in 2017, just like it did in 2016.
We may have to adjust our self-care plans, just like I had to this last year.
It’s easier to adjust an already-existing self-care plan than to try to create one in a moment of crisis.
So, before too much of 2017 happens, what’s your self-care plan for the year ahead?
You are God’s beloved.
Let your self-care demonstrate this reality.
Here are some resources you might find helpful:
Journaling Prompts are everywhere online!
- Ask a Counselor: My child is LGBTQ. What should I do? - April 6, 2017
- Ask a Counselor: three dysfunctional missionary marriage patterns - March 7, 2017
- Ask a Counselor: A Personal Emotional Development Library - February 5, 2017
- Ask A Counselor: What’s the self-care plan for 2017? - January 7, 2017
- Comfort for Advent - December 7, 2016