It’s Time for a Self-Care Plan
Self-care is any activity you perform that helps you maintain and improve your own well-being. When I speak with clients, I often use the analogy of a mug full of tea. You start off with a full mug and then you may pour some to your grandchildren, to your volunteer activities, to a parishioner at your church. By the end of the day, your mug is empty, and it needs to be filled back up. Self-care helps us do that.
One of the best ways to start a self-care plan is to focus in on the dimensions of wellness. These dimensions are: physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, environmental, financial, occupational and social. Reflect on how self-care fits into each dimension. For example, you may spend a great deal of time with friends, therefore fulfilling the social dimension of self-care. Yet, you may struggle with getting a good night’s sleep or drinking enough water (the physical dimension).
These dimensions are simply a starting point. There will be areas of wellness that don’t feel like self-care for you. Maybe you dislike reading, which falls into the intellectual dimension, but you love meditating, which can be part of the spiritual dimension. It is up to you to decide what “fills your mug” back up.
Once you’ve focused in on what self-care activities make you feel best, it is time to start implementing them. Often times, we struggle to carry out a self-care routine because it may feel selfish or like it is taking time away from others who need you. I would encourage you to remember, the only way you can continue to give to others you love is if you have something to give. Fill up your mug, you deserve it!
Katie Starrantino, LCSW, M.Ed, CDP
Katie has been working in the medical field for 10 years. During this time she has assisted in meeting the psychosocial needs of individuals living with cancer, rehabilitation patients, nursing home residents, primary care patients and individuals with a dementia diagnosis. She is a licensed clinical social worker who holds a masters degree in social work from West Chester University, a masters degree in human sexuality from Widener University. She is a certified dementia practitioner and is also trained to teach the Alzheimer’s Association’s Person Centered Habilitation Training curriculum. Katie developed and carried out various wellness programs for non-profit organizations, aimed at keeping patients feeling their best. Katie enjoys forming relationships with her members and assisting to keep them happy and healthy.
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