source: Mackenzie Heffernan

Here's How To Create A Self-Care Plan

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We all know that taking care of ourself is extremely important for our health, but yet it still ends up at the bottom of our to do list each week. Saying we want to practice self-care is a lot different than actually putting it into action. Making self-care a priority and part of your daily or weekly routine can often be a challenge for many of us. Without a proper plan and the right mindset, long term success is highly unlikely. 

In order to sustain our self-care practices, it is important to remember to take it slow and be easy on yourself. Often, we get so excited to start something new or angry at ourselves that it sparks a flame for immediate change. However, this can sometimes be the pit of our continuous downfall. Instead, take the time to learn what your current habits are and understand what your true goals are before making any sudden changes in your lifestyle. Most importantly, self-care should always have the best intentions. The mindset we choose will be the true determinant in any transformation. If we cannot make the decision to put ourself and our happiness first, we will always be living life with a cup half empty and never able to fulfill our individual and societal needs. 

To help me create a personalized self-care plan that I can stick to, I use the SELF method. SELF stands for Sleep, Exercise, Leisure, and Food. The SELF method allows you to effectively track your self-care habits and goals. It can be used as a daily journal template, or as an outline for a monthly or weekly self-care plan. Ahead, I'm sharing examples of what your SELF plans should look like: 

Here is a daily journal example:

Date: Tuesday, August 25th 

Sleep: ~6/7 hours, meditation twice, dreams about babysitting and driving friends home 

Exercise: Walk through town, bike ride to beach, sunrise yoga, snorkeling off pier

Leisure: Journaling AM/PM, reading, drawing

Food: Lemongrass tea, mango, kale salad, fish, rice and beans

Here is a monthly self-care plan example:

Sleep

  • Get 6 hours of sleep 5 days a week 
  • Write down dreams in journal every morning 
  • Meditate after waking up and before going to bed daily 

Exercise

  • Walk outside for 1 hour or 3 miles per day
  • Practice yoga in the morning and at night daily 
  • Swim in the ocean for 1 hour per day 

Leisure

  • Journal in the morning and at night daily 
  • Read one chapter of a book daily
  • Sing or dance out loud for 30 minutes daily

Food

  • Nourish my body with local plants 
  • Drink 64 oz of water daily
  • Make a smoothie, juice or tea daily

Seeing your self-care goals written down every day is important for achieving success. Print or write your goals on a board or piece of paper to hang in your room or somewhere you will see it daily. For the best results, you should also read your goals out loud each morning before starting any work or leaving the house. 

Begin by journaling daily or weekly to first become aware of what your self care habits are. Don’t have any? Maybe you do but you just didn’t realize it. Breathing fresh air from outside and taking a shower every day can be considered self-care practices just as much as eating fruit and working out. Once we are aware of our daily lifestyle, it can be easier to implement small changes in our routine. Remember that we are constantly going through phases of transformation throughout our lives so we will need to repeat this exercise often to adapt to each new environment we are in. 

So before you exit this page, challenge yourself to think of one simple action you can take today towards your self-care plan. It may be something as simple as turning off your computer screen, sitting down, and breathing for five minutes before doing anything else. Notice how much better you feel after doing this for only 5 minutes. Now, imagine how you will feel every day after implementing your self-care plan. 

Now is the time to put your self care plan in action by heading over to KenzieXLove.com/Shop  for your own daily journal. Always remember, it's a great day to be alive!

Kenzie is a wellness leader who aims to be a positive example in her community by practicing self-care and following her dreams. She grew up in a small town in Northwest Jersey with a passion for self-expression and community building. Kenzie graduated from Rutgers University in 2018 and currently lives in the Virgin Islands to further her spiritual journey towards healing. Her favorite way to sweat is dancing, singing, and making noise with friends! You can find her at the beach practicing yoga or exploring new hiking trails for wild fruits in her free time.