Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Self Care Primer: Some Notes on Incorporating Self Care Into Your Life

“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.” –Carl Gustav Jung

We have given the six primary areas of self-care individual focus over the last week. The 6 areas are:

• Physical: Taking care of your body.
• Emotional: Honoring your feelings.
• Intellectual / Mental: Expanding what you know.
• Social: Interacting with and loving the people in your life
• Spiritual: Answers the question “Who am I?” includes our purpose and our meaning of life.
• Volitional: Our dreams, goals, plans. What do we aspire to be?

Hopefully, as you were reading these definitions and the “self care primers” over the past week, you were also thinking about what you can do regularly to nurture yourself in each area.   Self Care is a very personal activity.  Choose activities that you enjoy, and don't do things that you don't enjoy.  Easy enough? 

Keep it simple too! The good news is that many things that you do to support one area of self care have positive impact other areas too.

For instance:

• Taking a walk:

o Walking is good for your body (physical).
o Walking alone is a great way to sort out your thoughts and problem solve (emotional and mental).
o Walking with a friend (social)
o Walking in the woods or park on a sunny day, taking in the trees and birds and nature (spiritual)
o Walking as part of a weight loss program (volitional)

It is important to add a caution here as well – support of one area of self care may result in a negative impact on other areas.

• Getting a College Degree:

o College creates opportunities and may be an important step toward your personal dreams (volitional)
o College is a great way to learn new things (mental)
o College is a great place to meet new, positive and motivated people (social)
o College is stressful (emotional, physical)
o College takes up a lot of time- late nights studying and lack of sleep is common. (physical, social)

When you make a decision about taking care of one area of your life, be aware of the positive and negative impacts you may be creating in the other areas of your life. Consider how you may offset the negative by paying some extra attention nurturing those self-care areas that may get neglected.  

If you are going back to college to get a degree, perhaps you will also want to make a daily walk in the park part of your routine!

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