What a perfect way to kick off the New Year with a vision for your self-care! We often hear a blend of definitions for self-care, and we are here to add some perspective for you!
Self-care activities are those things we do to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Countless research findings demonstrate the importance of one’s ability to attend to and meet personal needs. For instance, self-care has been found to increase empathy, immunologic functioning, and has been associated with lower levels of anxiety and depression.
Self-care is sometimes mistaken for selfishness, however, according to Mills, Wand, and Fraser (2015), self-care allows people to take better care of others. These authors argue that it is a lack of self-care during times of distress that has a negative effect on one’s ability to provide care and compassion to others. Because self-care ensures that we have taken care of our needs, we operate from a state of inner balance, which renders us better equipped to meet others’ needs.
While self-care may sound simple enough, it is often difficult to execute. One of the most common reasons for people not engaging in regular self-care is that they “don’t have time”. Fortunately, there are many different self-care practices one can do, and none of them are especially time consuming or require a lot of planning. Once self-care becomes a part of everyday life, it is likely that people will become more and more protective of that time and wonder how they ever managed without it.
Doing kind and caring things for ourselves, particularly when we are struggling, can help us to cope and move through difficult emotional experiences. Self-care activities can be sensory, emotional, physical, spiritual, and social. The idea with initiating self-care and integrating it into everyday life is to find out what feels good to you—something that you genuinely enjoy doing, and that fits with your lifestyle and your values.
This exercise involves creating a self-care vision board. A vision board is a visual representation of a particular concept using images, illustrations and/or words. The aim of the exercise is to help clients increase self-care and self-compassion in a creative way.
Create Your Vision Board
Brainstorm Activities: Come up with a list of as many potential self-care activities as possible. Be bold and creative, allowing yourself to consider new and different potential activities. Only include activities that you would genuinely enjoy doing and that fit with your lifestyle, your values, and your strengths.
Collect images for your board: Find positive images that correspond with your chosen self-care activities. Look for images that resonate with you, and inspire you. You might like to use the internet, magazines, and photographs as potential sources. Use photos of activities that you can do to take better care of yourself and your needs.
Collect Words for your board: You can decide to keep your vision board completely visual or to add words and phrases to it. The words and phrases you choose should reflect or relate to your chosen self-care activities. You might like to cut words out of magazines or print them from the internet. Choose words and fonts that resonate with you and inspire you.
Put your board together: Once you have gathered your images and inspiring phrases, get creative with your arrangement.
SHARE YOUR VISION BOARD! When you're all done shaping your 2019 vision, tag @LiveYourYes on Instagram and show us what you created.