Self-care is not just about getting enough sleep, eating well, or taking time off for a massage. Rather, it is a conscious process of being attentive to your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, but with a goal in mind—to build resilience that allows you to be more capable of bouncing back from adversity and managing stress better. To practice this strategic form of wellness, focus your attention on:
- 1) physical fitness and emotional wellness (how you manage thoughts, feelings, and beliefs so you engage in positive thinking);
- 2) being aware of your emotions and the emotions of others with whom you interact, and use this awareness to make better decisions and communicate more effectively;
- 3) knowing how to create positive emotions. Does walking outside for 15 minutes improve your mood? Does taking five minutes to tidy up your office lift your spirits? When you arrive home after work, does sitting down to play the piano inspire you? Know your “go to” natural, healthy, and positive mood enhancers and use them routinely;
- 4) having someone with whom you can confide in and process challenges. Your EAP can be a source for this support;
- 5) eating right and getting enough sleep;
- 6) having constructive ways of dealing with emotional stress—a hobby, spiritual practices, networking, leisure activities.
Examining this list, do you see opportunities to improve upon your self-care strategy?