Developing a self-care plan is imperative in life. This is because of the many stressors that can affect one’s health and wellness. A self-care plan ensures that one controls behaviors, choices, and actions that promote health and wellness. Understanding the components of a self-care plan can be important in covering all areas. Several models can be used in developing self-care plans. This paper uses the invisible-self evidence-based model of wellness. This model outlines the five focus areas that a self-care plan should emphasize. They include the essential self, social self, creative self, physical self, and coping self. An effective self-care plan ensures that activities cover each of the five elements. The self-care plan developed in this paper consists of attaining a healthy balance in my work, personal life, and schoolwork; healthy living through exercise and healthy food; and building strong relationships and support system that will be available during good and bad times.
Self-Care and Wellness Reflection Paper
The concept of self-care is premised on the notion that every individual is capable of developing skills and knowledge and having an attitude that is necessary for undertaking health promoting behaviors. Self-care demands that individuals take control of their behaviors, actions, and choices to be healthier and achieve a state of wellness (Butler et al., 2019). In this case, health and wellness are not the absence of illness but the achievement of a dynamic state where an individual can attain their full human potential. Several models of wellness can guide individuals in developing personal wellness self-care plan. These models provide frameworks that can be used in developing a holistic self-care plan that incorporates all elements of wellness. The indivisible-self evidence-based model of wellness by Myers and Sweeney (2004) focuses on the sum of the 5F-Wel in developing a self-care plan. These are: social self, coping self, creative self, essential self, and physical self. Based on the indivisible-self evidence-based model, my self-care plan entails attaining a balance in my personal, work, and school life; establishing a support network that includes family and friends; and adopting a healthy living style that takes care of the mind and the body.
Overview of Model
The components of the invisible-self evidence-based model provide the framework for the development of my self-care plan. This model consists of five components. The creative self is one of the components. This element pertains to the steps that an individual ought to take to improve on their creative side. Catering to the creative self is important in controlling one’s emotions and improves an individual’s thinking capabilities. The coping self is another imperative component of a self-care plan (Myers & Sweeney, 2014). This involves activities that target an individual’s ability to manage stress and conserve energy. Activities can include leisure, relaxation, setting limits, and so forth. The third element that makes up the model is the social self. This element involves the relationship that one builds with others. The social self requires that one forms strong and beneficial relationships with others. The essential self should also be considered when developing a personal self-care plan. The essential self includes the activities that enrich one’s life and improves one’s self-worth. This can include meditation, prayer, and services that provide meaning (Myers & Sweeney, 2014). Lastly, the model also consists of the physical self. These are activities and steps that are undertaken to improve one’s physical body. Exercise, sleep and rest, and a healthy diet are some of the activities that can be included in this category.
Attaining a healthy balance in my personal, school, and work life is an integral part of my self-care plan. This mainly falls under the coping self of the wellness model and strives to ensure that one can effectively cope with the many demands in life. One of the strategies that I aim to use in maintaining a healthy balance is time management. I will develop a schedule that caters to all the three to ensure that the right balance is achieved amidst competing imperatives. Given that school has more demands now, I will ensure that the plan prioritizes this part of my life, but the other areas are also allocated ample time. In addition, I also aim to set realistic goals while avoiding unrealistic expectations. For instance, aiming to go on a vacation with my family during or right before my examinations is unrealistic. Setting personal time for activities that I like, such as reading or leisure activities not only help to cope with challenges but can also be important in improving my creative self (Butler et al., 2019). As such, when scheduling personal time, I will include activities that can enrich my creative self. My personal time can also be used in improving my physical self through the inclusion of activities such as swimming, running, or going to the gym. Personal time can also improve my essential self through activities such as prayer, meditation, and activities such as volunteering in the community.
Establishing a support network that consists of family, friends, and therapists is also an important part of my self-care plan. This part considers that there are stressors in life that may be beyond our understanding and control. These stressors may require outside help to effectively manage (World Health Organization, 2021). A support system derived from family and friends relates more to the social self. My plan entails building strong and worthy relationship with family, friends, mentors, and colleagues. Such social relationships are not only important during times of adversities but also make the good times more enjoyable. In addition to the social self, establishing a strong support system can also be essential in meeting the social and essential self. Friends and family give us a social identity that is essential in meeting the needs of our essential self (World Health Organization, 2021). Showing compassion to our friends and family can be essential in providing meaning to our lives that can be an important part of self-care. However, I also plan to set limits to how much I can give to friends and family and how much I can take at the same time. This is an essential part of a self-care plan as giving out too much to our family and friends can end up being too draining. Part of my self-care plan is to enlist the services of a therapist. Therapists can be important in helping us cope with life challenges that our friends and family cannot help with (Butler et al., 2021). When facing challenges of such dynamics, an external help such as a therapist can ensure that the challenge does not translate into a crisis.
Lastly, part of my self-care plan is to adopt healthy living that tends to my physical body and my mental state. Physical exercise forms a big part of my healthy living self-care plan. I intend to go to the gym for at least four days a week. I also intend to include swimming as part of my physical exercise plan. In addition, I also intend to incorporate healthy eating and frequent physical examination as part of my healthy living plan. In terms of my mental health, I will take up meditating and occasional yoga as part of my plan. This part of my plan not only meets the physical-self part of the model but also cover the essential self, coping self, and the creative self. For instance, meditation can unlock creative juices that allow me confident when studying and competent when undertaking my work-related duties.
Potential Challenges to Meeting Self-Care Plan
There are several challenges that can hinder the effective implementation of my self-care plan. One of the potential hindrances is time (Butler et al., 2021). Juggling work, school, and personal life may be difficult because of lack of enough time. Both school and work require intensive investment in terms of time and may end up taking a substantial part of my time. In addition, my personal time may also need to be apportioned among several activities such as leisure, family, and friends, exercising, meditating, among others. Another potential issue is an emergency that can end up disrupting my schedule. Challenges can crop up from time to time. Lastly, healthy living may also require a financial commitment. Gym subscription, healthy eating, and seeing a therapist are all paid for and can be expensive depending on choice. These are some of the challenges that I anticipate.
Mitigating Against Challenges
Planning and scheduling is the best way to mitigate against the issue of time. Ensuring that all my time of a day is accounted for is important in making proper use of time. I will strive to ensure that I develop a comprehensive plan of my time that includes all the elements of the self-care plan. In addition, I will strive to ensure that I set aside flexible time that I can use to cater to emergencies. It is imperative to ensure that the schedule and timing plan is flexible to cater for any unforeseen circumstances and challenges. To ensure that I meet my goals of leading a healthy life, I will look for affordable healthy food and look for gyms and therapists that provide student discounts.
A self-care plan is imperative in ensuring one’s wellness. A self-care plan identifies and mitigates against potential challenges to health and wellness. The invisible-self evidence-based model of wellness provides a framework that can be used in developing a self-care plan. The model covers critical areas such as the essential self, social self, creative self, physical self, and the coping self. Based on this model, my self-care plan covers a healthy life, work, and school balance, healthy living, and strong and beneficial relationships and a support system.
Butler, L. D., Mercer, K. A., McClain-Meeder, K., Horne, D. M., & Dudley, M. (2019). Six domains of self-care: Attending to the whole person. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 29(1), 107-124.
Myers, J. E., & Sweeney, T. J. (2004). The Indivisible Self: An Evidence-Based Model of Wellness. Journal of Individual Psychology, 60(3), 234-245.
World Health Organization. (2021). WHO guideline on self-care interventions for health and well-being. World Health Organization.