Self care plans are important for a number of reasons, including: it helps us maintain our health, it provides the tools to deal with stressful situations and it gives us the opportunity to function at the highest level possible. Self care plans should be as unique as we are as individuals.
In order to make an effective self care plan, we must ensure that our self care plan touches on a number of different elements, including: our physical health, our mental/emotional health, and our spiritual health. Each of these elements impact our overall health, wellness and ability to function in day-to-day life.
There are two different types of self care plans that can be made: regular self care plans, and emergency self care plans. A regular self care plan involves outlining the day-to-day activities that will be done in order to maintain health and wellness across the various facets of yourself. Emergency self care plans outline the ways to care for yourself in times of stress or crisis.
Physical Self Care: Physical self care is the way that you care for your body, and this looks different for everyone. Examples of physical self care include: exercising and living an active life style, eating a healthy diet, seeing the doctor/dentist regularly, getting enough sleep, taking medications as needed, or any activity that supports your body and physical health.
Mental/Emotional Care: Mental/emotional self care is the practices that support our mental health. Examples of mental self care include: journalling, practicing mindfulness, recognizing your emotions, talking about your feelings, asking for help when needed, setting boundaries, or any other practice that best addresses your needs.
Spiritual Self Care: Spiritual self care are the practices that allow you to connect to yourself or your beliefs. Examples of spiritual self care include: spending time in nature, praying, attending church, service or ceremony, doing yoga, or any practice that allows you to connect to yourself, your spirituality or your beliefs.
In order to create a self care plan that best addresses your needs, you must practice self reflection in order to recognize the categories of yourself for which you require the most care. For example, if you find yourself feeling disconnected from yourself and your beliefs and values, that may indicate that you may benefit from caring for yourself spiritually. We all have different needs and experience wellness differently, and this must be recognized in our self care plans: what works for someone may not work for you. This template is a great starting point to create a self care plan that is unique to you!
Making Emotional Regulation Accessible for Young Children
I remember being a little kid and when I got upset, angry, overstimulated- someone would always tell me to take some deep breaths to calm down: this often just added to my frustration. I did not want to take deep breaths, nor did I see any benefit of doing so. As I grew older and began to learn more about the human body and our reactions, I began to understand about why these deep breaths may be helpful to bring us back to regulation. When we are upset, angry, overstimulated, the emotional part of our brain goes wild, which throws us into dysregulation. Deep breaths can help bring us back to regulation, not through the act of breathing itself, but by connecting us back to our bodies and resetting our nervous systems. These deep breaths can interrupt the emotional reaction we are having and redirect this energy into regulating our body and nervous system.
Knowing how deep breathing can bring us back into regulation is important, depending on your child’s age, you may want to explain the science behind using breathwork for calming and regulation. Beyond explaining why breathing can work to help us regulate, how can we make these regulation techniques easy for children?
We have to make it fun for them! Attached is an infographic that shows a number of breathing exercise options to utilize when your child may need help with calming or regulation. Try these WITH your child!
Practicum student at CFS Saskatoon