How To Create a Self Care Plan

If you’re anything like me, self care is at the very end of your list of priorities.

Work all day, then come home and pick up around the house, take care of my pets, and water plants. These are just the bare minimum things I have to do on a daily basis to keep my life intact.

By the end of the day, I’m exhausted! I don’t have the mental energy to do anything but plop on the couch binge watching Netflix and scroll through my phone.

Does this sound familiar?

Maintaining a balanced lifestyle is difficult, but I’ve come to realize that it’s so important to take some time for yourself and create a Self Care Plan.

A Self Care Plan is simply a plan I have to carve time out of my day to do things for my health.

Knowing I’m doing something for myself helps me with managing my current lifestyle and gives me a solid foundation to help cope with future stress when they arise.

Here are the 5 simple steps I’ve taken to create my own Self Care Plan.

1. Identify Self Care Goals

I consider areas of Self Care that may need improvement:

I ask myself, “Are there activities I currently do to support my overall well-being in those categories? Do I have more self care in some areas than others?”

I pause and think if there’s an area that needs work.

2. Reflect

I then think about my current activities for self care. Is what I’m currently doing working? What isn’t working?

If I find myself tired and uninspired at the end of every day, the answer is usually, “No, what I’m currently doing is not working.”

3. Create a Self Care Plan

I then make a plan for an area that I want to work on, aim to incorporate one positive activity in that area at least one time a week.

For example, if an area I want to work on is my “Physical Health”, a positive activity could be “include 1 more vegetable in meals” or “sleep 8 hours a night”.

If an area I need help in is “Emotional Health”, an activity I could put in my plan could be, “Meditate for 5 minutes”.

My Self Care plan doesn’t have to be elaborate or complicated. The goal is to create a system that is realistic and doable.

Template 1

self care plan template

 Template 2

self care plan template

Template 3

4. Implement your Plan

My goal is to try to implement one activity at least once a week.

I build a plan in 4 steps:

1. Determine if my positive change is small and doable.
2. Make sure I have all the things I need to complete the task. I.e. Have vegetables in the fridge to eat for dinner.
3. Plan on when I’ll implement this change. “I’ll eat 1 more vegetable at dinner.”
4. Set a time on when I’ll evaluate this new habit to see if it works or not.

Then I try to implement this new healthy activity for that timeframe.

5. Evaluate

After trying out my Self Care Plan for that timeframe, I step back and gauge my progress.

Is my plan successful in creating a more balanced lifestyle? Is this new thing I’m implementing easy to do? Is this a new healthy habit I do automatically without struggle?

If I’m losing motivation to pursue my plan, I consider whether the healthy lifestyle activities I’m trying to implement are too large for me right now.

If it’s not working, I either scale down on what I’m trying to do or find a different activity that works better for me right now.

Here are some tips and tricks I’ve found helpful:

  • Set reminders by putting it in my calendar, putting post-its around the house, or posting my plan on the fridge so that my plan isn’t forgotten.
  • I know it takes at least 6 weeks to let any activity become a habit. I go easy on myself if I slip up and forget about my plan. Habits take time.
  • I created a Self Care Plan that I look forward to accomplishing. The goal of creating my plan is to increase my overall well-being, not create another set of tasks that become a chore to check off.
  • Celebrate the small wins! I hang a chart or spreadsheet that I can check off. In my case, I put smiley face stickers on each successful day. Whenever I pass by the chart, I look at the progress that I’ve made, and that gives me momentum to keep going!
  • In conclusion, creating a Self Care Plan doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be a simple thing like drinking 1 extra glass of water or doing 10 squats before watching your favorite show.

    Each healthful habit you do compounds and can give you the knowledge that you’re doing what you can to create a happier and healthier life.

    I’d love to hear what you’re doing to create your own self care plan.

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Ashley Sutton

    This is so thought out and helpful. Self Care is SOOO important!

  • Such a great, informative post!

  • I have anxiety also. I love this outline for self-care!! So often we forget these things!

  • Zesty Olive

    Great layout of how to reflect and create your plan! I appreciate the visuals! I notice the ADDIE framework in there – analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate. Are you a teacher? 😉

  • Beautifully written, and this article is full of tips that I would consider using them daily. I will make a suggestion to you. Maybe change the color of bold titles and statements to another colour so it will be easy to your reader’s eyes. Other than that, this was perfect.

  • Ophelia Tang

    Your post is so insightful. This will definitely help me to keep my work week in balance and get some me too while I am busy. Thanks for sharing.
    XOXO //SINCERELY OPHELIA | NYC Petite Fashion Blogger

  • As someone with anxiety, self-care is absolutely essential to my health. I definitely have a self-care routine, but I hadn’t considered making a self-care plan before! I love the idea of thinking about my goals and then evaluating how I can add self-care into different parts of my life. -Emmi,

  • Kristyn

    I did something similar to this when choosing my goals for this year. Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs I came up with what I wanted to achieve in each level of my life. My anxiety has been much more manageable with episodes fewer between. Here’s a link to the post I wrote about it in case you want to check it out!

    P.S. Your drawings are quite charming 🙂

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