Creating your Self-Care Plan

by | 30 May 2024 | Mental Health, Positive Resilience, Wellbeing

Self-care is the action we take to be kind and look after ourself. It is valuing and appreciating our worth. When we value something, we take care of it. This should apply to ourself in the same way it does to people or things we care about.

Why is self-care so important?

We want to feel physically well, be able to cope with stress and challenges, to feel positive emotions and generally enjoy our life. 

This won’t just happen, we need to proactively take care of our health and wellbeing.

Looking after ourself enables us to do the things we want – the metaphor often used is ‘you can’t pour from an empty container’. It is vital we refill the container and replenish our resources through self-care.

Understanding self-care

We need to proactively look after our physical, mental, and social wellbeing to have good overall health.  These areas of wellbeing overlap and inter-connect.  For example a walk in nature with a friend provides exercise for physical health, as well the physiological benefits of being outside and connecting with others.

When considering our approach to self-care it is recognising that some of the actions we take may be about stopping habits detrimental to our wellbeing for example scrolling work emails late in the evening, as well as adopting new beneficial habits like taking a break each day.

What gets in the way of self-care?

Having run sessions for hundreds of people and asked them what gets in the way of self-care, the list is consistent:

  • Lack of time
  • Needing to put the needs of others first
  • The belief that it is selfish and self-indulgent


If you recognise these, take a moment to challenge them:

  • Lack of time presupposes self-care is time consuming. Sometimes it is about changing unhelpful habits or stopping things that are detrimental to our wellbeing. Maybe you check work emails before bed, and then find it harder to disconnect from work and get to sleep.
  • Many of us have caring responsibilities. We may have been brought up to think of others.  I am not challenging this but sometimes we can take it to an unhelpful extreme.  How might we get a better balance and sometimes say no to others? When might taking five minutes to do something for ourself mean we have more energy – mental and physical, to then care for others.
  • Self-care does not need to be time expensive and indulgent.  Sometimes a form of self-care might be a treat and that is fine.  Remember that we are being kind to ourself because we believe we are worth it, and we would enjoy treating someone we cared about.  However, most of the time a self-care plan does not need to cost money or take a lot of time.

What do I need to do differently?

Many of us know the things we want to do. We start the day with good intentions but then life get in the way.

My approach encourages people to create a plan that is practical and realistic for their life.

We all have a unique set of demands and commitments. We all enjoy doing different things.

Our self-care plan needs to be tailored for us, so give thought to what might work for you.

Taking action

What might you stop, start, and continue doing?


  • What habits are detrimental to your overall wellbeing that you will stop?
  • How can you create obstacles to help you change?  For example, if you constantly check emails / social media take steps to make this harder – put your phone in another room, turn off notifications, set your phone to Do Not Disturb, move apps from the home screen so it takes more effort to open (it might sound a small change but it works!).



  • What will you start doing that will enhance your wellbeing?
  • Make them simple, realistic actions that fit in with your life. Saying you will start going to the gym won’t work if you hate the gym and you want to be at home with family after work.  However, could you commit to a short walk each lunch time, or even just commit to taking a break every day.
  • How can you remove obstacles to taking these actions? For example, block time out in your diary so a meeting can’t get in the way, agree to meet a friend for a walk and you will go because you won’t want to let them down.



  • What are you currently doing that supports your wellbeing and you will continue?
  • Identify your good habits and keep them as part of your regular routine. If it is a firm habit you may not immediately recognise it as it is just something that you do.   
  • Take a moment to reflect on these good habits and ensure you keep them up.


Enjoy making your plan.

The clue is in the name.  If you are taking care of something it should feel kind and be tailored to your life and be actions you will be able to maintain.

Making it happen

If you would like more ideas for your Self-care Action Plan join one of my free Self-care Power Hour sessions, details and dates can be found here.

Contact us below for more details

To learn more please contact us on 01202 612 326 or through the options below. We’ll discuss details and how we can help you or your organisation.


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