The Gift of Self-Care — The Personal Side

“And life is what we make it. Always has been, always will be.” Grandma Moses

This quote came from a gratitude journal I have—one I try to write in at least once a week. I intentionally think of people and things in my life I am grateful for every day. But once a week I get up early, drink coffee and jot some notes down in this journal to help solidify my gratitude. A precious friend gifted the journal to me, and recording the good experiences in my life helps me feel centered and joyful. It reminds me of what truly matters to me in this life.

Keeping a gratitude journal is one way I take care of myself. I do other things, too; like walk, meditate, spend time with friends and indulge in the occasional frozen treat. The point is, I have learned to be intentional about caring for myself. I have discovered through personal experience and time spent listening to my clients that neglecting my mental and/or physical health always results in negativity.  Moreover, when I forget to engage in regular self-care, I miss out on the beauty and purpose life has to offer—beauty and purpose that is always there if I carve out the time to embrace it.

Self-care means creating good habits and doing away with bad ones. After all, we are the sum of our habits—both good and bad. And what we do (or do not do) determines how we feel. If you think about your own life for a moment, I feel sure you will recognize some behaviors that you need to extinguish and others that you need to ignite. 

Self-care should be thoughtful and intentional and will require some time and energy. The good news is that taking time for yourself always pays off. You will never regret spending time to do things that feed your mind, soul and body. In the practical piece on this topic, I promised a specific strategy for “giving you the gift of self-care” this holiday season. So, here it is:

The Self-Care Formula

  1. Engage in at least one form of self-care every day
  2. Engage in another form of self-care each week
  3. Engage in another form of self-care each month
  4. Engage in another form of self-care each year

Here is an example of someone’s personal self-care formula

  1. Daily: wake up early 5 days a week to meditate. Wake up early 2-3 days a week to walk or do Pilates.
  2. Weekly: have a date with husband and/or a girls’ coffee/dinner
  3. Monthly: get a massage, or get a facial, or take a day trip with husband
  4. Yearly: take at least two one-week vacations

This formula is very flexible. For example, you could do 7 different things each week to meet the daily self-care goal. The point is that you intentionally take time for self-care. If you are feeling anxious, depressed or struggling with any other mental health issue, a skilled Orlando psychotherapist can help you. Our individual, couples and family counselors possess the knowledge and experience you need to get your life back on track. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment.


Yolanda Brailey