Implementing a Self-Care Plan
Before you implement self-care into your life, you’re going to want to understand the tiers of change. It’s one thing to start a new habit, but it’s an entirely unfamiliar task to keep up the new habit. By understanding the tiers of change, you’ll find it a lot easier to stick to the self-care habits you want to implement into your routine. So, let’s look at the different tiers of change.
Tier 1. Reflect On a Workable Self-Care Plan
This is where you aren’t really thinking of changing. You may be in denial of needed changes, or you simply may not realize your need. It is common to feel you aren’t in control of your behavior, and they resigned you to your current lifestyle. To progress from this tier, you’ll want to assess your situation and look honestly at areas which might require change. You might even find it useful to conduct a risk assessment of your current behaviors. If you continue, what consequences could they have? An example of this would look at your current exercise level.
If you were to continue not exercising much, what consequences could it have? This will give you a good idea of whether it’s require.
Tier 2. Deliberate the Implementation of Your Self-Care Plan
During the contemplation tier, you’ll start thinking more about the benefits of change. You’re conflicted in your mind over the eventual costs of change. Unfortunately, during this tier, you’ll tend to feel negative consequences outweigh the benefits. This tier can last anywhere from weeks to years. Sadly, many people don’t even make it past the contemplation phase. If you find it difficult to get past the thinking phase and start taking actions, get unstuck. However, you need not remain stuck.
You control what you think and do, so it’s your choice. To overcome the contemplation dilemma, weigh the pros and cons. Look at any obstacles you might face and work out ways to overcome them. By going into change a little more prepared, it is much easier to stick to.
Tier 3. Preparation and determination to Proceed with Your Self-Care Plan
The preparation and determination tiers are where you’ll make changes towards your overall goal. For example, if your main self-care goal is to lose weight, you could start by cutting down on junk food. This is an experimental tier, where you learn which habits to adopt to reach your goals.
It is also where you learn more about the changes you need to make. You may look for information and tips on websites, talk to your doctor or ask friends and family for their input on the issue. Once you know what changes you need to make, alongside the challenges you’ll face, you can start making a list. Write the changes you will implement, breaking them down into small, manageable goals.
Tier 4. Take Action
Now that you have identified what you need to do to make a change, the next step is action. You need to follow through on the to-do list you created in the preparation tier. As you progress through your self-care goals, don’t forget to reward yourself. If you make time to congratulate your success, however small, it will motivate you to keep it up. Seek emotional support during this tier too. While you remain devoted to your self-care goals early on it, it gets more difficult as time progresses.
Tier 5. Persevere and Maintain Discipline
In the maintenance tier, it’s all about avoiding past behaviors and solidifying new behaviors. You’ll find it a lot easier to maintain your self-care routine if you eliminate any temptations. Whenever you successfully stop yourself from relapsing, congratulate yourself. Celebrate your successes and it is much easier to carry on.
It’s common to slip up when you’re trying to make positive changes. This leads us on to the last tier…
Tier 6. Relapse, Shake it Off, Stay the Course
It’s common to relapse when you’re starting new habits. That’s OK! Everyone relapses at some point, but the important thing is not letting it send you off-course. When you relapse, you’ll likely feel guilty and a failure. You might also feel disappointed and frustrated with yourself. This is completely normal. Be compassionate with yourself, as this can cause you to give up on your self-care habits. Instead, look at why you relapsed. What was it that triggered the relapse? By identifying what made you slip-up, you can learn from it.
That way, the next time you’ll be able to avoid what triggered you. It’s tier, useful to reassess your techniques to see if you need to make any adjustments. These are the general tiers of change for self-awareness. Eventually, your new self-care habits will become so ingrained in your routine that you miss the relapse tier. Now that we’ve looked at what it takes to change your self-care routine, it’s time to examine the different areas. There are distinct types of self-care you can focus on so you’ll want to understand each of them before putting together a self-care plan.