Written by Johanna Bergan
In the “regular” world I lean on a self-care plan as a written tool to remind my brain that I have a plan, and I have skills, resources, and supports to calm my racing thoughts and to bring me back down to earth. Putting pen to paper usually serves as a grounding activity for me, so my self-care plans are handwritten. More recently they have been documented in my bullet journal. Now, I’m faced with the reality that some of the actions in my plan don’t fit in this surreal Coronavirus world we are living in, especially with new requirements for physical distancing. I need a new plan.
When I encounter blankness, or lack of knowledge, or lack of inspiration, I research. And this week, my Youth MOVE family has come to the rescue! Below are ideas, suggestions, and templates for self-care plans that can work in this new world we are living in. Feel free to borrow a little from each, or stick to the one that works best for you – everyone’s self-care plan will look a little different.
What does a self-care plan look like? Self-care plans can follow the Eight Dimensions of Wellness
A great place to start thinking about wellness is to fill out your own using the Eight Dimensions of Wellness Worksheet.
Self-care plans can look a lot of different ways and can be individualized like these unicorn self-care plans by Elsa Support.
Your self-care plan might address mental health and oppression
A self-care plan can be rough around the edges and DIY like this Mapping Madness Plan
Make Technology Work for You
Get the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) App and take your plan with you on your phone. WRAP plans work for many Youth MOVErs – now anyone can make one on their phone. Available now for iOS and Android.
Make a Self-care Plan To Go
Sometimes your self-care plan may need to travel, and there’s no requirement that it be flat or in a notebook. Check out this unique self-care plan.
Make an Emergency Self-Care Plan
A note about emergency self-care plans – The best time to draft an emergency self-care plan or crisis plan, is when we aren’t in crisis! Our minds are clearer, we know what is helpful to us, and we can reflect on past experiences (helpful, unhelpful, and harmful) to create a thorough plan to help us through the toughest times. You can find more info at The Icarus Project’s Crisis Toolkit.
My self-care plan is MOST important to me when I am experiencing more intense bouts of anxiety. This is also the time it is hardest for me to remember and to be motivated to get out of my plan. So, I share my self-care plan with someone I trust and give them permission to verbally remind me to use it. And I keep my self-care plan on my desk (or in my backpack when I travel). It really helps me to be visually reminded that it exists.
If you need to use your plan, when you’ve got your feet back under you, be sure to revisit it – what worked? What didn’t? Does anything need updating? A self-care or emergency plan that’s out of date may not be very helpful – mark your calendar four times a year to check it over and make any updates or changes that are needed!
Let us know if you need help creating self-care plans, we can work with you directly to help create one of your own or help facilitate creating self-care plans with your groups in an online setting. Reach out at [email protected]