Personal Self-Care Prescription: The Key to Flying High and Getting Back Up When You Fall
Get after it. Whether you are most motivated by work, personal pursuits, or important relationships in your life, it’s easy to get over-scheduled and overcommitted. In the midst of it all, you’re doing all you can to eat a nutritious diet and work out. But is it enough?
Reevaluate your approach to health to see if your picture of health is as complete as you’re imagining. This is your self-care prescription; do whatever it takes to make it work for you. Using the following five categories as a guideline, think outside of the box to find the nourishing acts that reduce stress and even reverse its negative effects on your life.
Movement does more than give your brain a break; it helps to jog creative problem solving. It’s all too easy to prioritize work and other responsibilities over exercise, but research shows that physical movement can help the brain unlock the solutions to tough challenges. It might not feel like your weekend workout or afternoon stroll is going to help you code a website, write a novel, or figure out how to approach your boss, but it might be exactly what your brain and body need to gain forward momentum.
- Partner dancing
- Parkour class
- Circuit training
BRING A FRIEND
Feel like you cannot push on to the next level? It helps to have friends, family, and even strangers to lift your spirits back up again. Especially if you are in a depressive funk, or feeling low on motivation, a little quality time with fellow human beings can provide a brief respite from loneliness – or the swift (but kind) kick needed to get back on track.
- Start a monthly meet-up
- Take a class
- Host a potluck
Getting in the zone is Zen-like. And when you make something that is creative – in other words, infused with your personality – it helps you get in touch with your true self. There are endless ways to tap into the flow state, and you don’t need to be the “creative type” to let your imagination loose. Not sure how to get started? Brainstorm ideas with a quick search online to see how others have created some of your favorite things: jewelry, games, and anything you can find on Etsy.
- Make an original game
- Nostalgic kids’ crafts (string art, tye dye)
- Costume design
NOURISH FROM THE INSIDE
Part of eating right is enjoying what you eat and being proud of it. It can be great to recharge by relaxing over a gourmet meal at a restaurant, it is also a great feeling when you make it yourself. Getting in the kitchen is a way to be physically active, a sneaky way to allow your brain to mull things over in the background. Combine this healthy goal with community engagement and you have yourself a dinner party.
- Join a CSA
- Develop a meal plan
- Try a new veggie every week
- Adjust favorite recipes
Before you bring preconceived notions into this one, remember that meditation can take a lot of forms. The crucial part is giving your mind a break from routine and then accepting whatever comes to you – a key aspect of yoga, which is why it’s a meditation go-to. But these days even video games can create space for you to find a meditative state of mind. Deepak Chopra has helped to create Leela, a game with integrated meditation techniques (available for Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360). Other games can work too as a therapeutic way to let out aggression, according to Buddhist leader Ogyen Trinley Dorje.
- Rock climbing
- Group meditation
Writer: Dominique Chatterjee