Resilience-Readiness: Seven Simple Self-Care Structures
By Sandy Davis, a.k.a. "The Resilience Guy"
About Simple Self-Care Structures
If you want to increase your resilience-readiness, the best thing you can do is to take great care of your mind, your body, and your spirit. Below are seven proven structures you can use to tune up your own self-care. Each is readily accessible, affordable, portable, and highly effective. All you have to do to take on one or more them, and then hold yourself accountable to abide by your chosen structures every single day. They work. You just have to execute them with commitment and unrelenting consistency.
Three Foundational Daily Self-Care Habits
1. Make it a habit to Keep All Your Agreements. Don’t make any agreements you don’t fully intend to keep, and keep the ones you do make. If you break an agreement, clean up the mess you have created quickly and completely. Point of Accountability: Track whether you are keeping your agreements to do your chosen daily self-care practices in an accountability log.
2. Make it a habit to Eat Well. Choose nutritious foods. Avoid junk food. Discipline yourself to maintain sensible control over the size of your portions. Eat what you like, and enjoy what you eat––but in modest quantities. Point of Accountability: Weigh yourself every day and log your weight. Whether you eat poorly or wisely, your average body weight will reflect your eating habits.
3. Make it a habit to Sleep Well. Make sure that you regularly get the measure of sound sleep you need in order to sustain your energy and go full speed ahead all day long. Point of Accountability: Log how much sleep you get each night.
Plus Three Daily Self-Care Practices
4. Daily Centering Practice: Every day, spend at least 15 minutes doing a centering practice that enables you to come back to your senses, to slow down, and to attain a point of physical, mental, and emotional stillness. Think of this practice as nourishment primarily for your mind. Point of Accountability: Keep track of how many minutes you spend doing your daily centering practice, and log those minutes in your daily accountability log.
5. Regular Aerobic Exercise: Spend at least 15 minutes every day (or 30 minutes every other day) doing vigorous aerobic exercise. (Exercise becomes aerobic when you first exert yourself hard enough and long enough to get your heart beating up in your “aerobic zone,” and then sustain that level of effort for as long as you wish.) Think of this practice as nourishment primarily for your body. Point of Accountability: Keep track of how many minutes you exercise aerobically, and log those minutes in your daily accountability log.
6. Daily Creative Practice: Spend at least 15 minutes every day (or 30 minutes every other day) doing a creative practice. That’s an activity that normally falls outside the realm of your work, and that connects you in some enjoyable way to your deepest passions. It reliably tantalizes you to create something new for yourself. Think of this practice as nourishment primarily for your spirit. Point of Accountability: Keep track of how many minutes you spend doing your daily creative practice, and log those minutes in your daily accountability log.
And One Daily Meta-Structure
7. A meta-structure is one that sits “above” your other structures and serves to pull them all together. The meta-structure that holds all of the above habits and daily practices together is Keeping a Daily Accountability Log. When you do this faithfully and honestly, you will have nowhere to hide. You will be in a position to bear witness to the unvarnished results you are creating for yourself. Consequently, you will be able to make insightful course corrections. When you sustain all of the above self-care activities AND log them every day, you will open a door to personal transformation that most individuals never find, much less walk through. That is where the real fun begins. Point of Accountability: Be sure to make all the daily entries in your log that you committed to making.
Pulling the Seven Self-Care Structures All Together
When you start to take your own self-care seriously and start to methodically pay yourself first, you can start to increase your resilience-readiness both quickly and sustainably. You can begin to develop a deep-seated confidence that you will have whatever you need in order to successfully meet whatever challenges come your way, whether they be small or big. This makes life ever so much more enjoyable and peaceful.
The rest is up to you. Self-care is, by definition, a gift that only you can give to yourself. Optimal self-care does require you to continuously invest a relatively small amount of your time, attention, and energy in your own well-being. Over time, the payoff on this small daily investment can be spectacular. It’s one of those gifts that keeps on giving.
So when you’re ready, go for it. Just remember: One simple change in your daily self-care practices has the power to change everything—even your destiny. On the other hand, without deliberate, ongoing practice, nothing changes. You get to choose.
You are welcome to re-publish the above article in its entirety either on a web site or in a blog, providing you do not change the article and you include the following attribution in its entirety:
Copyright © 2009 Alexander M. (Sandy) Davis. To find out more about Sandy Davis and the resilience-related products and services he offers, visit http://www.ResilienceWorks.com. To subscribe to his free monthly e-newsletter, send an e-mail to Subscribe@ResilienceWorks.com. To reach Sandy directly, send an e-mail to Sandy@ResilenceWorks.com. FYI, he’s “The Resilience Guy.”