The Power of Daily Self-Care Structures
What's a Self-Care Structure?
For our purposes, a self-care structure is a conceptual framework that you intentionally construct for yourself in order to serve some useful purpose. A well-constructed structure can serve to keep you focused on the self-care results you have chosen to pursue, even as it also facilitates your successfully achieving the self-care results you are seeking. The better a structure works, the more useful and more enduring it is likely to become.
The best structures are simple ones. They are most apt to stand the test of time. They are also most likely to have both a universal quality and a wide range of applicability.
Why Focus on Daily Self-Care Practices?
The most effective way to maximize both your resilience-readiness and your ability to thrive in stressful times is to optimize your self-care. Self-care is what you do day-in and day-out to take great care of your mind, your body, and your spirit. It is one of the few domains where you have full control over what you choose to do, when you choose to do it, and the results you eventually create for yourself.
The better you take care of yourself, the more you set yourself up to thrive continuously. The fastest, surest, and most highly-leveraged way to optimize your self-care is to adhere faithfully to a well-chosen set of daily self-care structures. Following this self-disciplined path is the quickest and most effective way to amplify and extend your resilience
It turns out that, over time, consistently adhering to your chosen daily self-care structures can offer you the greatest possible “return on resilience.” By virtue of the investments that you continuously make in your own self-care, you can prepare you to respond resiliently to life's inevitable upsets.
The Seven Daily Self-Care Structures
Over a period of decades, Sandy Davis has personally searched for what he considers to be the minimal set of daily self-care structures required to maximize your personal resilience. What he has discovered and codified are seven simple self-care structures that, when combined, offer you an extremely powerful way to generate an abundance of resilience-readiness. Each daily structure requires a small measure of time, attention, and energy--but little else.
The first three of these structures are categorized as daily habits. They include (1) keeping all of your agreements; (2) eating well; and (3) sleeping well. All of these habits operate mostly in the background. For the most part, you do not have to stop everything else you are doing and practice them.
The second three of these structures are categorized as daily practices. They include (1) a daily centering practice; (2) regular (either daily or every other day) vigorous exercise; and (3) a daily creative practice. All of these daily practices require your full attention, and they therefore operate in the foreground. When you are deliberately doing one of these practices, you are singularly focused on it. You become so connected to it that you become entranced by it, and everything else, both inside you and around you, simply falls away for a brief while. You get to "come back to your senses."
The seventh daily self-care structure is a meta-structure that entails logging the results you are creating with your other six self-care structures. This is the structure that integrates the other six structures and adds power to them. As you accumulate compelling evidence that you are successfully adhering to your own chosen self-care structures, you will begin to accelerate your own personal growth, and you will also begin to "lock it in."
When you make a commitment to adhere to one (or more) of these simple self-care structures, you will discover experientially what it is to purposefully pay yourself first. As you start to increase your own inner resources, you will find you have an expanded capability to take care of other individuals and other commitments in your life--beyond your own self-care. (It doesn’t work the other way around. If you make it a habit to pay others first, you are likely to end up stressed out and depleted.)
Daily Self-Care Structures as the Key to the Lock
By intentionally adhering to a small set of self-care structures every single day, you can establish a track record of being highly successful at meeting the small personal challenges inherent in each of them. This process of micro-preparation, in turn, sets you up to deal successfully with small challenges in all sorts of other domains. Interestingly, it also sets you up to deal resiliently with “the big one.” When a major unexpected upset unfolds on your path, you can find yourself fully prepared to respond in a resilient manner. You will have what you need when you need it. And you will prosper accordingly.
It is enjoyable to be able to respond to challenges with power, grace, and self-confidence. All it takes is daily practice. All it takes is systematically tuning up resilience-readiness one day at a time.
As you adhere to your daily self-care structures, not only can you nourish your mind, body, and spirit in satisfying ways. You can also gain a huge measure of control over your emotional states and how your experience your own life. You can develop a kind of personal sovereignty that inoculates you from most (or all) of what used to stress you out.
If you would like to know more about how to get started making some simple, sustainable, positive changes, Sandy recommends that you take a look on the next page at the instructional manuals he has authored. They will show you the way to do this step-by-step.