Self-care action plan

-by Tim Grivois, Ed.D.

I recently led a workshop on self-care for an amazing group of caring professionals from Youth on Their Own, YOTO. While feedback from the workshop was positive, participants did ask for more time to work with three specific activities that accompany the Eight Dimensions of Wellness Cards. Below are the activities and an explanation of how to use them. Feel free to use them for your own personal reflection, or as part of a whole-staff development.

Eight Dimensions of Wellness

This activity is another way of applying the sorting activity that’s already in the deck. Once you’ve had a chance to read the cards, the invitation is to think about which dimensions of wellness might be calling to you, and to shade in each dimension of wellness according to how strongly you’re hearing that call.

Dimensions of wellness might be “calling to you” if you know that this dimension needs your attention. Or, you might feel called towards a certain dimension because engaging that dimension sounds fun. Because self-care begins from the “inside-out,” there truly isn’t a right or wrong way to shade in your wheel. Ultimately, your wheel belongs to you, and you get to decide what the visual representation means. 

Generally, people use the wheel to select one or two dimensions to focus on first, and these tend to be the ones that are most shaded.

Pick One Card

The “Pick One Card” activity is a good one to do when you’re looking to generate ideas for self-care that you haven’t considered yet. The goal of this activity is to select a dimension of wellness that you’d like to focus on. From there, think of three small ways to engage that dimension of wellness, and one big way. Note that there is no need to commit to any idea, big or small. Rather, the goal is to note that you have options.

For example, I might choose financial wellness.

Three “Smalls”

  • Finish the video game I’m playing before buying another.
  • Pack my lunch tomorrow instead of eating out.
  • Add $5.00 to my credit card payment.

One “Big”

  • Set up (or add to) an automatic transfer to my retirement account.

If you plan on using this activity in a group, it’s important to note that everyone has a different idea of what might be ‘small’ or ‘big.’ The goal is to generate options that make sense to us individually.

Supporting Our Colleagues

This activity is meant for groups that work closely together. Often, when we notice that our colleagues are overwhelmed, we want to support them. Yet, sometimes it can be hard to explain to each other what support we need.

First, participants take a moment to consider what they would want their colleagues to do when feeling overwhelmed. Then, in small groups made of colleagues who work closely and frequently together, participants find out what they can do to support self-care at work.

“Supporting Our Colleagues” looks simple, and it is. However, I recommend making sure that you’ve established safety in the group and that you’ve made clear that what we are only sharing with our colleagues what we feel appropriate for our workplace.

We Grow in Inches, Then Feet.

The Eight Dimensions of Wellness are highly interdependent. Most of my clients discover that when they or their team engages in one dimension—even in small ways—other dimension of wellness improve without much extra effort.

Use “We Grow in Inches, Then Feet” to imagine the positive changes you’ll experience when you’ve successfully attended to one dimension of wellness. By envisioning the positive outcomes in advance, you’ll activate your brain to notice them as they occur.

I hope that you’ll use these resources along with the Eight Dimensions of Wellness Deck to help yourself and your team to seek out opportunities for self-care that match what you know you need most. If you’d like to schedule a time to talk about more about this resource, click here. There is no charge to chat.

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