At ExSitu, we create a lot of end-of-life and aged care plans but there’s one area we’re woefully underutilised in and that is creating a self-care plan.
Care plans are amazing things. They can help articulate your needs across health, mental health, aged care and disability. They can act as your way of articulating your individual needs in a care facility. And they can act as a blueprint for your loved ones at end-of-life or when you are facing temporary or permanent changes to health.
But did you know you can also use a care plan to support high impacts or before a major change in circumstances? You can also use a care plan to support your self-care needs. You can use them to articulate your values, set goals and plot out your future wishes.
Here’s how to use ExSitu to support your self-care plan needs
Walking you through the process
Most of the time, we know what we think might look like great self-care strategies. We may even believe we’re already doing a fairly solid self-care plan. However, humans are great at identifying what they need and not so great at putting those thoughts on paper. And we’re not so good at identifying the areas of improvement or what we need for the future.
That’s where ExSitu’s care plans comes in.
A care plan is designed to cover all the bases when it comes to self-care. It’s a helpful prompting process that takes you step-by-step through the areas you need to look after. It introduces concepts we may not know through questions about what we like to do, who we are and who we’d prefer to support us.
You don’t have to wait until you enter aged care or face end-of-life or some other major impact to draw on this information. Plus, it can help you reduce stress related to ageing, changes to health or mental health and life in general by taking you through an intuitive, grounding process.
All while helping your plot out a useful self-care plan that supports the person you are now blossom into the person of the future.
All humans have goals, small and large. We love looking forward to possibilities and futures. And we like to challenge ourselves and stretch as far as we can get.
That doesn’t change with age. The scale or the focus may differ as we get older. However, the desire to accomplish things in life is what keeps us going.
Goals are really important to keeping us active in body, mind and spirit. Yet most of the commentary surrounding goals focusses on workplace productivity, career or family milestones. The older we get, the more the conversation seems to taper off. And it may influence especially go-getting, high achievers with a plan when they hit retirement.
Creating a self-care plan that includes goals can offset this change in focus and personal productivity.
You can utilise your ExSitu care plan to add self-care goals such as:
- What you will do to maintain or increase your fitness through exercise
- Outline how you’d like to spend your days
- Define what fulfillment and accomplishment means to you
- Articulate your hierarchy of values to help plan a focus going forward
- Plot out travel plans and bucket lists while outlining what support you may need to complete them
- Identify the elements of your self-care plan you need to maintain a healthy, stress-free and happy life generally
It’s OK to be the person who wondered how you ever had time to fit work in around all the marvellous experiences, tasks and goals you are completing!
It can identify areas of concern
Humans are fabulous at overthinking. We can store an awful lot of ideas and information in our grey matter at any given time. Yet for all our processing power, we often fail to ground these thoughts and check in with the realities and practicalities.
Using ExSitu helps take you from rumination to action in the planning department. Instead of avoiding the potential impacts on the horizon, you can strategise to face the future on your terms. And the power that act of identifying the problems and developing a solution or workaround is immeasurable.
In this way, you can lean on a self-care plan by:
- Articulating thoughts, ideas and concepts that promote stress
- Identifying stressors and building a solid action plan to reduce, counter or solve them
- Establishing a strategy to look after your mental health in various different circumstances
- Developing a treatment plan if you are facing changes to your health or mental health
- Identifying supports to help you through the challenges and stages of life
- Providing a working document that outlines what quality of life might look like
- Creating contingencies for a whole host of health, mental health and lifestyle impacts.
Moving the thoughts out of your head and into a workable self-care plan can do a lot for helping reduce stress now and in the future.
It keeps you accountable
Self-care plans are fantastic for breaking down the steps we need to take to maintain and improve our health, mental health, fitness and social needs. They take larger goals and break them down into tiny steps that we can activate every day or week. Those steps become progress as we create a roadmap to the goals and outcomes we’d like to achieve.
It also helps keep us connected to what truly matters.
For example, while we may be enamoured with the idea of being a 90-year-old cyclist competing in the Tour de France, this may remain pie-in-the-sky. But if you want to bicycle through China for your sixtieth and it’s an extension of your current love of cycling, this has potential.
By setting goals, looking at your time and resources, and identifying pastimes like learning Cantonese or Mandarin and/or practicing bicycle repair, you can begin to see the foundations of this plan materialise. You can develop a plan that suits your health and physical stamina with incremental growth attached. And plot out research and supports that might help strengthen your abilities along the way.
The dream plus the focus combine to create a challenging but obtainable self-care plan. It’s about assessing what you really want and strengthening your capabilities, knowledge and networks. And identifying what you might need to fulfill the goal at hand. All while providing practical steps to achieve it in a timely fashion.
And that dream can be as ambitious or as heartfelt as you want it to be!
Put your self-care first
We all benefit from the opportunity to articulate what we want out of life and what purpose and meaning look like to us.
By choosing to articulate what self-care looks like for you, you’re advocating for yourself and your future.