More information about the importance of self-care and how it can benefit your wellbeing – particularly if you live with a visible difference.
Living with a visible difference can have an impact on our mental health, and it can be easy to neglect our own self-care. Self-care planning helps to ensure that we look after ourselves.
Contrary to popular belief, we aren’t programmed to be instantly happy. Self-fulfilment requires practice just like any skill – and that’s why self-care planning can be invaluable.
On this page, we explore the benefits of having a self-care plan and suggest how you can put one together.
When we are finding things difficult, it is easy to fall back on habits that provide comfort. Often, these strategies are not caring towards ourselves. If you live with a visible difference, you may experience difficult situations a lot. However, relying on unhealthy habits to provide reassurance can make it more difficult to lead an enjoyable life.
Good self-care planning helps us avoid these unhealthy habits by paying attention to the five key areas of self-care:
Self-care planning helps us focus systematically on these areas and look after ourselves better. This is like using a map to get somewhere, or a recipe to bake a cake. Our self-care plan is there to guide us and help us check that we’re on the right track.
Read our guide “What is self-care?” alongside this one to find out more about the five areas of self-care – as well as some key signs that you may need to practise more self-care.
To help you draw up a self-care plan, it is helpful to understand your current routine. Think about what you already do and what you want to change under each of the areas above and write these down. We have included examples below.
Positive self-care things I do already:
- Physical: I walk the dog every day.
- Emotional: I work at being happy in my marriage.
- Psychological: I meditate every day.
- Social: I attend a weekly walking club.
- Professional: I work hard and produce work I am proud of.
Things I would like to change about my self-care:
- Physical: I’d like to cut down on my drinking.
- Emotional: I need to spend more time with my family after work.
- Psychological: I need to stop being so hard on myself and think more positively.
- Social: I need to stop making excuses to friends about meeting up.
- Professional: I need to stop working such long hours.
Self-care things I would like to try:
- Physical: I’d like to try a Pilates class.
- Emotional: I’d like to join a book club and make time to read more.
- Psychological: I want to do a photography course to learn about techniques.
- Social: I’d like to meet at least one friend a week.
- Professional: I’d like to learn more about social media in my job.