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Small Self-Care Acts That Make a Big Impact

During the last couple weeks of January and the first half of February, we are bombarded with Valentine's Day decorations, gift ideas, and much more. This year, however, what if we took some time to make ourselves our own Valentine? I honestly love all the emphasis on spreading love, but let's ensure we do that with ourselves too.

One tool I've been using for the past couple of years is called the Wheel of Life. I learned about it in my health coaching class and there is a reason they teach it. It 100% helps you get to the bottom of where you need some added love for yourself. The wheel is broken up into twelve categories that I'll explain and then leave you with a downloadable copy to use for yourself.

As you can see from the example, you want to put a dot somewhere on the line that represents that specific category. The closer your dot is to the center the more work you may need to do in that category. I will list each category and leave some examples of how to work on them.

  • Joy- When you come to this line in the wheel you want to think about how much joy you feel overall. This may be something you do where you lose track of time or you get "lost" in the moment. Some examples may be belly laughing until you cry, watching a sunset, reading a good book, talking to a friend, feeling love for yourself or others, or learning something new.

  • Social life- How often do you connect with others? Some ways you might include having a party or get-together, meeting friends for dinner, signing up for a new group, taking a class, starting your own wellness group, and going to the theater.

  • Relationships- How do your relationships feel? You don't have to be in a romantic relationship necessarily, this is a look at all the relationships in your life. If you feel disconnected from someone maybe write them an email or call them. Spend some one on one time with someone. Include more people in your daily life tasks (your kids or grandkids), and schedule alone time with a partner if you have one.

  • Home Environment- How comfortable do you feel in your home? Is your bedroom a place to relax, to sleep, or both? Are things organized so that when you walk into each room you can feel at ease? Do you have a healthy relationship with those you live with if you do live with people? Take some time to organize your dresser drawers. Get rid of things that no longer give you joy and just take up space. Light some candles and take a bath. Make a dessert that will leave an aroma that fills the house for hours.

  • Home cooking- How often do you cook? If you do cook, do you feel a connection to what you are making or are you simply making something to fulfill your hunger? Break out of your cooking rut and try a whole new culture of food. If you live with people, ask them to join you in the process so there's not so much to do. Plan meals out over the weekend so it's not so stressful the day of.

  • Physical activity- How often do you move your body in a way that feels like you are getting the stuck 'gunk' out? Find a way to move your body that you enjoy such as dancing, yoga, hiking, swimming, etc. You don't have to necessarily go to a gym to move your body. Find something that aligns with your happiness and brings you joy when you do it. The best movement is done outside because you are able to bring in your other senses, take in nature, and breathe the fresh air while the sun is shining on you❤️.

  • Health- How do you feel overall? This includes mind, body, and spirit. Are you taking care of yourself? Do a water challenge to make sure you hit your water intake. Listen to a wellness podcast to get some helpful new ideas;) When health issues pop up, try and be your own detective to see what may be causing the issue.

  • Education- This does not mean you need to go to college in order to feel fulfilled in the education department. It just means have you or are you feeling the itch to learn new things? If you are working on this in your own way through reading or online classes or even college then you should give yourself a good score. However, if you have this nagging feeling that you want to go deeper on a topic, get curious and see if there are in-person workshops near you. Look online for workshops. We are never too old to learn new tricks.

  • Career- This one is tough because we live in a materialistic world and need money to live. However, if we are in a job where we feel it's sucking the life out of us then it makes it hard to find joy in our life. If you are in a position like that, maybe you could find different positions that would be a better fit for your needs. Maybe you need to find a different career altogether. Rating on the wheel will be a visual for you to gauge where you land. You could look up workshops and classes on careers that seem more fulfilling for after-hours or on weekends. Just dip your toe into different areas and investigate what else is out there. Nothing is ever permanent.

  • Finances- How secure and safe do you feel overall? Do you have a savings plan in place or is that still something that needs to be addressed? You could always make an appointment with your bank to find out ways to move things around and save more. Next time your credit card bill comes, take a highlighter and highlight things you are paying for that you no longer need/enjoy (I am always surprised when I do this) and start to make changes. Money is scary when we make it so. Just think of it as something we can always make adjustments to little by little until we feel safer.

  • Creativity- This is one of my favorite topics on the wheel. In what ways are you trying to be more creative? It doesn't have to be some of the typical ones like painting or playing an instrument. Creativity is anything from intuitive cooking to writing a letter to someone. This is kind of silly but how creative are the names for all nail polish you use (ha ha)? See where you can be a little more creative in your daily life. You could arrange a beautiful bouquet of flowers, try a new way of doing your hair, put on some fun nail polish colors, make food without relying totally on a recipe, or mix and match new outfit ideas. The list truly is endless.

  • Spirituality- How often are you taking care of your soul? Do you perform activities or apply practices that provide a sense of purpose, direction, or meaning in your life? I know I say this all the time but one of the best ways to hear your soul is to be out in nature. Go sit somewhere and listen to any wildlife, the wind, or just peacefulness. I saw a quote that said, "Be in nature for 20 minutes a day. If you are too busy, be out there for an hour then." We tend to take it for granted but have you ever been outside and thought man I wish I never came outside? Try yoga or Tai Chi. They both are so amazing at centering yourself. Hop on YouTube and find a video you feel called to and enjoy some centering💕

After you have filled out the wheel and connected the dots like in the example, see where your circle is more con-caved, that is where you need to focus some more time. Ask yourself simple questions like, what could I do to improve that area by one point? What actions could help me improve in a week's time and then what could I do to improve a few months out?

The older I get the more apparent it is that life is never "finished." No matter how old we get, there is ALWAYS something to go deep on within us. There are always ways to improve and bring in more peace and enjoyment. The only person who can unlock those answers is you. No one knows you better than you. I have included a PDF of the wheel so you can print it off (if you don't have a printer, you can just draw it on a piece of paper) and see where you land. Make this the best Valentine's Day you've ever had. Your deepest love affair is with yourself. Make yourself proud!

Wheel Of Life
Download PDF • 735KB

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