Published on July 31st, 2013 | by Becky Castle Miller


(Blog) My Self-Care Prescription

In my article “How to Feel Better Through Unique Self Care,” I talk about some basic “buckets” or areas of our lives which we can fill with healthy decisions and activities. What we each put in our various buckets will vary widely, because we all have different needs.

So here is my personal prescription for self care. These are the things I know I can and should do to help myself be healthy. I don’t do a great job being consistent in any of these areas, but I can definitely tell a positive difference when I do. Even being consistent with two or three of them helps me feel stronger and more calm. I’m working on building more consistent self-discipline for self care into my life.

When I am my healthiest self:

I eat a protein-heavy diet (especially while pregnant!) with lots of salads and other sources of raw vegetables. My body seems to like dairy, so that’s a great way for me to get calcium and protein. I remember to avoid sugar and the energy crashes it causes.

I sleep eight hours a night and nine to ten hours once a week.

I stay active (biking everywhere as part of our life in the Netherlands is really helpful), do focused workouts at the gym three times a week (cardio on a low-impact machine like an elliptical trainer and either free weights for upper body or the Nautilus machines), and do my Bradley pregnancy exercises to prepare for a healthy birth.

I spend time every day in structured prayer and spontaneous prayer.

I enjoy several sessions a week of alone time, thanks to the help and support of my husband and babysitters.

I do work that uses my best talents and also makes a difference in the world.

I deepen my family relationships by having fun with my husband and children.

I go deep in conversations with trusted friends. I ask for and receive support and encouragement from my mastermind group and my local community group.

Right now, I am not seeing a counselor regularly nor am I currently taking antidepressants, but both were vital to my health a couple years ago. I will be quick to return to these if I ever need them again!

I would LOVE to read your prescription for your own unique self care! Would you be so kind as to share it here?

Photo by Toby Keathley of Shot By The Best for Wyn Magazine.


About the Author

Becky Castle Miller

is the Managing Editor of Wyn Magazine. She is an American expat in the Netherlands, a writer/reader/editor focused on helping women make better lives.

  • Evita

    I love the thought of thinking this through!!
    My self care (when I’m at my healthiest):
    – I sleep 7-8 hours a night
    – I do some sort of challenging/serious sweat-inducing exercise for at least 30 minutes 3 times a week
    – I eat a virtually grain-free and processed sugar-free diet, high in healthy proteins and LOTS of fruits and veggies
    – I laugh a lot. Big belly laughs, daily. (Usually with my husband or hilarious kids) I deliberately make this happen on “unfunny” days by having a playlist on Pandora of some of my favorite comedians
    – I spend daily time in prayer and reading things that nourish my spirituality
    – I get alone time (this is the one I am most inconsistent in and I suffer because of it…)
    – I have deep connecting conversations regularly with my close friends (maybe once a week or more)
    – I eat dark chocolate and dates with a glass of good red wine… :-)
    – I spend time daily actually touching my children, whether it’s hugs, kisses, cuddling or tickling. It helps strengthen the bond for me and readjust my perspective and I’m sure I read somewhere that it’s good for them too :-)
    – I have alone “date” night with my husband to reconnect and strengthen our “team”
    – I have regular and enjoyable/meeting-my-needs-too kind of sex (with my husband) It’s a major stress reliever!!!
    I think that’s it for me. After typing all this out, I can see what a helpful diagnostic this list is to process through a “bad week” or something. Thanks, Becky!!

  • Naomi

    I love this too! I appreciate that you said “When I am my healthiest self, I…” Because I’m constantly making plans and lists of what I need to do or be to get healthy, and constantly failing miserably, guilty and shamed. Turning that around and saying “here’s what I do and how my life looks when I am healthy” would let me take some of the pressure off. Total paradigm shift. At least that’s how the article struck me.

    So I’d rather write a description than a prescription. A description of a healthy me from actual healthy times in the past. More grace that way for a recovering perfectionist. Then maybe I can work on being that person I know I have in me instead of trying to follow a bunch of rules I make for myself. This is so helpful to me. thank you.

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