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  • Lily Trabold

Self Care = Habitual, Patterned Behaviors

Our daily habits and routines shape the trajectory of our lives. They determine how we feel, how we act, and how we show up in the world. By cultivating positive habits and rituals that prioritize our self-care, we can transform our lives into the experiences we desire.

Self-care is about nurturing the mind, body, and spirit in a way that supports our overall well-being. It involves taking responsibility for our own health and happiness, and making intentional choices that align with our values and goals. It's not just about indulging in occasional treats or luxuries, but about creating sustainable habits that promote long-term vitality and fulfillment.

One of the most powerful ways to cultivate self-care is through habitual patterns. Our brains are wired to seek out patterns, as they provide stability and predictability in an ever-changing world. By intentionally cultivating habits and rituals, we can train our brains to default to behaviors that support our well-being.

For realistic application, if we commit to going to bed at the same time each night, our bodies will naturally adjust to this routine and we'll be more likely to get rejuvenating sleep. If we commit to starting each day with a hearty breakfast, our bodies will be fueled with the nutrients needed to tackle the day ahead. If we commit to taking breaks during the day to stretch, we'll be more productive and focused when we return to our tasks.

But habits aren't just about physical behaviors – they also shape our thoughts and beliefs. If we make a habit of negative self-talk, our brains will start to believe those messages and it can impact our mental health and self-esteem. If we make a habit of practicing gratitude and positive affirmations, we'll start to see the world through a more optimistic lens and feel more content with our lives.

As an occupational therapist specialized in health promotion, I've seen firsthand the transformative power of habitual patterns and self-care. By helping my clients create positive, sustainable habits that prioritize their well-being, I've watched them transform their lives into the experiences they desire. It's not always easy to break old habits or establish new ones, but the effort is worth it when we see the positive impact on our lives.

So if you're looking to cultivate self-care in your life, start by identifying the habits and routines that are currently supporting your well-being, and build on them. Then, look for areas where you could make small changes that would have a big impact. Whether it's taking a daily walk, practicing mindfulness, or setting aside time for creative pursuits, every positive habit can make a difference. Remember, the promises we make to ourselves are the most important, and the habits we cultivate are the key to keeping those promises.

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