Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Self-Care Score Card

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Filed under Wellness

Last semester, I was teaching a music therapy methods course on Gerontology, using the textbook Therapeutic Uses of Music with Older Adults by Alicia Ann Clair. In her chapter on caring for the caregiver, she listed several self-care techniques that music therapists could address with caregivers. I suggested to my students that they use these as guidelines for their own self-care, and created a scoring system for them to identify which areas they needed work on. I created this score card to use for your own self care evaluation and planning:

Selfcare scorecard (Downloadable .doc version)

  1. Stress management relaxation techniques: I’ve been trying out some guided relaxation CDs created by music therapists. Try Relax Into Wellness 1 or Relax Into Wellness 2 by Dr. Louise Montello, Calmwaves by Robert Ellis Krout, or music by Janalea Hoffman. I’ve also been considering other things like Paper Crane folding.
  2. Exercise: We all know we’re supposed to exercise. The trick is picking something we like, so we’ll actually do it, and then scheduling it each day as an unbreakable appointment with ourselves. I like to use the workouts from Boot Camp Hub. The workouts are short (30 minutes or less), require no equipment, and provide a wide variety to choose from. Plus I don’t have to go anywhere because I can do them in my living room. There’s a free trial so you can check it out!
  3. Good nutrition: We also know we’re supposed to eat healthy, nutritious food. Rather than counting calories or anything else, I try to drink a certain amount of water, eat at regular times, and have vegetables at every meal. This book simplifies nutritional information to me.
  4. Proper rest: This one is key. As a (relatively) new parent, sleep has been difficult for me, but I know I need 7-9 hours of sleep in order to function well. Sleep Smarter looks like a good reference.
  5. Emotional support of family and friends: As an introvert, I have trouble making the effort to socialize, but I need social interaction! So I make an effort to reach out to people I know will be supportive and more equal in their interactions with me (rather than letting me listen to their problems, which I’m really good at). I try to have at least one lunch with a friend or other adult interaction per week. For more research on the importance of social interaction, try Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect, by Matthew D. Lieberman.
  6. Spiritual grounding: This can be done through prayer, meditation, going to church or temple, or spending time in nature. One does not have to be religious to have the need for spirituality. To me, spirituality is connection to something bigger than ourselves, so taking time to feel or experience or contemplate that connection is important. Or just experiencing the present moment and the sensations you feel in your body.
  7. Opportunities to pursue personal interests: This might require some scheduling. For me, this means arranging time with my husband so that I can watch the Tour de France every July, pursuing a Doctor of Liberal Studies, and going to soccer games. Oh, and writing here. There’s also a quilt I want to finish and a banjo I want to learn to play, so those are things I need to find time for.

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