By Monica Nolasco, Ed.D.
We know that stress is a part of life. Demands related to accomplishing personal goals and keeping up with family activities while also meeting professional responsibilities multiply the negative effects of stress.
I agree with my teacher, Donald Rothberg, when he says, “Those of us who aim to transform both ourselves and the world come under heavy pressure, both from the outside and inside, that make it very challenging to take care of ourselves and the world over the long haul” (p. 92).
Perhaps, you’ve already experienced increased stress, and it is only the first quarter of the New Year. You probably feel a need to find ways to manage it to help you thrive.
My recommendation is to plan time for personal care and attention, and I offer these three tips for your consideration.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR “SELF”. The word “personal” has two words in it: person + all, meaning “all of you”. Your person (that is, “You”) will respond to the care and attention you give your “self” by developing physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT YOUR OWN CARE AND ATTENTION. Each day, you are deciding to live a certain way. Be just as intentional about establishing personal time as you are about making professional decisions. As you gain practice, this will become second nature.
INVEST IN PERSONAL TIME ON A REGULAR BASIS. Make (and keep) appointments to take care of you so that you can continue doing (and enjoying) the important work you do.
One final word about self-care
I remember one day during a yoga class, my instructor said, “You will notice that your body will crave the practice of yoga.” I couldn’t have agreed with her more…and I would add to that, that what you give your whole person, your whole person will come to crave in a kind of cycle of individual growth.
Integrating “me time” into your days will feed your body – and spirit – with the attention they need to thrive in the face of even the greatest stress. Your “self” will come back to the battle with renewed vigor once you give it a little love.
If you’d like to know more about working with stress and developing a self-care plan, you can contact me via email
ROTHBERG, D. (2006).The engaged spiritual life: A Buddhist approach to transforming ourselves and the world. Boston: Beacon Press