a profile picture of Kimberly Frazier, ACA's 71st president
Kimberly Frazier, ACA’s 71st president

Last month’s column focused on why wellness is important and how to apply it in everyday life. We discussed the importance of advocating for your wellness and creating a wellness plan that you can easily follow, which will help make self-care a part of your regular routine. Wellness can involve you making simple changes in your life such as unplugging for 15 minutes a day, carving out dedicated time to rest or scheduling time to exercise. It’s also important that you set boundaries to ensure you can meet your wellness goals and that you make time for wellness regardless of the personal and professional things that you have going. Last month, I challenged you to take at least 15 minutes out of your week to practice wellness.

In the column this month, I want to talk about the benefits and barriers to practicing wellness. One benefit to practicing wellness is that it allows you to develop more coping skills while also forcing you to be more aware of where you are in your wellness journey. Some other benefits include:

  • You develop more coping strategies and skills that help you conquer obstacles and challenges that life may bring.
  • You can be more engaged with family, friends and projects that are not connected to your work or career.
  • You model healthy wellness boundaries, goals and activities for the people in your life and perhaps encourage them to do the same.
  • You learn new skills and strategies that aid you in pursuing your life’s work and passion.

But it’s not always easy to make time for our own self-care. In fact, barriers to self-care can arise when you need to practice self-care the most. It is important to remember that doing something, no matter how small, toward your self-care is progress. Week to week your self-care may vary, and that is OK. Some barriers to practicing wellness include:

  • You have trouble setting and keeping boundaries.
  • The people in your support system are not supporting your new boundaries and wellness activities.
  • The wellness and self-care activities you are trying to do are not setting you up for success.
  • You are attempting to make large-scale changes at the beginning instead of starting with small, attainable goals.

Above all, remember wellness is a lifelong process. Your wellness needs will change as your needs change, so give space for these changes as they occur. I want to provide you with some wellness and self-care reflection tips:

  • Be your own wellness and self-care advocate.
  • Make your wellness a nonnegotiable part of your life.
  • Establish wellness goals.
  • Set personal boundaries to ensure that you have time to practice self-care and wellness.
  • Create a wellness circle to talk about your experiences. (For more on wellness circles, see last’s month column.)
  • Connect with people who are also modeling best practices and solutions.
  • Hold yourself accountable for your wellness and self-care journey.

Remember that being able to apply wellness and self-care long term allows you to build long-term strategies that can be applied in every aspect of your life. This month’s challenge is to examine your personal barriers to wellness and incorporate one of these wellness tips to help make self-care a part of your everyday life. Happy wellness!

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