As I tell all my clients, if you follow the personalized recommendations I make based on the Brainbow Blueprint, I promise you will feel better. That is how sure I am of this approach.
But knowing what you need to do is not enough; you have to do it! And you have to do it regularly, folding it into your daily life, which takes an investment of care and energy. This is why the final aspect of the Brainbow Blueprint is called Adherence.
Without laying the groundwork for adherence, the best intentions and most brilliant self-care plans can (and do) still fail.
To help, I have created a poster-size infographic for you to download and print. Put it on your fridge or office wall. Download it here
Making It Stick
We’ve all had the experience of recognizing what we need to do and not doing it. Think of what it takes to stick to food plans, nutrient or herbal supplement schedules, or an exercise routine. It’s hard.
All kinds of obstacles get in our way: competing interests, fatigue, lack of time, and for those with depression, a sense of helplessness, just to name a few.
What do you do when your noblest aspirations to change hit a brick wall? And, if you’re a clinician, how do you support your clients in the face of their individual and very real challenges?
The greatest adherence is achieved when your plans and action steps are tailored to YOU personally. Effective adherence strategies are designed with deep knowledge of what will work and what won’t, both for ourselves and for our clients.
This is why I talk about flexing our self-care muscle, and why I teach my students to individualize self-care strategies for their own clients.
What does this look like?
Getting Personal with Your Priorities
The first aspect of the Brainbow Blueprint is Bioindviduality. Our self-care muscle is strengthened when we pay attention to what is…
- Important to us, considering our bioindividual needs
- A high priority
At every step, it’s important to distinguish between what we think we should be doing—which is usually a non-starter!—and where joy is found in the “doing”. Follow your joy as you reflect on the questions below!
These are the questions I answer with my clients (and I also use them myself whenever I want to adjust my personal health goals and outcomes!)
Flexing Your Self-Care Muscle with Exercise
Whenever you start or step up an exercise routine, look at the bigger picture as you consider your goals:
- How many days a week do you need or want to exercise?
- How long do you want or need each session to be?
- What type of exercise(s) will you do – aerobics, yoga, walking, weight-lifting, Tai Chi, gentle movement, or some combination of the above?
Next, consider your preferences and interests. Be curious and avoid self-judgment! Many of my clients have had negative experiences with exercise in the past. A gentle, open-ended exploration of this terrain can be quite valuable before setting goals.
- How do you feel about exercising?
- What do you want to feel like when you exercise?
- What kinds of exercises or movements do you love?
- What kinds of exercise do you dislike, and what can’t you stand?
- Is there a new kind you haven’t ever tried that you’d like to?
Finally, think about what support you might need or benefit from to meet these goals:
- What exercise can you easily do alone?
- What exercise requires that you engage a trainer to help you do it?
- Who might be a good workout buddy for you–perhaps to walk or attend a class, do water aerobics with, or even talk on the phone with while you walk?
- What exercise would you like to do or know you should do but find challenging and need help with? What kind of help would work best?
When you think all these questions through before you begin to take action, you’ll significantly boost your ability to find the right support and suitable exercises–and you’ll enjoy far greater success in this important area of self-care.
Flexing Your Self-Care Muscle for Nutritional Change
The first thing to ask when looking at diet and nutrition is: what is your top priority for nutritional change? The areas my clients often focus on first include reducing or eliminating sugar, eating more vegetables, taking supplements once a day or more, or cooking a certain number of fresh meals per day.
Next, answer these questions to help you create a clear vision of what will bring you success:
- What will success look like? (Hint: write it down!)
- What might be easy about achieving this change?
- What is a possible obstacle(s) to your success?
- What do you need in order to be successful?
- Who can actively support your goals? This might involve calling you to ask about how your plan is going, cooking or shopping with you, or sharing recipes or new research.
- Who can passively support your goals? This kind of support could look like a shoulder to lean on when things get tough, or joining you for a healthy meal.
- Will anyone you know potentially interfere with your success? Can you set some boundaries up to prevent that from happening?
If you’re a clinician, having your clients answer all these questions and share their responses with you is a great preliminary step in this phase of your work together. Then you can easily tailor a conversation to explore enhancing what will help them strengthen their self-care muscle, setting them up for sustainable success in their journey of healing and growth.
Want to learn more?
- A Comprehensive Guide to Natural Hypothyroidism Treatment - November 17, 2023
- Flexing Your Self-Care Muscle (and Your Client’s Too!) For Success - September 4, 2023
- How to Eliminate Headaches, Congestion, and Detoxify with Mustard Seeds - August 7, 2023
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