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Self-Care: Doing Your Best Requires Being Your Best

Self-Care: Doing Your Best Requires Being Your Best

Managing your transition home – Part 10

Written by Elizabeth and Katherine Hirsh

In previous posts we’ve looked at how who you are in terms of your personality type shapes your outlook generally and your reintegration approach specifically. In the next four posts we will discuss quick tips that are useful to all personality types during the transition from service to civilian life. We begin with self-care, a much talked about but frequently overlooked necessity.

Service members are taught to put the needs of others and the needs of the group above their own. This is admirable and makes sense during deployment. But back at home, it is just as sensible to follow a self-care plan. Now you’re in command. Leading yourself correctly ensures your well-being as well as the well-being of those around you. Doing so is not selfish—rather, it’s the only way to take charge of your life successfully and to impact others positively.

Here are some simple yet important tips to help you do just that:*

  • Eat right, exercise, and get rest—the first two will assist with the third.
  • Be cautious with the use of alcohol and drugs.
  • Find and do things that are fun and playful and make you laugh.
  • Realize that, in order to be useful to others, you need to attend to your own needs, too.
  • Recognize that it shows more courage to seek help than it does to suffer alone.
  • Reevaluate priorities and goals—don’t try to force your new life into outdated forms.
  • Take responsibility for whatever you can do to change your situation for the better.
  • Celebrate all your successes, no matter how small.
  • Resist cultural norms that suggest that you need to respond to challenging situations by putting on a stoic or cheerful face.
  • Try to silence your internal critic and cut yourself some slack—reintegration is a process, and it doesn’t happen overnight.

Diet and exerciseFor most service members, getting back home is a much-anticipated event. However, along with all the happy moments following your return, times of self-doubt and confusion will almost certainly be part of the experience, too. Knowing your personality style and how it shapes what brings purpose to your life—combined with taking your well-being seriously—can help in good times and in bad.

You are now the captain of your own ship. Steer it wisely toward better physical and mental health, which benefits you and all those around you.

You can learn more about the topic of personality type and reintegration in our booklet Introduction to Type® and Reintegration.

*Source:  E. Hirsh, K. W. Hirsh, and James Peak, Introduction to Type® and Reintegration: A Framework for Managing the Transition Home (Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc., 2011), 56.

Elizabeth and Katherine Hirsh are coauthors of several publications, including Introduction to Type® and Teams, MBTI® Teambuilding Program: Leader’s Resource Guide, Introduction to Type® and Decision Making, and the MBTI® Decision-Making Style Report.

 

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