Avoid drifting into unwanted behaviors by mastering the process of Self-Care for Men
Using the DPAR to refine your Self-Care System
As modern day Spiritual Warriors, we are often faced with a unique set of challenges.
We strive to balance our roles as fathers, sons, husbands, brothers, friends, and spiritual leaders while also tending to our personal, academic, and professional responsibilities.
Yet, amidst these challenges, we mustn’t overlook the importance of our mental health and Spiritual wellbeing. I want to make sure you are aware of the dynamic approach to self-care, blending the wisdom of the Latter-day Saints doctrine, sports psychology, and modern mental health practices we use in our Specialized Self Mastery Training programs.
At the heart of this approach lies the “DPAR” method – Discovery, Planning, Action, and Reflection found in the Pattern for Growth system provided by our inspired church leaders. This method is a cyclical process designed to instigate growth and learning.
During the Discovery phase, men are encouraged to investigate what self-care strategies are practiced by other men around them, in wisdom based literature and throughout history. This exploration may shed light on new ways to care for both physical and spiritual wellbeing, forming the foundation of a personalized self-care routine. Many of these strategies are introduced in MofM and SOH training sessions.
Planning, the next stage, involves crafting a roadmap for action.
This includes sharing and discussing plans with family members and friends, promoting a supportive and accountable environment. An often overlooked portion of the planning phase includes planning what to thing and feel minute by minute.
This is where sports psychology adds a great deal of value. Successful Action requires many physical steps aligned with cognitive and emotional steps occurring almost simultaneously, like multiple fingers on the piano, over and over, planning successful behavior is very similar to composing music for a piano. It takes more work than you might think and is followed by a great deal of practice.
After Planning comes Action – implementing the self-care routines and strategies devised during the planning stage. Our faith teaches us that faith without action is fruitless (James 2:26), emphasizing the importance of converting plans into reality.
Finally, the Reflection phase involves self-evaluation and assessment. What worked well? What didn’t? It’s through honest reflection that individuals are able to refine their approach to self-care, continually improving their strategies.
One must expect to repeat this 4-step cycle hundreds of times if they expect to acquire specialized self mastery the same way a musician or athlete expects to repeat the cycle.
The Power of Intentional Self-Talk
Integral to this process is the concept of ‘self-talk’ – the internal dialogue we engage in with ourselves. This dialogue can guide actions and significantly influence mindset. Therefore, it is essential to fill our minds with positive, affirming, and spiritually-sound words that bolster resilience against internal and external adversities.
This requires Discovering quotes and thoughts that have an impact on your mind, attitude and body chemistry. Some of us need to increase our confidence. Some need to become more empathetic. After doing a NNFF mood battle exercise, use the ideas you found and prepare them (Plan) to practice reviewing them over and over and over.
The importance of positive self-talk is widely recognized in sports psychology, where athletes often use action-oriented and present-focused self-talk to prepare for their game.
They use the same thing to practice getting into the most accurate mindset and mood set. Taking inspiration from this practice, Warriors are encouraged to develop their own ‘spiritual self-talk’, serving as an internal coach to themselves, that guides their mental and spiritual workouts.
We conclude by emphasizing the importance of unwavering belief in oneself, drawing inspiration from the legendary golfer, Tiger Woods, who maintained his belief in his abilities despite physical setbacks.
Similarly, Warriors are encouraged to remember their virtues and hold firm in their faith during their self-care journey. We can more easily win the War between Remembering and Forgetting by having weapons like 3×5 cards which we practice using over and over and over again.
The dynamic DPAR method, combined with the power of positive self-talk and unwavering self-belief, can revolutionize the approach to self-care for Warriors.
By embracing these strategies, we can thrive in our roles, nourish our mental wellbeing, and continue to be a beacon of light in our communities.