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Explore Self Care to Restore Balance During Hard Times

Self-Care Plan from Changing from the Inside Out

By Christine Jensen Ph.D., RD


Physical Activity

“To be alive is to move.  The unmoving water becomes a stagnant pool” (R. Ryan and J. Travis)

Realistic expectations lead to success.  A realistic exercise program for me for this week would be…






“I can resist everything except temptation” (Oscar Wilde)

I will focus on what I will do instead of what I will avoid doing.  I will keep it realistic.  This week I will…





Emotional Balance:

“There ain’t much fun in medicine, but there’s a heck of a lot of medicine in fun.” (Josh Billings)

Being emotionally balanced can relieve my cravings.  Fun needs to be a priority in my life, not something I do when I have time for it.  This week I will…





Getting Support:

“You don’t need help falling down but a hand up is sure welcome” (Ken Alstad)

I will develop and maintain a support system so that I can seek help from friends, support groups or professionals if I need it.  This week I will…






My current weight is                  pound, a gain / loss of  pounds.


I exercised a total of                                        minutes this week.


Over the past week, I noticed the following changes in my relationship to food:





Restoring Balance Restoring Balance from Changing from the Inside Out

By Christine Jensen Ph.D., RD




Feelings and Needs

Describe the situation (1-3 sentences):





As I think of this situation: What emotions (not thoughts) and what physical sensations do I notice?  (Focusing on the sensation can help you become aware of the emotion.)  Name each emotion as it emerges. Let yourself sit with the feeling.





When done, check again: Are there any others?






What do I need to come into more balance about this issue?

What do I need to just feel better in this moment?





Do I need something from myself, from someone/something outside myself? Or both?

What do I need?  If from outside: from where/whom?





What "first step" could I take toward getting this need(s) met?





What emotions/sensations do I notice nowHow in or out of balance do I feel?





Do I want to stop here, or explore my expectations and beliefs?




Expectations and Beliefs

As I consider this situation, what expectations ("shoulds"), am I aware of having, towards myself, others, the situation, life, etc?




For each identified expectation:

Is it reasonable?  Is it realistic?  If not, what expectations would be reasonable and realistic?



What thoughts, attitudes or beliefs might be blocking me from:

-Taking appropriate action to improve the situation?

-Moving into acceptance of what I can't change?



For each identified thought, attitude or belief:

What thought, attitude or belief would help me move into action (if action is needed)/ acceptance (if acceptance is needed)?




How does it feel to imagine "trying on" that outlook?




What is the "hard reality" about the situation – the ”unchangeable truth” that is painful to me?




Do you want to stay with the feelings/sensations that result, until they subside?

What emotions/sensations do I notice nowHow in or out of balance do I feel?




Do I want to stop here, or repeat the process?


As you lead yourself through the process:

-If your answer to any of the questions is "I don't' know" (What I am feeling; What I need; What would be realistic, etc) just let yourself sit with the "not knowing"--don't rush yourself--and see if an answer comes to you.

-If it doesn't, go back to checking-in with your feelings/sensations and proceed from there.

To print off a PDF version: Restoring Balance Process by Christine Jensen.pdf

Changing from the Inside Out: Skills for Resolving Emotional Eating, a workbook and class (if you are in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area). Goals for the class and workbook: Explore the emotional aspects of your weight; Identify personal needs and how to meet these needs; Set realistic expectations; Appreciate & care for your body; Improve overall self-care; Practice eating for health & pleasure; and Create a fulfilling lifestyle. The workbook can be purchased individually for $20. It is EXCELLENT. Call or contact Christine Jensen, RD, Ph.D., individual and small group counseling, 8140 SW 146th Terrace, Beaverton, OR  97007, 503-641-9136,

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