Self-Care Strategy: Volunteer

Miss America Serves Day is April 7th this year and titleholders, contestants and volunteers will be serving their communities through their personal platform in addition to raising funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH).

My personal platform is raising awareness of cognitive impairments and the importance of self-care to decrease the effects of stress on the brain. Volunteering is one form of self-care that I have identified as it helps me to focus on the needs of others and how I can help them.

Volunteering is good for your mind and body as it provides many benefits to both your mental and physical health.

Volunteering combats depression.

Reducing the risk of depression is an important benefit of volunteering. A key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering helps you make positive connections, eliminating isolation, and can contribute to your overall happiness.

According to an article from Harvard Health Publishing volunteering has positive implications that go beyond mental health. A growing body of evidence suggests that people who give their time to others might also be rewarded with better physical health—including lower blood pressure and a longer lifespan.

Evidence of volunteerism’s physical effects can be found in a recent study from Carnegie Mellon University, published in Psychology and Aging. Adults over age 50 who volunteered on a regular basis were less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers. High blood pressure is an important indicator of health because it contributes to heart disease, stroke, and premature death.

This week, during Miss America Serves week, consider ways to improve your health through volunteering. If you would like to help me make miracles with CMNH, you can donate here. All funds raised go to the local CMNH hospitals.  Whether it is $1 or $100, every dollar counts and can make the difference in the life of a child or the family of a child who is in the hospital.

Visit CMNH to learn more about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Developing Your Style – Start with YOU!

 KNOW THYSELF

“The essence of knowledge is self-knowledge.” – Plato

“Who am I in the midst of all this thought traffic?” – Rumi

It is important to ask questions and reflect on the answers you develop in order fully know who you are and what motivates you in the areas of Service (which I identify as Being), Syle (identified as Body) and Scholarship (identified as Brain).  

Being is how you identify yourself in relation to your contribution to the world.  It encompasses your platform which identifies the type of SERVICE you share with people and organizations.  Your BEING can be identified as your purpose; your personal mission statement and ultimately defines your STYLE.   

Brain is your (SCHOLARSHIP) educational pursuits, both personally and professionally.  Additionally, it covers areas of personal development to include your TALENT.  

Body is a large category that includes the areas of health and fitness, as well as your physical environment.  The sum of these three parts (Being, Body, Brain/Service, Style, Scholarship) is also categorized under Body/Style.  You, your style, your image is a brand and is the output of all the other factors contributing to the definition of who you are.  STYLE, then, is HOW you relate to the outside world; your family, friends, school, and community.

Hopefully, you can see how important the knowledge of who you are and what you value.  It is not only important to your core identity but it is extremely helpful in determining the what and how you plan to give, do, and be during your year of SERVICE as Miss (Local/State).

What do you know about you?  How can you share your unique gifts, talents, skills, and abilities with your community and the world at large?  Download this FREE Style Inventory and to get started on identifying your personal brand. 

Turning Goals into SMART Goals

What are your personal goals for participating in a pageant?  Or, why do you want to win the “Miss” title you are competing for?  Is it the scholarships, the personal development, to promote an issue you are passionate about, or all of the above?

Some areas of goal setting to consider for a successful pageant competition can be:

Style: fitness and appearance; how you present yourself and how you may be perceived by others; how you represent the local pageant organization, community, state and national pageant systems as a contestant.

Service: your platform and community service

Scholarship: keeping your grades up and pursuing financial awards for further education

Success: reaching small goals that lead to bigger goals

What are some of the goals you have set for yourself?

Once you have identified your “Why?” It is time to transform your goal into actionable steps that will yield results.  Actionable steps are the daily, weekly and monthly tasks that need to be accomplished in order to achieve your goal.  These tasks are specifically geared toward helping you become your best self in a given area.  The objective is to turn your goals into manageable, realistic steps.  This is done using a method known as SMART goal setting.  SMART goals are short and long term goals that are:

S- specific

M- measurable

A- attainable

R- realistic

T- time bound

An example of a SMART goal is as follows:

Goal: To teach goal setting

SMART Goal: To utilize TheOrganizedMiss.com as an educational platform for young women living the “Miss” lifestyle and to share tools to assist them in setting and achieving their goals.

Hopefully this guideline to SMART Goal setting has given you some new tools to help you reach your goals.  I am including a free printable entitled “Smart Goal Setting Steps” to help you get started.   Good luck and reach for the stars!

Remember: You are your only competition!