Self-care is non-negotiable and must be part of your daily routine if you desire wellness of mind, body, and spirit, or if you are on the road to any type of mental or emotional healing. Read part I of the self-care series here. Self-care is all about balance. Different types of self-care correlate with the different parts of our Self. For example, hygiene, and grooming practices are all about physical self-care, or self-care of our body. Time spent with friends and/or family would fall into the social/emotional category of self-care. I like to use the aboriginal wellness wheel to break up our Self into 4 main categories: social/emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental/psychological.
The point is to strive for balanced self-care. The point is to ensure you're taking care of each part of yourself. Rarely will any of us ever have perfectly balanced self-care, but the point is in the trying. Most people's wheel would look like an unbalanced mess, as we are naturally inclined to practice self-care in certain categories over others based on our history, skills, and lifestyle. Those categories that don't come naturally for us require more practice and effort. Though our self could be broken up into more cattegories, in efforts to keep it simple, I chose only 4. Our physical self refers to our body, our self in physical form. Mental/psychological self refers to our mind, cognitive capacity, and thoughts. Social/emotional self refers to our self in the context of relationship and the emotions. I like to think of our spiritual self as the part of us that feels inspired, connected to a purpose, connected to something greater than ourselves. Some quick examples of self-care activities in each category are as follows:
- Wearing a great outfit
- Learning something new
- Deep breathing/meditation practices
- Spending time with family/friends
- Having a good cry
- Church/Spiritual Practice
- Gratitude Practice
- Inspiring quotes
These categories are fluid meaning, that some self-care activities fit into multiple or all categories, and you can utilize one self-care activity to tick all the boxes. For example, a walk in nature is healthy for my physical, mental/psychological, social/emotional, and spiritual self. Self-care is personal, and must be customized to fit each person's needs. Find the things that work for you, make you feel good mind body and spirit, and the self-care series will continue next time with more specific self-care ideas for each category.