Ever heard the comment that human beings are just complicated houseplants with emotions? While we can see the humor in such sarcasm, there could be some elements of truth. We all need water, air, and sunlight from which to function. But we also require much more to be content, gratified, and hopefully satisfied.
Sounds great, but what does that ultimate goal of happiness look like, and more importantly, how do we generate the actions to reach a destination of contentment? The journey is called self-care, a combination of approaches, engagement, and all things related to providing care, love, and support for ourselves.
Self-care is a term that has many different connotations, implications, and meanings. For all those variants, we do know that engaging in some form of a self-care routine has been confirmed to improve our life: mentally, physically, and spiritually…among other areas. It works if you work it.
Practicing self-care has much more benefits than not practicing any form of care. Consistency is the key to engaging in a healthy, self-care routine by which many reports seeing a reduction in feelings of anxiousness, depression, and overall stress reduction. Self-care routines also improve concentration, diminish anger, increase happiness, and generally create a more positive perspective on life.
Just to restate the importance self-care has in our day-to-day life:
- Can improve physical health
- Known to reduce stress and anxiety
- Can enhance confidence and self-esteem
- Works to safeguard and preserve mental health
- Capable of enhancing and creating more meaningful relationships
Let’s look at the above categories and how beneficial a consistent and appropriate self-care routine can be a positive attribute to your personal and professional life.
There are Seven Pillars of Self-Care:
Now knowing there are seven areas to focus on, what are some examples to meet those areas?
Mental: Includes doing things that keep your mind sharp, like puzzles or learning about a fascinating subject. Books, movies, podcasts, or watching youtube videos that inspire your mind.
Emotional: Healthy coping skills help with managing emotions. Focus on activities that help you acknowledge and express your emotions.
Physical: This includes food, exercise, and sleep. Regular healthcare appointments, good physical care and routines, along with rest, all make an impact on how well you are caring for your body.
Environmental: Workspace, home space, all the places that inspire, motivate, and soothe your soul. Tidy desk, organized workspace, or a peaceful collection of colors, furniture, and decluttering of living spaces-all examples of environmental self-care.
Spiritual: Spiritual doesn’t necessarily mean religious. Spiritual involves activities that allow you to develop a deeper connection with the universe. It’s your choice of approach and focus; ultimately, you find value in engaging and practicing: meditation, attending a religious service, or praying. Spiritual self-care is very important.
Recreational: This category refers to activities, hobbies, and interests outside work or daily life duties. Whether those activities are adventurous, playful, or relaxing, all are essential elements of good self-care.
Social: Close connections are essential to your soulful balance The best way to develop and maintain close relationships is to invest in building relationships with others. Connecting can be beneficial with those in your circle and scope, for as much as you find nurtures your requirements.
Suggestions for developing your Self-Care Plan
- Consider your current status: List the different parts of your life and the significant daily activities you engage in. Is it manageable? Is it balanced? Does it have some of your favorite things in it?
- Identify your stressors: What causes you stress, and how can you manage those elements?
- Create self-care strategies: Develop a list of activities that you can do that will help you feel better in each of these areas of your life.
- Plan for it!: Change happens, and sometimes stress leads the way. Recognize it and have a backup plan ready to launch when you need a break.
- Take small steps: Identify one small step to better care of yourself and then build upon those efforts.
- Schedule time to focus on yourself: Make your self-care a priority in your life! A healthy and rested you will operate more effectively and efficiently.
Just a couple of suggestions on Self-Care
- Get regular exercise. Just 30 minutes of the day can help boost your mood and improve your health.
- Eat healthy, regular meals. Hydration is IMPORTANT
- Make rest a priority
- Try a relaxing activity
- Practice gratitude
- Focus on positivity
- Stay connected- with yourself and others
Make yourself and your needs the priority in your life. Like they clarify during the safety procedures on the airplane, put your mask on before assisting others. Self-care is the same- taking care of yourself to assist others when needed.
If you want to learn more, let’s connect at email@example.com to set up an appointment. Until then, be well, my friends!
Dr. Shana Garrett