SELF-CARE PRACTICES FOR A HEALTHY MIND & BODY
Do you consciously and actively take care of yourself? For most of us the answer will be No. You’re busy and finding the time to take proper care of yourself can be hard. But if you don’t, it won’t be long before you’re battered from exhaustion and operating in a mental fog where it’s hard to care about anything, or anyone.
What is self-care?
Self-care in essence is taking time to pay attention, not in a narcissistic way but in a way that ensures that you are being cared for by you. It can be constant repetition of many tiny habits you can incorporate into your daily lifestyle that don’t have to take much time or cost too much. How to practice self-care is different for each person. The important part is to find a balance of activities that work for you.
THE 8 AREAS OF SELF-CARE
Jane Taylore, owner and director of Habits for Wellbeing promotes 8 areas of self-care we should focus on. We had added in some examples of how you could practice these.
1. Physical Self-care
Involves movement of the body, health, nutrition, sleep, rest, physical touch and sexual needs. Examples of how you could focus on physical self-care includes:
- Feed your body with nourishing foods.
- Going for a walk-in nature. Try aim to get adequate amount of fresh air daily.
- Get enough sleep. Aim to go to bed early and avoid spending the hour before bedtime on your phone
2. Psychological Self-Care
Involves learning new things, been creative, practicing mindfulness, applying consequential thinking, engaging intrinsic motivation. Examples include:
- Practice mindfulness. Join a group or check out Headspace website that will help you learn the basics
- Read a book – Sign up to Goodreads app that will allow you find book titles that are suited to your interests.
- Learn or teach a new skill
- Undergo a digital Detox
- Write in a journal
3. Emotional Self Care
Involves enhancing emotional literacy, navigating emotions, increasing empathy, managing stress effectively and developing compassion for self and others. Some examples include
- Saying No
- Make time for reflecting on feelings
- Practice self-compassion
- Be aware of your own boundaries
- Write in a gratitude journal
4. Professional Self Care
Involves sharing your strengths and gifts, having clear professional boundaries, understanding your purpose in your role. Examples include
- Knowing your roles and responsibilities
- Request regular performance reviews with your manager
- Negotiate your needs
- Have clear professional boundaries
- Take your full lunch break
- Upskill by attending training programmes
- Keep a diary for your to do list.
5. Social Self Care
Involves having a supportive group and network of relationships around you whom you trust and turn to when required. To have caring and supportive people around you build a sense of belonging and connectedness. Some examples of social self-care include:
- Become involved in groups or communities outside work
- Honour your commitments to other people
- Ask for help when you need it
- Meet new people
- Go for a walk with family or friend
- Don’t spend time with people who don’t make you feel good about yourself
6. Environmental Self Care
Involves having an organised, well maintained and clutter free work, business and home environment, having clean clothes and well-maintained mode of transport. Some examples include
- Declutter your home and work environment
- Recycle as much as possible
- Donate to charity
- Clean up after each meal
- Keep on top of your laundry and maintenance of your clothes
- Reinvent an unused space in your house.
7. Spiritual Self Care
Involves the beliefs and value that are important to you and guide your life. This includes
- Reflecting in a journal
- Going on a retreat
- Volunteering at a local organisation
8. Financial Self Care
Involves being responsible with your finances (expenses, income, insurance, savings etc) and having a conscious relationship with money. Examples include
- Knowing where your income is coming from
- Knowing where your expenses are due and pay them on time
- Saving money wisely
Self-care is a personal journey. It is important to continually look after yourself by making your awareness a habit and reflect on your own wellbeing. If you would like to explore the above areas in more detail, sign up to Habits for Wellbeing Toolkit now