The Seven Pillars of Self Care
Self-care has become a popular buzzword online, usually portrayed as spa days and indulgent luxury, but what is it really? Let’s dispel the myths so you can truly take care of yourself and your mental health in a weird and constantly changing world.
What is self-care?Self-care is simply taking some action meant to improve your health. Of course, there are different aspects of your health you may be wanting to improve. This is where the seven pillars of self-care come in.
Some days, you’re tending to one aspect of self-care, while on other days, you may be impacting several.
What are the seven pillars of self-care and how do you incorporate them into your self-care routine?
The seven pillars of self-care are:-
As you can see these are all important aspects of your life that should be maintained for overall happiness? Many of us are neglecting one, two, or a handful of these areas of our own life, even as we help our loved ones to maintain these pillars.
Seeing them in black and white will help you become aware of each so you can better manage areas in which you have been neglectful. You have to be your best self in order to care for others so it's time to start practicing some self-care. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Let’s look at each pillar individually so you can begin focusing on each in your self-care practices.
Mental health and the stigma surrounding it seem to be on everyone's lips these days. What exactly is it and why is it important to self-care? Mental health determines our social, emotional, and psychological wellness. It impacts the way we handle stress, interact with others, and even the choices we make when faced with major and minor decisions.
Mental health is tied in with other steps of a self-care routine, underlining its importance.
To maintain mental wellness it is important to
Many of us as children, especially boys, were discouraged from expressing our emotions. We were told to stop crying when we hurt and that being able to hide our feelings displayed strength. Vulnerability was frowned upon as being a weakness and so we became afraid of expressing our feelings.
These emotions do not go away. They build up and spin around in our minds and bodies revealing themselves in undiagnosed non-communicable diseases.
The first step to emotional healing is to become aware of, accept and express your thoughts and feelings. It is ok to be sad or angry. It is ok to feel hurt and sorry. It is ok to love.
But you cannot love anyone else unless you love yourself. Speak well to and about yourself. Celebrate your achievements. Learn to appreciate your appearance and accomplishments and most of all learn to forgive yourself for mistakes and errors made in the past. You are the most perfect and unique you. No one else can be that.
Physical self-care involves much more than just going to the gym or working out. Physical self-care involves your diet, work schedule, sleep habits, and much more.
Do you practice eating a healthy, nutritionally-balanced diet? Are you a workaholic or couch potato? Do you get physically active often and take vacations from work when needed? These are all important aspects of self-care and physical well-being.
Exercising at least 3 times a week is recommended to stay fit and healthy and this may be as simple as opting to walk to the store instead of driving or taking the train. Put on some music and dance around in your living room. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Find activities you enjoy doing.
Not many people recognize the importance of our physical surroundings and the impact it has on our well being. Having a clean, well-organized, and clutter-free work and home area not only makes you more productive, it also impacts your emotional well-being.
Are you someone who spends most of the day looking for your stuff? The frustration and stress associated with looking for misplaced items is something no one would ever miss. When your area is well organized with a designated place for everything then you eliminate this unnecessary stress. Keep a clean and clutter-free space and watch your mind follow suit.
Spiritual self-care does not imply becoming a religious person. Your choice of spiritual beliefs is entirely up to you but the important thing is that you care for your consciousness by exercising some spiritual principle. This may come in the form of yoga practice, seeking closeness with a higher power, indulging in meditation to calm your mind, or just connecting with nature.
Whatever you choose, it is important that you nurture your spiritual well-being on a daily basis. Take time out from the hustle and bustle of life, retreat to your spiritual corner and connect with whatever keeps you grounded.
When’s the last time you did something just for fun? Fun is essential, especially in a global pandemic and an increasingly stressful world. Find a creative way to relax, kick back and have some belly-busting laughter and old-time fun. For you, that might include watching a movie, heading to brunch with your closest friends, pretend-play with the children in your life, a game of football or watersports in the backyard, a dance party, or cooking a favorite meal.
Whatever you do, remember having fun is as important as everything else that matters to you because you need to be able to relax and unwind to recharge your batteries.
Being social doesn’t have to mean becoming a social butterfly? Many people, especially now in isolation, are reporting a feeling of loneliness and crave love and friendship, which is a crucial part of our emotional well-being.
How do you seek to improve your social self-care? Becoming involved in community groups or social activities is one way to connect without the pressure of committing immediately to a one-on-one friendship or relationship.
Reaching out to old friends and staying in touch with beloved family members can help to satisfy our need for social interaction.
The opposite is also necessary. Walk away from negative persons who are present in your life causing stress and strife. It’s not easy but very necessary to your optimal mental health. It's ok to walk away, even from toxic family members.
Remember the most important person to you is you and it's not selfish to practice self-care and love yourself. If you cannot care for yourself how can you care for someone else? So go on, put yourself as your number one priority from time to time. It will create a positive ripple effect in other areas of your life.