I’ve written about the basics of self-care before. (See posts here, and here, and here) I’d like to dig a bit deeper today. Self-care in the media tends to be spas, baths, and face masks. There is much more to it. We need to make sure to care for our whole selves. This means we need to make sure we have our physical, mental, and emotional needs met. Whole self-care can make sure no part is neglected.
Neglecting any of these parts will leave you feeling off, drained, or like something is missing. It can be hard to track down just what is wrong when you are applying self-care, just not covering all the bases.
What type of things do you do for self-care already? Write them all down, in the above categories if you can. Look them over. Do you seem to have a shortage of any category? Is there a larger focus on another?
If you are unsure how to define some of your activities, or just short on actions in one or more groups, check below for ideas:
- Daily, enjoyable activity
- Basic hygiene: shower, wash hair, skin care, etc
- Get enough sleep
- Eat enough and a variety
- See doctor as needed
- Take medication as needed
- Stay hydrated
- Hug someone
- Play with a pet
- Have quiet time daily – use it to pray, meditate, or what ever quiets your mind
- Learn something new
- Cultivate your own hobbies
- Turn of phone notifications for a time period
- Talk to a therapist
- Listen to music
- Do a craft
- Practice mindfulness
- Have time out with a friend
- Go on a date
- Keep a gratitude list
- Do extra self-care activities that pamper you: spa days, face masks, flowers for yourself, etc
- Call a family member or friend to talk
- Cuddle a pet
Of course this is just a small list of suggestions. There are hundreds of different ways to do self-care, and many can go in more than one category.
I hope you have 3-5 ideas written down under each type now. You don’t want to have too many and get overwhelmed. If you already have a routine for some, it won’t be hard to add a few more though.
Whole Self-Care Plan
Now you are going to want to plan a week. Under each day, make sure you have at least one thing from physical, mental and emotional written down.
Monday- go on a walk, go to painting class, call mom
Tuesday- dance to music, get coffee with BFF (notice the “dance to music” can cover both physical and mental)
By making sure you have at least one out of each category, you are never going to totally neglect any part of your self-care. When you look over your plan for the week, pay attention to the overall balance. Do you tend to focus more on one area over the others? Is it just one kind of self-care that gets left out? If so, try to add a few more activities from that group into your week.
Overtime, practicing whole self-care, or using a more balanced approach, is sure to make you feel better over all. You will notice it isn’t just the area that was neglected that will improve, but every part of your life will feel more balanced and cared for.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Also, please join us over at Growing in Self-Acceptance! We are a growing Facebook group forming a community meant to support each other as we grow in our acceptance of ourselves.