5 Creative Approaches to Self-care
It’s amazing how gracefully you’ve been carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. You make it look easy- but it’s not. You’ve been dealt with so much; a pandemic, a family to take care of, bills to pay, a job you must show up at, and burnout because you’ve been stretching yourself thin trying to make everything work. It can be easy to overlook taking care of the most important person; you.
Self-care is self-preservation in that the efforts you put in today ensure that you live a healthier and more fulfilling life tomorrow. It’s more than the buzz of bubble baths, masks, and massages. It involves intentional living and choosing yourself every day. A holistic approach to self-care ensures that every part of you is catered to and loved in a way that you’re not only living but thriving.
You can explore self-care through the following ways;
- Physical self-care involves proper nutrition, fitness, how to manage stress, hydration, rest, and adopting healthy habits that support your immune system, give you energy, and help you feel physically strong.
Examples; Getting 6-8 hours of sleep, hydrating, walking, yoga, dental care, taking in the sunlight, and doctor checks ups (physicals), eating when you are hungry (allowing and listening to hunger cues)
- Emotional self-care involves an awareness of your feelings, moods, and emotions in order to manage them well. It’s also nurturing healthy relationships, growing your self-esteem, and fostering a positive view of life.
Examples; Seeking therapy, saying affirmations, spending less time with/creating distance from people you feel disturb your peace, actively listening, exploring your personal goals, journaling, growing your emotional intelligence, keeping a gratitude journal, listening to your intuition, and being your own friend.
- Intellectual self-care involves cultivating your curiosity in order to learn new things, challenge and refine your thought process, being creative, and expanding your awareness to grow your mind and world view
Examples: Reading, taking breaks from social media, having discussions on issues you’re interested in, taking a course, (there are free courses offered at online universities, including Yale University’s “the science of well – being”), listening to podcasts, learning a new craft, starting a new hobby or collection, learning a new language and seeking wisdom from others.
- Social self-care involves fostering healthy social interactions with others by investing in relationships with our partners, friends, colleagues and family. This gives us a sense of belonging and acceptance. It also encompasses knowing when to pull back from socializing – especially for introverts.
Examples; Setting up quality time with loved ones intentionally, such as scheduling zoom calls or phone calls, spending time with pets/animals, joining online clubs/communities/support groups (for your hobbies, interests), checking in with friends and coworkers in small ways such as sending an article or humorous YouTube video, volunteering in ways that feel fulfilling (and safe for you during this time) and checking in with yourself to take breaks when you social battery depletes.
- Spiritual self-care involves following your passions, exploring your purpose and life’s mission to help you find balance and meaning. It could also be connecting with your idea of what spirituality means to you.
Examples; Consuming and exploring content that is inspirational to you, meditating, using affirmations, exploring your beliefs through books, developing a daily spiritual routine that works for your lifestyle and beliefs, connecting with nature.
Self-care is personal and different for everyone. Hopefully, you can create routines that work for you. Remember, it’s not an over-the-top indulgence in activities that demand so much; it’s in your everyday habits. Extending a little more kindness, grace and love to yourself will go a long a way and will lead to a healthier, more fulfilled and balanced life.
“Self-care is how you take your power back.” – Lalah Delia