Putting Self Care into Practice (Part 1)
Updated: Aug 24, 2022
In the last post, I talked a lot about the concept of self-care, but the practical part is important too. Today we are going to work on 2 of the 4 categories.
If self-care is taking care of your SELF how do we do that?
Self-care is a broad category, so let's divide it up.
I typically draw a large circle on a piece of paper and divide it into 4 categories or you can use a piece of paper and columns.
Label your categories:
PHYSICAL EMOTIONAL MENTAL SPIRITUAL
I'm going to ask a few questions under each one to help you think, but remember this is not exhaustive. This is a starter to help you understand how to best take care of yourself. In the same vein, we are not shooting for the textbook answer or an answer that is aspirational. I want you to think about when you have been the most mentally well in your life and start there.
Physical - What do I need for my body to be healthy?
How many glasses of water do you think you function best with?
What kind of eating patterns and foods make your body feel the best? (about yourself and functioning wise)
How much sleep do you think your body needs? What amount of sleep is attainable right now in your life?
Do you have any medicine/vitamins/ doctor appointments/ dentist appointments you do that keep your body healthy?
What kinds of exercise do you like the best and make you feel good? How many times a week would be best for you? For how long? What is attainable in your life right now? How can you get moving even if you can't reach your preferred exercise or time amount?
When your body is hurt how do you help it? (Ex: Massage, Chiropractor, Homeopathic remedies, etc.)
Before we move on notice that some of these things you do every day and some you may do only once a year. Some take a minute and some an hour. They fulfill different purposes for our bodies. Just because we ate once today doesn't mean we are done with eating or that now we don't need sleep. That is how it is with ALL self-care, so as you move on remember the other categories have similarities.
Emotional - What do I need to help me feel my best?
What kinds of things do you do to help you connect with family or friends? How often? How do you feel when you don't meet that amount of connection? How do you know it is too much?
How do you repair relationships when you are in a conflict?
How often do you like connecting with people outside of your home? How many people at a time? For how long?
What boundaries do you have to protect you from resenting people in your life and protecting the relationships you have?
How do you deepen your relationships with those you are close to?
What tasks do you need to have done in order to relax when you are home? How often do dishes need to be done or laundry? How clean is clean for you? What systems, strategies, or routines are in place to help you do that?
How does being in nature help you feel good? Where do you have nature around you? How do you interact with nature in small ways or big ways in your life?
Do you have a "happy place" that is a physical location that you like to visit to help you enjoy your life?
Does traveling or seeing natural wonders or wonders closer to home play a role in your life? How often?
How does music play a role in helping you feel good or reset your day?
What things do you do when you notice you are feeling anxious? sad? alone? angry? overwhelmed?
How do you embrace happy moments in your life or celebrate milestones?
Do you have gratitude practices?
What do you do that is creative or to let your creative juices flow?
What role does organizing play in your life? What is important for you to organize?
Do you have any candle scents, essential oils, or other items related to your senses that help ground you in difficult moments (thinking putty, beach sand, etc.)
Do you know any breathing patterns or meditations that you do to help you emotionally regulate?
What do you do that invites play into your life (something you can do that you lose track of time)? How do you unwind? How often do you do this?
What are your go-to books/movies/magazines/comics/ tv shows/ podcasts/ radio stations etc . that you go to when you've had a hard day?