Putting Self Care Into Practice (Part 2)
Updated: Aug 24, 2022
In part 1 of putting self-care into practice, we addressed the physical and emotional aspects of caring for yourself. Hopefully, you can pull out the circle you created last time or the columns that you started. You could also use a Pinterest board or some other means like a collage to create this. I hope that by exploring the physical and emotional categories first you have a better idea of what self-care means and how it applies to you in whatever season of your life you are in.
If self-care is taking care of your SELF how do we do that?
The remaining categories are:
MENTAL SPIRITUAL/ MEANING MAKING
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. Again you aren't looking for textbook correct, perfect, or even aspirational goals. These need to be things you could actually do. Think of a time when you have been the most mentally well and ask yourself what were you doing then. Start there. For example when you were the most well brain-wise what routines were you doing?
MENTAL - What do I need to keep my brain or thoughts healthy?
How do I engage my brain in ways that are fun for me and help me unwind? (Crosswords/Sudoku/Riddles/Jokes/ Forums/ Gardening/ Volunteering, etc)
Do I have books that I read over and over? What kinds of books do I actually enjoy? How often do I read?
Do I have podcasts or audiobooks that help me see the world or myself differently or that I find fun?
How do I maintain the skills I already have? (Continuing education, training, etc.)
What kinds of things do you do to maintain learning in your life? (Cooking classes, online research, professional journals, etc.)
What are my career or professional goals and how am I moving toward those?
When I encounter a challenging problem at work or at home how do I go about solving it?
When I find myself in a negative thinking spiral (catastrophizing, overgeneralizing, negative self-talk, discounting the positive, mind reading, comparison, foreboding joy) how do I address or challenge these thinking patterns?
Who do I process my negative thoughts with?
Does journaling or mental health apps play a role in my thinking strategy?
SPIRITUAL/ MEANING MAKING - What do I do to help me feel most connected to my spirituality?
What are your spiritual beliefs? How do you connect to the spiritual in your life?
What are your spiritual practices? Which do you feel are most important to you? How often do you practice these? How often is the healthiest for you? What is attainable in your life currently?
Do you have a spiritual text? How do you connect and engage with the text in a way that is sacred?
What spiritual practices do you do alone? Which ones are in a group?
What does prayer mean to you? How is meditation different? Does mindfulness play a role in either of these practices for you?
Is giving or volunteer work a part of your spiritual practice? What is generosity to you and how do you know when you are being generous?
Do you have a place that you worship? Do you engage with a spiritual community outside of that time? Elaborate.
Is tradition or ritual important to you in your practices? What pieces do you find most comforting? Are there any that you find frustrating or stifling?
What does faith mean to you? What do you have faith in? How do you process times or moments of doubt? How do you deal with uncertainty, fear, or mystery within your practices?
How do you make meaning of difficult times in your life?
How do you incorporate gratitude into your life?
Do you have any physical practices (kneeling, lifting hands, yoga, dance, etc) that make you feel more connected spiritually? What is physically grounding for you?
Does nature play a role in your spiritual practices? or places?
How do you set your intention or mental space for going into a spiritual practice or for going into your day?
How do you recognize your limits and ask for help within your spiritual practices without going into shame?
Do dreams or special symbols have any special meaning for you?
Where do you find your hope for the future or in the day-to-day?
Do you have any spiritual wounds? How do you manage these?