"Self care" and "self love" are words that are thrown around a lot these days. It's fantastic that people are finally realizing that they need to focus on taking care of themselves first, before going outward. I'm sure therapists are thrilled as well - it's a whole new era of thinking. Taking care of yourself is a powerful tool that you can use every day to combat stressors of life.
However, 'self care' isn't just about manicures and baths, it's about actually using the mind, body and soul to create a stronger version of yourself. When I was in therapy, each week we'd go over each 'slice' of my life, to focus on how I was doing.
What are the different categories of life?
- Career - what you do, your vocation, how you earn your living.
- Spiritual - What you believe, what you have faith in, what keeps you moving forward.
- Educational - What you learn every day in life, not necessarily schooling but your hunger for knowledge.
- Financial - Your money, savings goals, what you spend on.
- Physical - Your health, the way you exercise and move, what you're eating and how you sleep.
- Social/ Relational - your relationships with those you call your family, not necessarily by blood or marriage. Your friends, the people closest to you as well as coworkers and strangers.
- Emotional - Your mental health, your moods and how you express them.
- Fun/Recreational - Your hobbies, interests, what you do in your downtime, how you enjoy your time.
Now that we've outlined what the categories are:
How can I take care of myself in each aspect of my life?
Sit down somewhere quiet and grab a piece of paper. Fold it in half, then half again. Now you have 4 rectangles on the front and four on the back. In each rectangle, put these categories. Now you have the 8 slices of your pizza. I mean life. In these boxes, here's what you're going to write:
Where I am now and Where I want to be.
Where I am now is how you feel about this aspect of your life. What you're seeing on your day-to-day. Are you feeling heavy/sluggish physically? Are your emotions all over the place? Is your knowledge lacking in some way? Do you feel like you're in an unhealthy friendship? Write down all your thoughts and then draw a line.
Now you write about where you want to be. You write your goals and dreams, for each of these categories. Do you want a new career/job? Do you want to start saving more money? Do you want to make new friends or mend fences? When's the last time you checked in with your spirituality?
Going into these depths with your self is the first step in taking care of yourself. When you analyze your problems and come up with goals, that's how you get a solution. Breaking these down now is the easy and fun part!
Here's some examples.
Where I am: Physical health - I feel exhausted all the time. Where I want to be: I want to feel energetic and motivated! Self care goal: Turn off electronics and listen to calming music starting at 9, take melatonin and close my eyes. Fall asleep by 10 and set my alarm for 6 am every morning and do some good stretching; start eating some energy-filled foods.
Where I am: Spiritual health - I feel adrift and lost. Where I want to be: I want to feel like life has a purpose and I'm reaching towards something higher than this world. Self care goal: Start searching Youtube for some spiritual videos and maybe join a Church, Temple, online forum or set aside time to meditate.
Where I am: Recreational - I get bored easily and restless during my free time. Where I want to be: I want to find a hobby that engages me and makes me feel alive after work! Self care goal: Research hobbies I've always been interested in but never had the courage to get into. Go get that sewing kit, search Pinterest on how to DIY my own scrapbook or book that Vineyard tour. All it takes is a bit of inspiration and you'll find your hobby or passion.
These are some great starting tools to start thinking about how to create a better self-care routine. Stay tuned for some more tips on self care routines, life hacks and more on this blog!