“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.”
– Jean Shinoda Bolen
I say self-care, you say…
What came to mind? Running a bubble bath, after coming home from an oxygen facial, lighting some candles and have a New York Best Seller in hand?
If that’s what you pictured, you’re commonly confusing self-care with self-pampering. And you’re not alone. Self-care is the new “it-girl” that magazines, tv-shows and spokeswomen are using to sell the latest trending beauty and health products. I’ll clear the air and get into the true meaning of self-care in just a second. First, let me paint you a picture of what my self-care looks like:
- balance. I am really talking about cultivating a healthy balance in life
- not saying yes when I really mean no, and being guilt free about it
-connecting with my senses while brewing my morning coffee
-calling a friend to talk through my emotions
-positive self-talk when working towards a goal
Which of those two scenarios sounds more like caring for yourself to specifically increase balance in your life and improve overall well-being? “Self-care” is a buzzword thrown around so often in the health and beauty community, that it’s true definition has been bundled into coconut water and pedicures.
Put down the nail polish, time to talk self-care.
Self-care (noun): the reoccurring practice of taking action to preserve and improve one's own well-being and long-lasting happiness.
I’d like to take a step back and really analyze this definition with you.
The reoccurring practice- self-care is a daily practice. Self-care isn’t a “fix it” button you can frantically push when life throws you too many lemons. You also don’t have to carry around a checklist to mark off all your self-care activities for the day. Self-care will look different everyday. For a mother of five, sometimes self-care looks like closing the door all the way while using the restroom, and that’s ok- and more common than you think.
Taking action- knowledge without action is just knowledge. Three ways to ensure you’re actively participating in your self-care plan is through setting boundaries, self-discipline and consistency. (More on this later)
Preserve and Improve one’s own well-being and long-lasting happiness- there’s nothing selfish about protecting your well-being and striving for long-lasting happiness. The splurge on the latest facial might cause temporary happiness, but what are you working on the obtain forever happiness?
Let me dive deeper into the true meaning of self-care by introducing you to the five dimensions of self-care.
1. Physical Self-Care
Physical self-care is the most common self-care dimension practiced. Physical self-care is caring for your body. You really can prove how much you love, respect and care for yourself when care for your physical body. This can be done simply through personal grooming, getting enough sleep or eating well.
A good example of physical self-care is through moving your body- exercise. A better example of physical self-care is to move your body outside. A study was done, that showed just being outdoors stimulates a similar feeling to mediation- the ultimate mindfulness tool.
2. Emotional Self-Care
Positive thinking and self-talk is your opportunity to co-create with the universe what your day, month, year will look like. It’s your chance to build your internal strength to inspire and empower yourself. However, this self-care dimension isn’t focused solely on only creating positive emotions. You must allow yourself to feel the full spectrum of emotions.
Emotional self-care incorporates identifying, understanding, accepting and taking control of your emotions, even the negative ones. Numbing, ignoring, resisting or simply reacting to your negative emotions does not serve you in anyway.
Set boundaries for how long you’ll allow yourself to put energy into a negative emotion. Have the self-discipline to follow through with these boundaries and consistently take control of your emotions throughout your day.
3. Social Self-Care
This self-care dimension brings about meaning and purposeful relationships with others. Sometimes social self-care looks like deepening your relationship with a loved one, sometimes it looks like the introvert at happy hour with your group of girlfriends, other times it’s cutting out toxic/superficial relationships out of your life.
Be social with intention. If you find yourself always stressed out after getting off the phone with a friend or having lunch with a coworker, be mindful of that. A study was performed that showed that stress can be contagious. Toxic relationships in your life is counterproductive to your self-care plan.
4. Intellectual Self-Care
You know that exhilarating feeling you gain after completely understanding a sentence in the foreign language you’ve been studying? (that isn’t “My name is___”) Or the black hole you fall into when surfing the web for hours for more research on your new found obsession- how exciting. This is because your brain feeds on new skills and information to fuel your growth and deepen your thinking.
Be a lifetime learner. A good way to practice this self-care dimension is through reading a book. A great way to practice this self-care dimension is through writing your own book. This exercise doesn’t have to be for publication, this could be done to expand and deepen your knowledge on a particular topic you enjoy learning more about.
5. Spiritual Self-Care
This self-care dimension is the most challenging to master. Spiritual self-care is connecting with your most authentic self and giving your life a greater meaning. It’s about releasing expectations, grounding yourself and finding purpose. Discovering the awareness to better navigate through life.
Spiritual self-care looks different for a lot of people. This can be done through mediation, prayer or simply walking through nature. This self-care dimension is about gaining a higher sense of well-being, which can take some time. Self-discipline and consistency is key.
Putting it into Practice:
Now that you know more about what self-care is, and what it isn’t. Let’s expand on that. I invite you to join my FREE self care challenge that starts April 17, 2019. Throughout these 7 days, I’ll send you resources, tools and my insight to master your self-care plan. Here’s what you should expect.
7 Day Challenge to Transformation: Finding Balance and Wellbeing:
-a self-care assessment
-FREE life balance assessment
-a FREE meditation online course
-resource for 200 self-care activities you wouldn’t think of
-create your own self-care plan
-access to private self-care Facebook group
-all challenge members receive a free no-obligation discovery session
Sign up for the free 7 day challenge- here!