Wow, it's February already! How are my resolutions coming along? Am I keeping up with my work? Am I a good friend, sibling, parent, etc.?
We have so many life responsibilities that we often forget to care for ourselves. Have you been kind to yourself? Are we showing ourselves kindness and love? Often, we hear therapists and doctors discussing the importance of self-care, but we never really talk about what it means, so what does self-care mean? Simply put, individuals prioritizing their physical and emotional well-being engage in self-care.
One practices self-care by exercising, eating well, meditating, and seeking professional help. Each of these methods falls into one of the following seven pillars:
- Mental: Create a healthy mindset through curiosity and mindfulness through journaling, meditating, and “thinking outside the box.”
- Emotional: Research and incorporate healthy coping techniques for stressful situations. This can be accomplished by listening to your favorite music, writing positive affirmations, setting boundaries, and asking for help.
- Physical: This involves taking care of your body through nutrition, rest, and movement.
- Environmental: Take care of the spaces you’re in and love. For example, rearrange your office to be more serene, explore new areas, simplify your living environment, walk outside, and engage your five senses.
- Spiritual: Spiritual self-care is provided by activities or practices that offer you a feeling of significance. Spending time in nature, establishing a community, discovering the values that are most important to you, and volunteering are some examples of these activities or practices.
- Recreational: Making time for hobbies and activities that interest you is essential. Taking time for hobbies, going on an adventure, relaxing and doing nothing, playing board games or video games, and changing your routine are all activities.
- Social: Social self-care is best practiced through good relationships. Social self-care is connecting with friends, phoning family, writing letters, talking to a support group, and conversing online.
This Valentine’s Day, celebrate your love for yourself and treat yourself to kindness. Listen to your mind and body.
- Rosa Schuff - ACSW