Self Care comes in many forms.
It’s something you need to make a regular part of your life, your week, your day.
Eating a salad once a week isn’t going to help you lose weight and nor is spending 10mins on mediation every month. Making these things a regular activity, a habit, is the only way that it’s going to have the desired effect on your whole self.
Spending regular time on activities that take you away from your regular day and your to-do list is what we are looking for here. It’s looking at your life in a holistic way and ensuring that you spend equal time focussed on each dimension of the Self Care Wheel.
Lets go over each dimension and explain what they are and how they benefit you.
The physical dimension involves taking time for proper exercise and fitness routines. Something as simple as 30mins of movement a day is enough to start. Exercise helps us keep a stable weight, flush out toxins and about a billion other benefits I don’t have time to mention.
It’s about fuelling our bodies with proper nutrition, eating a healthy balanced diet, drinking enough water and ensuring we take note of any vitamin & mineral supplements we may need (your doctor or health professional can help with this).
Ensuring you are getting adequate sleep is a really important part of this dimension. Some of us can function on a lot less sleep than others, however just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Aiming for a good solid 6-8hrs every night is a good base to work from.
Preventative health care is also important and something that many women (especially me!) are not great at. This includes things like keeping up to date with dental and optical checks, actually booking that physio appt. to fix your dodgy shoulder (I know you keep putting it off…), getting your pap smear or breast check over and done with (I know, they suck). They key here is in the word preventative. Keeping on top of your health will help you nip any issues in the bud and be better prepared to deal with any issues that may come your way.
Mental (also known as Intellectual)
The mental dimension is about both stimulating your brain and giving it time to rest.
Learning how to deal with stress and overwhelm is a big part of this, especially in this current time when the lines between home and work can be pretty blurry.
Brain stimulation, in the form of knowledge and learning is a big part of the mental dimension. We are all always constantly learning, and it’s incredibly healthy to allow your left brain (which deals in methodical thinking, logic & sequence) the opportunity to expand and grow.
Creative activities & hobbies. One of my favourite things! Almost in opposition to learning and education, creative pursuits utilise the right side of your brain, that which controls our imagination, intuition and ability to daydream. Allowing your brain to switch off and relax by doing something you love is just as important as allowing it to actively learn.
Lets clarify here that spiritual doesn’t necessarily mean religious.
You don’t have to be a religious person to work on your spiritual dimension. All this means is that you can look at and focus on what guides and moves you. Your beliefs, values & ethics. Finding meaning in your life is going to be a different journey for everyone.
The emotional dimension covers how you deal with emotions, feelings and stress. It’s allowing yourself to feel and to be vulnerable. It’s being able to own your feelings and the situations you find yourself in and be able to consciously allow yourself to overcome them and move forward.
It’s having empathy for others, as well as for yourself and fostering a good sense of love, compassion and understanding.
Developing relationships is the basis of the social dimension. Ensuring you have support networks around you, finding your place and being active within your community, and building your tribe.
It’s about ensuring your relationships are caring, healthy & supportive. Looking at those people you choose to surround yourself with and thinking “Is this person good for me?”.
Now that you have an overview of the 5 dimensions of self care, take some time to think about how they fit in with your life currently. How many do you actually do on a regular basis? Are there any dimensions you might be missing? The options and possibilities to enable Self Care are endless and it’s something we will be looking at over the next few weeks.
For now, try keeping a list of things you enjoy, stuff that helps you unwind, or activities you enjoy doing just for you. Remember – you are worth it!
Just Be You, Everyday