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With all the running around you do and daily demands you answer, what are you doing for yourself? Self-Care is one of the most important things we can do as humans, not just for our own benefit but also for the benefit of others. Just as flight attendants dictate to put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others, in the long run, we cannot effectively care for others if we deplete ourselves.
I have been inspired by The Self-Care Wheel by Olga Phoenix which details these six areas of life that should get regular attention and maintenance in order to achieve a healthy balance:
It should be noted that this wheel is for personal assessment purposes, and not a clinical prescription for how to live. The following are some suggestions of simple things that can be done to help balance these areas of your life.
Getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy and organic, and staying hydrated are all important for human survival and should be regularly practiced and maintained. But we are thriving beings who are meant to grow and do more than simply survive so doing things like moving your body often, taking baths, taking walks, doing yoga or other fitness, getting massages, and acupuncture are all ways to support our physical health and growth.
In addition to physical survival, our psychological health is important so we can flourish. If our bodies are the vessels that get our souls around this earthly plane, our minds are in the driver’s seat and need adequate care as well. Take time for yourself to journal, create art, enjoy aromatherapy, sunshine, nature, and turn off electronics. Reaching out for help, seeking therapy, and counseling are also encouraged to keep our mental health at its best.
Now that we have addressed our bodies and our minds, what can we do to care for our emotional selves? Some of the the easiest things to practice on a regular basis are taking deep breaths, laughing often, snuggling pets or loved ones, and simply doing something for yourself, but sometimes it can be a little more difficult to do the extra work and invest time and energy into hobbies, affirmations, and practicing forgiveness, self-love, and self-compassion. No matter how difficult some of these may seem, they are all important for keeping our emotions in balance.
Our bodies carry our minds where instinctive reactions cause our emotions. So far all areas of the Self-Care wheel support your inner self. Spirituality reaches even deeper inward and then turns around and facilitates our connection to something greater than self, however you define it. Meditation, prayer, and yoga follow ancient spiritual practices, or simply dance, immerse yourself in nature, and watch as many sunrises and sunsets as possible to experience a more freeform spirituality.
What do you really want in life? What are your goals and what plans are you setting for yourself to be able to achieve them? This are of Self-Care is both the “make it happen” and the “slow it down” area. Sometimes personal care comes in the form of creating a vision board, sometimes it looks like simply relaxing. It can also be reaching out to spend time with people and doing things that bring you joy, other times its reaching inward to write poetry and otherwise get your creative juices flowing.
The professional area of self-care affects others in your life the most and can be difficult to practice due to the involvement of outside forces. Nonetheless it is equally important to make sure you are giving your professional self the care it deserves to achieve a healthy balance. Reading, communicating, and setting boundaries are necessary to practice regularly in all areas of your life, but remember to find a balance between work and home. Take mental health days and vacations. When you take time for yourself it will only improve the other areas of your life upon your return.
How many of these things are you doing on a regular basis? Fulfilling these basic human needs allows us to achieve balance in our personal life therein improving our potential to help others and raise the energetic frequency of humanity.
It can feel selfish taking time for yourself when your little one simply wants all your attention, for instance, but there is an immense difference between Selfish Care and Self-Care and it’s your intuition that will tell you where that line is. It’s important to remember that it’s never too late for self-care, and there is no set time limit, so if you are like me and tend to metaphorically burn the candle at both ends, it is especially important to schedule in small amounts of time throughout your day, no matter how little you may have. There’s also no set way to practice self-care, so leave yourself open to what you need day-to-day, knowing that it will undoubtedly change. Above all, don’t forget to love yourself, dear one.