Written by Kristyn Avalos, Marketing Coordinator and Transformational Life Coach
"Self-care is giving the best of you instead of what's left of you." - Kristyn Avalos
I don’t know about you, but I love the fall season! Apple picking, changing leaves and pumpkin EVERYTHING 🎃
It's not without its challenges though...
The amount of sunlight is starting to get visibly shorter. Mornings are a little cooler.
Kids are heading back to school and the leisurely pace of the summer gives way to a much busier and more chaotic schedule – not to mention the beginning of allergy and flu season!
That’s why the fall is the perfect time to start practicing self-care. Self-care has been defined as “the process of establishing behaviors to ensure holistic well-being of oneself, to promote health, and actively manage illness when it occurs.”
Self-care encourages you to be mindful of how the choices you make either improve upon or diminish your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
If self-care is a new concept to you, you’re probably wondering where you should start and what the heck you should do.
The good news is that you’re probably already practicing self-care!
Self-care activities can include things like brushing your teeth, eating fresh fruits and vegetables or going to bed at a decent hour.
The 7 Pillars of Self-Care
The concept of self-care encompasses various dimensions, and there isn't a universally agreed-upon list of seven pillars of self-care.
However, many experts and sources highlight different aspects of self-care that are important for overall well-being.
Here's a list of seven common pillars of self-care:
Self-Care Activities for Mind, Body and Emotional Well-Being
One of the benefits of self-care is that it's a highly individualized practice; what works for one person may not work for another.
It's important to explore various self-care activities and find the ones that resonate with you and support your unique needs and preferences.
Sometimes self-care can be relaxing and other times it may feel like more work.
Be sure to check-in with yourself to decide what feels right for you in the moment.
Start by incorporating a few of these ideas into your daily or weekly routine, and gradually build a self-care regimen that works best for you.
Here's a list of self-care ideas to help you prioritize your well-being and improve your overall quality of life.
Remember, the idea here is not to start adding all of these at once! Self-care is an ongoing practice, and it's important to listen to your own needs and adjust your self-care routine accordingly.
Physical self-care refers to actions and practices that individuals engage in to promote and maintain their physical health and well-being.
It involves taking care of your body to ensure it functions optimally and feels good.
Examples of physical self-care involves taking care of your body through activities like:
Proper nutrition and hydration
Preventative care with trusted healthcare practitioners
Physical self-care is an integral part of overall well-being, as a healthy body provides a strong foundation for emotional, mental, and social well-being.
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Emotional self-care is a vital component of overall well-being.
It helps you build resilience, cope with life's challenges, and maintain a positive outlook.
Emotional self-care involves recognizing, understanding, and actively managing your emotions to promote emotional well-being and mental health.
It's about taking deliberate steps to nurture and support your emotional health.
Examples of emotional self-care includes:
Self-Awareness and Emotional Regulation: Focusing on your emotional well-being by identifying and managing your feelings (Click here for a FREE EMOTIONS CHART download)
Cultivating Positive Relationships: Cultivate and maintain positive, supportive relationships. Surrounding yourself with people who understand and validate your emotions can be immensely beneficial for emotional self-care.
Practicing Gratitude: Cultivate a sense of gratitude by focusing on the positive aspects of your life. Regularly acknowledging the things you're thankful for can boost your emotional well-being. Join our Medical Mindfulness Director, Kristin Kilburg, for a Gratitude Journaling exercise.
Mindfulness and Relaxation: Incorporate mindfulness practices and relaxation techniques into your routine. These can help you stay present, reduce anxiety, and manage stress.
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Mental self-care is a proactive approach to maintaining mental health and well-being.
It involves practices and activities that support cognitive and psychological health, promote mental clarity, and enhance your overall mental state.
It's essential for managing stress, preventing burnout, and fostering resilience in the face of life's challenges.
Examples of mental self-care activities include:
Mindfulness Meditation: Practicing mindfulness involves being fully present in the moment without judgment. Mindfulness meditation can help reduce stress, anxiety, and rumination while improving mental clarity and emotional regulation.
Stress Management: Develop effective stress management techniques to cope with daily pressures. This might include time management, prioritization, deep breathing exercises, or progressive muscle relaxation.
Positive Self-talk: Pay attention to your internal dialogue and work on maintaining a positive and compassionate inner voice. Challenge negative self-talk and replace it with constructive and supportive thoughts.
Intellectual Stimulation: Engage in activities that stimulate your intellect and creativity. This could involve reading, solving puzzles, learning a new skill, or pursuing a hobby that challenges your mind.
Emotional Intelligence: Enhance your emotional intelligence by improving your ability to recognize, understand, and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. This can lead to better relationships and emotional well-being.
Social self-care is a proactive approach to nurturing your social well-being and combating loneliness, stress, and emotional challenges.
Post-pandemic, I think we've all come to realize the importance of meaningful social connections as a fundamental aspect of happiness and mental health!
Social self-care encompasses activities and practices that help individuals build and sustain meaningful and supportive social connections, which can have a positive impact on their mental and emotional health.
Some examples of social self-care include:
Cultivating Relationships: Actively seek out and cultivate positive relationships with friends, family members, colleagues, and other individuals who provide emotional support, companionship, and a sense of belonging.
Effective Communication: Develop strong communication skills to foster healthy and open interactions with others. Effective communication involves both listening actively and expressing oneself clearly and empathetically.
Setting Boundaries: Establish and maintain healthy boundaries in your relationships to ensure that your personal needs and well-being are respected. Learning to say "no" when necessary and asserting your boundaries can help maintain healthy connections.
Quality Time: Dedicate quality time to spend with the people who are important to you. Engaging in activities that strengthen your connections and create lasting memories can enhance your social well-being.
Networking: Building a professional network can also be a form of social self-care, as it can enhance your career opportunities and provide support in your work life.
Volunteering and Community Involvement: Engaging in volunteer work and contributing to your community can be a fulfilling way to connect with others, make a positive impact, and strengthen your social connections.
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Spiritual self-care is a multifaceted concept that involves nurturing and tending to your spiritual well-being, which can encompass your beliefs, values, sense of purpose, and connection to something greater than yourself, whether that's a higher power, the universe, or a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in life.
Some examples of spiritual self-care include:
Exploration of Beliefs: Take time to reflect on your beliefs, whether they are religious, philosophical, or a combination of both. Explore what you believe in and why those beliefs are important to you. This can involve reading, attending religious or spiritual services, or engaging in philosophical discussions.
Mindfulness and Meditation: Spiritual self-care often involves practices like mindfulness and meditation, which help you become more aware of the present moment and connect with your inner self. These practices can promote inner peace, reduce stress, and enhance your sense of spirituality.
Nature Connection: Spending time in nature is a way to connect with something greater than yourself. Many people find a sense of awe and wonder in natural environments, which can be deeply spiritual. Consider hiking, camping, or simply taking walks in natural settings.
Self-Reflection and Journaling: Taking time for self-reflection and journaling can help you explore your inner thoughts and feelings, deepen your understanding of yourself, and strengthen your sense of purpose and spirituality.
Silence and Solitude: Sometimes, spiritual self-care involves moments of quiet contemplation and solitude. Disconnecting from the noise of the world can help you reconnect with your inner self and your spiritual beliefs.
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Professional self-care refers to the deliberate and conscious actions individuals take to maintain their physical, emotional, and mental well-being within the context of their work or profession.
It recognizes the demands and stressors associated with a person's job or career and emphasizes strategies and practices to mitigate those stressors, enhance job satisfaction, and achieve a healthier work-life balance.
Professional self-care is essential for overall career success, productivity, and long-term job satisfaction.
Here are some key aspects of professional self-care:
Work-Life Balance: Achieving a healthy balance between work and personal life is crucial for professional self-care. This involves setting boundaries, managing your time effectively, and prioritizing activities outside of work that promote relaxation and personal fulfillment.
Stress Management: Learning how to manage and cope with job-related stress is a fundamental component of professional self-care. This may include techniques such as mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, or seeking support from a therapist or counselor.
Continuous Learning and Skill Development: Investing in your professional growth and development can boost your confidence and job satisfaction. Consider attending workshops, conferences, or pursuing additional education and training in your field.
Emotional Resilience: Developing emotional resilience is key to handling the ups and downs of your career. This involves building your capacity to bounce back from setbacks, disappointments, and failures.
Taking Breaks: Regular breaks during the workday, including short walks or moments of relaxation, can help you recharge and maintain focus and energy.
Environmental self-care involves taking actions and making choices that promote the well-being and health of the environment and, by extension, your own well-being.
It recognizes the interconnectedness between the health of the planet and your own physical and mental health. Engaging in environmental self-care can contribute to a more sustainable and balanced lifestyle.
By adopting sustainable practices and making environmentally conscious choices, you can create a positive feedback loop in which your actions benefit both the Earth and your personal health and happiness.
Here are some key aspects of environmental self-care:
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Embrace the "reduce, reuse, recycle" mantra to minimize waste and conserve resources. Reduce your consumption, reuse items whenever possible, and recycle materials like paper, glass, and plastic.
Reduce Single-Use Plastics: Minimize your use of single-use plastics like plastic bags, straws, and disposable cutlery. Opt for reusable alternatives.
Eco-Friendly Shopping: Choose products that are environmentally friendly, such as those with minimal packaging, made from sustainable materials, or certified organic.
Connect with Nature: Spend time in nature to foster a sense of connection and appreciation for the environment. Activities like hiking, camping, or simply enjoying a walk in a park can promote environmental and personal well-being.
Community Involvement: Engage with your local community to promote environmental initiatives, such as tree planting, community gardens, or supporting local farmers in your community.
Mindful Consumption: Practice mindful consumerism by evaluating your purchases and their environmental impact. Consider the lifecycle of products and their potential to contribute to waste and pollution.
What are your favorite forms of self-care? Leave a comment below!
Thanks for reading,
P.S. We make self-care easy with our ONLINE WELLNESS PLATFORM, the C2C Hub!
You can find that our entire library of meditations, yoga and fitness videos on-demand - including our newest Plant-Based Eating cooking series. Get a free 2-week trial!