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The 8 Pillars of Self-Care

8 pillars of selfcare

Self-care is a term that describes the action that one does consciously to care for their mental, physical, and emotional health. In its simplest essence, self-care refers to the act of being responsible for looking after oneself.

(According to WHO, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.)

However, self-care should not be confused with indulgence.

It is okay to indulge in that slice of cake or a relaxing massage. While these are activities that can satisfy us, it’s positive impacts are shortlived.

It’s not easy but it is crucial.

Self-care requires some hard work in putting in that effort to be responsible for taking care of ourselves. It could look like setting boundaries; making tough practical decisions; cultivating certain healthy habits or carving out time for ourselves.

When we practice self-care, it helps us maintain a healthy and positive relationship with ourselves and the people around us.

The 8 Pillars of Self-Care

Here are some tips you could use to get started on your own self-care journey:

Psychological

  • Put aside some time for self-reflection through journaling.
  • Practice mindfulness and cultivate present moment awareness through art-making such as weaving, mandalas or drawing in a circle.
  • Master a new skill or learn something new to expand on your current/existing knowledge. This could include learning a new language, musical instrument or sport.

However, be mindful that the new skill you intend to pursue is challenging, yet attainable. Else it might end up being a cause for stress!

Emotional

  • Exercise compassion for yourself and others.  Sometimes, our inner critic gets the better of us.
  • Navigate emotions by developing emotional literacy, it could help us make sense of our feelings.
  • Manage stress through therapeutic activities such as listening to music or making art. For more ideas on art as therapy activities, follow us on (@solace_art_therapy).

Physical

  • Ensure sufficient rest. Here’s an article from TED that talks about the 7 types of rest that everyone needs.
  • Move the body – dance, swim, jog, stretch or walk.  
  • Have healthy and nutritious meals, limit the amount of junk food and alcohol that goes into your body.
  • Deep breathing exercises help with regulating heart rate and contribute to lower blood pressure.
  • Maintain good personal hygiene and grooming. This helps you to feel good about yourself and can inspire self-confidence.

Social

  • Make some time to catch up with important people in your life such as friends, family or colleagues.
  • Recognise and keep a distance from toxic circles or people.
  • Join a community, support group or volunteer your time. This helps to expand your social circle and network.
  • Meet new people outside work and circle of family and friends.

Professional

  • Attend professional development courses or coaching.
  • Understand your job scope, roles and responsibilities.
  • Negotiate your needs and benefits.
  • Set clear and healthy boundaries to enjoy a good work-life balance.

Spiritual

  • Make a list of personal beliefs and guiding values.
  • Spend time connecting with nature.
  • Allocate time for any spiritual or religious practice.

Financial

  • Be conscious of spending habits and any outstanding debts or instalments.
  • Manage finances wisely – plan a monthly and yearly budget.
  • Keep track of credit card, insurance and other bills. Ensure they are paid on time.

Environmental

  • Keep living spaces safe, clean and neat.
  • Declutter and organise spaces. 
  • Consider direct impacts on the environment – reuse, reduce, recycle where possible.

 

Everyone’s self-care plan is personal and will look different from another! To avoid feeling overwhelmed, pick out 3 pillars to work on for a start and keep the list short.

We hope these self-care tips will help improve your overall mental wellbeing. Share this article if you find it useful!

 

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