Self care tends to get overlooked, especially by people with busy lives. When we get focused on our jobs and our relationships, which is a necessary part of living a successful life, the unfortunate side effect is that we tend to neglect ourselves.
In society, those people are the ones who get most vocally praised for being dedicated, but at what cost does that dedication come?
CHIJI has based our entire business philosophy on the importance of self care. If you’re still unsure of why it is so important, and how you can be better at practicing it, we hope to convince you today.
The What of Self Care
The concept of self care has been around for decades, making it officially on the World Health Organization’s radar since 1983.
While there are many different definitions out there, depending on who you ask, the basic concept remains the same: something that you do for yourself to help take care of your own physical, mental, and emotional health.
But it goes far beyond just those three areas. In fact, when speaking about self care most people refer to between five and eight different areas of focus. We’ll lay out all eight in this article, but keep in mind that not every one may pertain to you.
Physical self care refers to any ways that you take care of your own body. This includes your physical health, nutrition, and sleep. It can also include keeping appointments with your health care provider if you have any health conditions you should be keeping tabs on, or just for routine well-person check ups.
Psychological self care refers to keeping yourself mindful and keeping your mind engaged. It also means taking care of any mental health concerns that you may have, and seeking help when you need it.
Emotional self care is the way that you navigate emotions, increase your empathy, and manage stress. It’s also the ability to develop a large emotional awareness, so that you can both identify and feel your emotions as they occur.
Social self care is how you manage your relationships. This includes having supportive relationships that you are able to trust and turn to, and being able to cut ties with people who are not supportive.
Professional self care refers to ways that you share your gifts and strengths with the world, while still establishing healthy boundaries. It’s also putting other forms of self care into place that you can practice while in the work environment.
Environmental self care is both your personal environment and your relationship with the environment as a whole. It is the ability to maintain a clutter-free, organized space, a form of transportation that is reliable, and the amount of time you spend outdoors in nature.
Spiritual self care is any belief and value that you hold that guide your behavior. This can be religious or non-religious. It’s simply the balance that exists between the body and the spirit, no matter how you interpret it.
Financial self care is the way that you manage and relate to money. It’s being conscious with your finances, and making sure that you have a healthy relationship with money.
The Why of Self Care
With all of those areas in mind, why is self care so important?
Think about what you just read, and how all encompassing they are. Imagine just one of them falling apart, like your financial health or your physical health. This would be guaranteed to send ripples throughout the rest of your life, as well.
When you don’t take care of yourself, you’re far more likely to experience burnout, depression, anxiety, and even resentment of the people around you who seem to really have it all together.
More and more, our society demands that we burn the candle at both ends. We have to work all the time, have a clean home, making four course meals, etc. Where does the self fit into all that?
Practicing self care also helps to breed good self esteem, as you are much more in touch with who you are and what you want out of life. It makes you more confident and more able to stand up for yourself, as well as helping to make sure that you have only the healthiest and most supportive people in your circle.
Ultimately, self care is self love. It’s treating yourself like you treat anyone around you that is important to you. It’s putting yourself on the list, so that you can lead a healthier, happier, more well balanced life.
Why practice self care? Because everything in your life depends on it.
The How of Self Care
So how can you start practicing better self care? It starts by making a list of each of the areas of self care and jotting down ideas that you think you can put into place to help improve them.
Once you have a list of self care items that you can start to integrate into your life, you should also create a plan to put them into action. Schedule self care time that you can make a promise to yourself to follow through with. Talk to supportive friends and family members about it so that they can help keep you accountable.
Whatever you have to do to follow through, do it.
With that said, here is a small list of some ideas that you may want to incorporate into your self care plan. These are just suggestions, and you should make sure that anything you plan to do is something that brings you joy and makes you feel more centered, balanced, and happy.
Don’t do something because you think you should like it, or because other people have told you that’s how other people practice self care.
Physical Self Care Ideas
- Going for a walk
- Taking a bath (light one of our energy candles to help set the aura)
- Focusing on getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night
- Making sure you’re eating enough healthy, whole foods
- Making and keeping a workout schedule
Psychological Self Care Ideas
- Practicing active mindfulness
- Reading a new book
- Learning a new language or skill
- Staying away from social media
- Going to therapy to work out unresolved issues
Emotional Self Care Ideas
- Saying no something you don’t want to do
- Reflecting on your feelings
- Being more compassionate with yourself
- Learning about and standing by your boundaries
- Saying yes to taking care of yourself when you need it
Social Self Care Ideas
- Asking for help when needed
- Seeking out new, trustworthy relationships
- Spending time with loved ones
- Joining a support group
- Grabbing a cup of coffee with a trusted friend
Professional Self Care Ideas
- Making sure to eat a healthy lunch at work
- Developing and standing by clear, professional boundaries
- Taking advantage of opportunities to develop yourself professionally
- Negotiating for your needs
- Creating an emergency self care plan if you need help at work
Environmental Self Care Ideas
- Decluttering and organizing both your home and work environments
- Monitoring the time you spend on technology
- Cleaning up right away after a meal
- Going for a hike
- Picking up trash in your neighborhood
Spiritual Self Care Ideas
- Practicing meditation
- Going on a personal retreat
- Spending time alone with your thoughts
- Practicing yoga
Financial Self Care Ideas
- Creating a budget
- Knowing when and how much income to expect
- Paying your bills on time
- Starting a savings account
- Hiring a financial counselor
Consider Any Barriers To Self Care
While working on your personal self care plan, make sure that you also consider any barriers that you might encounter in following through with them. It helps to be realistic about them, so that you can also come up with ideas to help get through or around them.
Nearly anything can be a barrier if it stops you, even things that you consider positive in your life like children, partners, and work.
Want a good example of a barrier as well as how you may be able to get around it? If you know that you make complicated plans only to find yourself too burned out to actually complete them, try to make smaller plans that you’re more likely to be able to do without feeling overwhelmed. You can also tell people about your self care plans, in an attempt to have them gently remind you so that you don’t let them get stuck on the back burner.
Self care may be the most important thing that you can do for yourself.
When you focus on your needs, whether they are physical, emotional, psychological, or otherwise (or a combination of more than one), you help yourself feel more centered, balanced, and ready to take on any challenges that may be thrown your way.
CHIJI would love to be part of any self care plan, because you deserve to have your needs met just as much as anyone else does, and the different energies that crystals have to offer can really help you along in your journey!