“I’m not here to be perfect, I’m here to be real.”
~ Lady Gaga
In our ever-changing metaverse, so many of us are finding challenges and uncertainty to be the new norm. We are witnessing, experiencing, sensing a world, often very different to the one of our hopes, dreams, and desires.
Self-care practices can be; “The difference that makes a difference!”
In this article I will explore what I call the 7 Pillars of Self Care and offer some of my favourite inspirational quotes and simple strategies that, with repetition can help us shift our mindset to one of self-care, self-compassion, and deep nourishment of our body, mind and soul.
The 7 Pillars of Self-Care include:
1. Physical, 2. Mental, 3. Emotional, 4. Environmental, 5. Spiritual, 6. Recreational and 7. Social.
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
~ James Dean
1. Physical – Nutrition, sleep and exercise
“I can accept failure; everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
~ Michael Jordan
It’s a given that a healthy diet, adequate sleep and gentle exercise are all beneficial. However, sometimes they are not enough. When it’s all too much, step outside and take a walk in nature allowing your eyes to drink in the colours of the seasons; or try one food you never have before or a meal service which does some of the prep for you. Set an alarm 2 hours before bedtime to remind you to turn off screens of all types.
By accepting that we are never going to be an expert the first time we have a go at a new thing, we offer ourselves space to begin again. Taking one small step towards your goals is going to get you over the line in the end; remember the ‘tortoise and the hare.’
2. Mental – Mindset is everything
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fail.”
~ Nelson Mandela
Our minds are so busy these days, we can forget to stop and take a moment to check in with the weather patterns between our ears. Taking up some sort of mindfulness or meditative practice or activating your creative side through dance, song, journaling, drawing, are all outlets that help shift from a negative mindset to a far more beneficial and nourishing state.
3. Emotional – Opening our hearts
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.”
~ Helen Keller
Stress is a two-way street – we need a little and yet a lot can be overwhelming. Affirmations, reaching out to a friend or relative that you once enjoyed time with and doing our best to never intentionally hurt or harm another can support us to keep our hearts open to the power of Love.
4. Environmental – The space around us
“Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me; just being my friend.”
~ Albert Camus
Little things such as tidying up one corner of your home at a time; decluttering your workspace; writing an inspirational quote on your bathroom mirror in your best lip gloss can shift your mood in a heartbeat.
5. Spiritual – Giving our life a deeper sense of meaning
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
~ Lao Tzu
We spend so much time in our external worlds, responding, reacting, recognising! Taking moments throughout our busy day to stop and simply take a breath; trying that new funky little café down the street or putting away all your small change toward a weekend getaway, can support our spirit to soar and give us something to look forward to.
6. Recreational – New activities, experiences, hobbies
“We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.”
~ Maya Angelou
Scheduling time to do things we love such as a hobby or taking a bath in one of nature’s amazing array of waterways; or looking up at the stars at night can all remind us that we are so blessed to have the availability to choose activities and experiences that bring a smile to our lips and a warmth to our hearts.
7. Social – Connection and healthy boundaries
“I’m not a self-made man. I’ve had a lot of help.”
~ Stan Lee
Making a small card from cut out pictures and dropping it in your neighbours mailbox to say hi; volunteering at an animal shelter if people aren’t your scene; or setting clear boundaries about how you spend your time and energy by saying 'no' when you need to are all ways to remain connected while maintaining your boundaries.
These ideas are simply that, ‘ideas’ that I have found work. Enjoy taking on these or using the headings to design your own
7 Pillars of Self-Care.
“The road to success is always under construction.”
~ Lily Tomlin