When I mention self-care or talk about wellness with people, they immediately think of one of two things: Eating and Exercise.
I agree that those two aspects of self-care are very important, and definitely support the physical side of our self-care, but what about the mental and emotional side of self-care?
Here are 3 other facets of self-care that I think are just as important and that I think we need to focus on more often. Kind of like the recommendation that we exercise 5 times a week. I think we need to engage in these 3 emotional facets of self-care at least 5 times a week too,
For me, peace is about tranquility of my environment and tranquility of my mind. It’s time when I am not listening to too much external or internal noise. I find peace when I am lying in bed in the morning after just walking up, when I am sitting in the garden doing nothing much and thinking about nothing much. It’s when I make a decision and a calm washes over me because it just feels right. It’s when I know that I am living in integrity--when my actions and values are aligned.
Peace for me is not reading a book, or watching TV. Sure those are pleasurable moments, and seemingly peaceful, but they don’t actually bring me peace because my mind is working too hard.
Where do you find peace? Could you find it more often? How?
Play might not seem like it fits within self-care, but I think it does. When we give ourselves opportunities to play, we lessen our stress levels, we engage our reward systems in our brain, and we lose track of time.
Play doesn’t necessarily mean “playing” anything. Sometimes when we engage in what is commonly known as “play” it can feel like work.
Play is about losing yourself in something you love. Play could mean going hiking. Play could mean reading a good book. Play could be painting. Play could be being with people you love.
Whatever brings you pleasure, brings you joy, and makes you feel alive is play in my mind.
Are you playing enough? If not, how can you incorporate more play into your life.
Connection is another aspect of self-care that I think we neglect too often. We get so caught up in the day to day goings on of our lives, that we forget to reach out to the people we care about. We forget how much love and connection are an integral part of our lives on an emotional level (even for introverts.)
Most of us are in connection with others on a regular basis, but I am talking about connection which has no purpose--not a business meeting, or a transaction at the store. I mean a real, genuine, “I care about you and I like spending time with you” connection.
I urge you to think about those people in your life that make you laugh out loud. The ones that you love spending time with. How often do you see them? What would your life be like if you spent even more time with them?
Self care is more than just eating well, exercising often, and sleeping 8 hours a night.
Self-care is about taking care of your whole being, including your body, mind, and spirit.