NewsJune 4, 2020
Why We All Need to Practice Self-Care
By: Dr. Supriya Blair, PsyD, Dr. Blair Psychology, LLC
Self-care entails you taking care of your mind, body, and spirit. People who engage in self-care learn to recognize their own feelings and needs and work toward treating themselves with the type of compassion they often show others.
Why should we take care of ourselves?
Author, Rumer Godden, once wrote, “There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional, and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but, unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.” Self-care involves cleaning and removing clutter within our four-roomed house.
We house mental, emotional, and spiritual space within this body we are given. Our skin is our largest sensory organ, housing this incredible innerness that connects the mind-body-soul system.
It’s important to take inventory on how we nurture ourselves on a daily basis. When you are aware of your own inventory, you can then choose to decorate and embellish your different rooms so you become a master at taking care of yourself.
Below are several examples of self-care activities. Some activities can be found in multiple rooms and that’s okay. In fact, if you find a self-care activity that crosses multiple rooms, take special note because it likely nourishes mind, body, and spirit together!
Let’s take a look.
- Attending a satsang
- Going to church/mosque/temple/synagogue or other place of worship
- Repeating a mantra
- Reading spiritual scriptures
- Forgiveness exercises
- Staying present
- Being out in nature
- Learning something new
- Choosing positive, affirmative, reassuring, and calming thoughts
- Acting with intentionality
- Self-guided meditation
- Using a planner to structure time for work, family, and fun activities
- Telling yourself “it’s okay”
- Asking for help
- Taking a break
- Sharing your thoughts and feelings with a friend or family member
- Allowing yourself to cry
- Scheduling “worry time”
- Saying “no”
- Looking through old pictures
- Planning a trip to visit friends, family, or for a vacation
- Deep breathing
- Engaging in a creative activity, such as dance, music, art, collaging, writing, etc.
- Hugging yourself or asking someone you care about for a hug
Acknowledging your feelings, accepting your feelings in the moment, and deciding upon a course of action to work through feelings
- Going for a walk/jog/run
- Deep breathing
- Cooking a healthy meal
- Lifting weights
- Cardiovascular exercise
- Warm bath or shower
- Using all-natural products for skin and hair
- Soothing, rhythmic activity (e.g., knitting, crocheting, painting, writing, singing, playing an instrument)
How do you take care of yourself? Which room or two have you been spending most of your time in? Is there another room in your house that’s collecting dust?
I encourage you to make your own self-care list. Add to it along the way. Then, pay it forward; maybe you can help someone else decorate his or her own house, too.