Melissa Weisel, MSW, LCSW, MSM PH-PP
Self-care looks different for everyone, and many people don't consider meeting their own basic needs as self-care. Sometimes taking a shower is an act of self-care as powerful as an hour long Swedish massage. Cancelling plans with someone due to a lack of energy or lack of desire to attend a certain event may be the most revolutionary act of self-care someone can complete. Taking an actual lunch break, not answering emails after a certain hour, and watching that new episode of your favorite TV show after the kids have gone to bed... all self-care.
The 4 Main Dimensions of Self and Self-Care
This includes healthy forms of physical activity with strong boundaries and may look like cancelling a workout when you're feeling tired or sore. Or it may be waking up early to go for a walk before the day gets hectic.
Sexual health and physical touch
Sensory experiences (beauty, texture, temperature...)
Healthy eating habits and enjoyable eating experiences
Repairing any strained relationships to your body or physical environment
This includes cultivating time and space for healthy emotional expression including the tolerance/support of emotion in others. Do you open yourself to your relationships and connect in meaningful ways? Do you set boundaries around your needs and within your relationships? Are you investing in your emotional life in meaningful ways?
This may look like:
Therapy or Coaching with trained professionals
Journaling and expressing emotions
Practicing emotional expression and regulation in relationships
This includes time spent reflecting on your own spiritual connection to others or a source of spiritual guidance. Do you spend time meditating or getting quiet to connect to your humanity by "just being"? Do you have a sense of "oneness" with others?
Tarot or divination
Attendance at a religious organization that is renewing and uplifting
Efforts to connect with others on a human level such as volunteering or mentoring
Reflecting on your purpose and sources of inspiration
This includes academic pursuits, mental clarity, and mental stimulation. Do you have negative thinking patterns you need to attend to, and set aside time to do so? Do you engage in things that are interesting to you and inspire you to think?
This may look like:
Subscribing to a favorite newsletter or publication
Taking a training