Self-care is more than just a buzzword. Instead, we need them to be healthy and happy in the long run. These 7 pillars will help you practice self-care
What is self-care – a bubble bath with wine and chocolate? These can certainly be ways to make us feel better, but they usually only help in the short term. In the long run, we need more to be healthy, content, and holistically balanced. If we worked too much, struggled with lack of sleep with coffee, and ate kebabs and french fries only out of stress rather than cooking (or having someone cook) something nutritious, a bathtub and a glass of red wine wouldn’t solve the problem either.
Instead, we can look at what we need in the long run to feel comfortable on all levels. In the end, only you can tell what the ultimate concept of self-care will look like for you. Because if one can develop with many exciting social contacts and hobbies, the other needs rest and relaxation to recharge his energy. Self-care means constantly reminding ourselves of what we need to live a healthy and happy life – and doing it for the long term.
As a helpful reference point, we’ve rounded up the seven most important pillars of self-care for you, all of which are of equal value and also get the same amount of attention from you.
The Seven Pillars of Self-Care for a Happy Life
1. Mental self-care
Mental or intellectual self-care is about your mind. How you deal with your thoughts is essential to your overall health. Because if you only think negatively all the time and stick to these old patterns, it’s no surprise that you probably won’t succeed at many things. Fortunately we can train our brains. You can do this, for example, through mindfulness exercises and meditation, but also by learning a new skill. Curiosity and openness are important skills for good mental health.
2. Emotional self-care
What are your emotional needs? As simple as this question seems, its answer can be complicated if we really deal with it. Because only if we allow, understand, and process our feelings will we be okay in the long run. Unfortunately, denying it doesn’t help. But we can practice how to properly handle our emotions. This can be done, for example, through meditations, where we learn to perceive our thoughts and feelings as a neutral observer. If you are not quite sure how and where to start, seek help – Psychotherapy is always a safe and professional environment to work with your feelings.
3. Physical self-care
This is about your physical health. And yes: physical self-care can take the form of the previously mentioned bubble bath. But there are plenty of them – like enough exercise that works and is good for you, a balanced diet that nourishes and fills you, and enough sleep. But periods of regular rest and relaxation are also an important factor that many of us unfortunately often forget.
4. Self-care around you
What spatial environment do you need to feel comfortable? This includes a larger picture such as the country and region you live in or want to live in. Do you tend to climb in a warm climate, or do you prefer that north? The question of whether you like living in urban areas or prefer nature also plays a role.
The more details, the more actions you can take immediately. Because this kind of self-care is also about your home, your personal sanctuary, and the question of how you designed it. It is about order and hygiene around you. How easy it is to keep things tidy for us is basically a matter of type, but everyone benefits from a harmonious and healthy environment. So: Wash the dishes, leave the laundry away, and change your bed. You’ll feel better afterwards, I promise!
5. Mental self-care
Although it may seem related at first glance, your spiritual well-being is not the same as your mental health. Because mental self-care is about something bigger, something higher. The most important question is: What gives your life meaning?
It doesn’t have to be selfless voluntary work, five kids, or an important job with great responsibility. You can find and experience spiritual fulfillment and meaning in a variety of areas. What is family or work for one person, it is for another who travels and discovers new worlds. Be honest with yourself here and ask yourself what gives you a sense of purpose and leadership.
6. Self-care for your spare time
Free time and hobbies are essential, because our brain needs breaks to be creative and efficient. What we enjoy is of course very individual. There are active types who like to be on the go and explore new things, while others seek peace and quiet and perhaps read a book or watch a series. Do what works for you – but also like to think outside the box. Trying something new can give your confidence an unexpected boost!
7. Social self-care
We all need social relationships and connections – some more, some less. But no one can do without contact with others. Therefore, maintaining relationships is clearly part of self-care. Spend time with people who are right for you and who inspire you, and spend less time with toxic people and vampires.
But social ties are not a one-way street, it’s a matter of balance. It might also be a good idea to do something for others. You can just call your aunt again, ask your elderly neighbor if you can carry their groceries upstairs, or find a completely different way to return the favor. You will notice how good it feels to enhance social interaction.
This is how you can use self-care pedestals
Just don’t put yourself under too much pressure! It’s not about coming up with a perfect plan in a few hours on how to keep each of the pillars at an optimal level at all times in your life. This can take years. Alternatively, stilts can serve as a framework to help you out when you feel like your life (again) is out of joint.
You might specify one of the fields in focus for each day of the week. Maybe you just shift your focus on a weekly or even monthly basis. Topics that require a very individual amount of work. There are people who are naturally good at nurturing their relationships, but repeatedly fail to take care of their physical health. Others are healthy on a physical level but have lost their emotional and mental foresight.
Everything is connected. If you work on one pillar, others will benefit as well. It is only a matter of degree and time. So it’s best to intuitively consider the area where there is the most urgent need for action – and create a personal self-care routine based on that.
Sources used: theblissfulmind.com, einfachganzleben.de