The Seven Pillars of Self-Care for a Successful Life

Self-care is not a trend, we need it to be healthy and happy in the long run. These seven pillars can help integrate self-care into everyday life.

There are a variety of myths and interpretations about self-care. Many associate self-care with a bubble bath and a glass of wine when everything is overcooked. But is this enough? While in the short term these relaxation techniques can help make us feel better in stressful situations, in the long term we need more to stay healthy — both mentally and physically. If we work day and night, combat lack of sleep with coffee, and go back to junk food instead of something nutritious, a bathtub and wine won’t solve the problem either.

Instead, it would be helpful to look at what we really need in the long run so that we feel comfortable on all levels. In the end, only an individual can know the ultimate form of each individual’s self-care concept. However, the seven pillars of self-care can be useful starting points. They are all equal and should all get the same amount of attention.

The Seven Pillars of Self-Care for a Happy and Healthy Life

1. Mental self-care

Mental or intellectual self-care primarily refers to mentality. How we deal with negative thoughts is essential to overall health. If you constantly think negatively and remain rigid in these old patterns, you will not succeed at many things. Fortunately, our brains can be trained. You can do this with mindfulness exercises and meditation, but learning new skills is also important for practicing curiosity and openness.

2. Emotional self-care

Really being aware of your emotional needs is not easy. Because only if we can allow, understand, and process our feelings can we maintain our mental health in the long run. Denial leads us nowhere. The good news: Dealing with our feelings properly is a matter of practice. Meditations, in which we learn to perceive our thoughts and feelings as neutral observers, can be a useful tool. But if you don’t really know how and where to start, the best way to learn to deal with your feelings is through psychotherapy.

3. Physical self-care

Our physical health is the focus here. And yes – physical self-care can certainly take the form of the bubble bath mentioned at the beginning. But it certainly doesn’t stop here. Adequate exercise fits and benefits us, a balanced diet nourishes and fills us, and good and adequate sleep plays an important role. What we tend to forget here are regular breaks and relaxation, because our bodies also need them to stay healthy in the long run.

4. Spatial self-care

Here we must first ask ourselves what spatial environment we need in order to feel comfortable. It starts with a bigger picture, like the country or environment we live in – or want to live in. Do we tend to thrive in a warm climate, or do we prefer a cooler one? Do we prefer an urban environment with a great cultural show or nature?

The deeper we go into the details here, the more direct we can take action. This form of self-care is also about our four walls, our stepping back and the question of how we designed it. Order and cleanliness in your home plays an important role. Whether keeping things tidy is easy or difficult for us depends on our personality, but basically everyone benefits from a healthy and harmonious environment. So: It’s best to leave the laundry away, wash the dishes, or change your bed linen. You will definitely feel better after that!

5. Mental self-care

At first glance, spiritual self-care may seem related to mental self-care. But our spiritual happiness is also about something greater, something higher. The most important question is: What gives meaning to our lives?

For some, it may be about children or an important job with great responsibility. But we can find spiritual fulfillment and meaning in the most diverse areas of life. What is family or work for one person, it may be traveling and discovering new cultures for another. Only radical honesty will help you here, which really gives you a sense of purpose.

6. Leisure self-care

Hobbies and other forms of recreational activities are an important part of self-care. Because in order to be creative and efficient, our brain needs breaks. Of course, what we enjoy is completely different. Some like to be on the road and need constant activity, while others are looking for conscious relaxation and prefer a good book over constant exercise. Listen to yourself and do what you feel comfortable with. But think outside the box, because trying something new can give your confidence a real boost.

7. A self-care relationship

Our social environment is fundamental to our well-being. We all need social relationships and connections. Even if there are introverted and extroverted personality types – no one can do without contact with others. Therefore, maintaining relationships is also part of self-care. We should spend time with people who are good to us and inspire us and avoid toxic people like energy vampires whenever possible.

But social bonds are also about balance. Doing something for others is just as important as doing something for ourselves. It might be a phone call to our aunt that we’ve been putting off for a long time, or we could ask the elderly neighbor if we could get her something from the shops. Fostering social interaction isn’t just about feeling good – it’s also good for us in the long run.

This is how you can use self-care pillars for yourself

The most important thing is not to pressure yourself. This method is not about coming up with a perfect plan in a matter of hours of how to keep each pillar at its optimum level at all times. Because for some points it could take years – and that’s totally fine. Instead, the Seven Pillars should be a framework that can help us when we feel like our lives are out of joint in one or more areas.

One possibility is to do a field for each day of the week. It may also be best for you to shift the focus on a weekly or even monthly basis. For subjects, the amount of necessary work is also very individual. While some people find it easy to maintain their relationships, others find it difficult. There are people who are naturally good at taking care of their physical health, but they easily lose their emotional and mental health.

All columns are connected to each other. When we work on one, the others eventually benefit, too. It is a matter of degree and time. So it is best to intuitively consider the area where you see the most urgent need for action – based on this you can develop your own self-care measures.

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