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What is self care?

04 Sep

What is self care? Simply put, self care includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health.    The real question is, what does self care mean to each of us?  Where do we start?  How do we start over?  How do we take these concepts that seem great in the abstract and make them functional?  

As I’ve been researching and building my own blogger toolkit, I came across the SPICES model and it resonated with me because it serves as a reminder of the various aspects of our life that need nourishment.  Allow me to share…

S is for Social–We are meant to have human interaction (even us introverts!).  Where do you get your social fix?  How do you connect with others?  Is it working for you?  During times of stress, it is easy to become isolated.  Socializing can seem too difficult, demanding energy that we don’t have.  

P is for Physical–This refers to all aspects of caring for our physical self including how we eat, exercise, sleep, take medications.  Following trauma or during other high stress times, we quickly see the disruption to our physical self.  Red flags in this area can be any “extremes”–sleeping too much to escape, insomnia, eating to self comfort, difficulty eating at all.  

I is for Intellectual–If you are a student, it may feel like you are getting all of the intellectual stimulation you need but we can all benefit from adding more to our lives.  One thing to keep in mind… activities that teach us new skills have been shown to increase the volume of the prefrontal cortex which is the area of the brain that determines how we experience emotions and deal with them.  What can nourish and grow your brain?

C is for Creativity–First, broaden that definition of what is considered creative!  Yes, this includes arts and crafts but it also includes creative problem solving and thinking outside the box.  Infusing opportunities to be creative into your life is good for your emotional and brain health.

E is for Emotional–This could include spending time with supportive people, meditation, counseling, journaling, and so much more.  What helps fill your emotional bucket? What or who drains it?

S is for Spirituality–This category encompasses those things that connect us to something bigger than ourselves.  This could include religious practice, meditation, volunteering.  What nourishes your spirit? 

So, take time to think about your own spice rack… what needs to be refilled?  what is being neglected?  I’d love to hear your comments on how you nourish these various aspects of you!  Stay tuned and we will continue the discussion…

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Posted by on September 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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