When I told my husband that I was taking this month to focus on self care, he looked a bit confused. I know that he isn’t the only one that doesn’t understand the concept.
Back when I was younger, I didn’t call it self care. I called it going on sabbatical. Even though I didn’t know it at the time, that was a very fitting term. The word sabbatical goes all the way back to the Bible. Modern use of the word sabbatical has evolved beyond Shmita to taking time off for some purpose or goal.
If you were to look in the dictionary you would see a simple definition: to care for oneself. I’d like to define self care as activities to improve welfare and reduce stress.
There is some debate about the technical aspects. Some limit the dimensions to 4 but I personally prefer the 5 dimensions. The five dimensions of self care are physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual.
The physical dimension includes safety, health, physical activity, and touch. It is much more than just living a healthy lifestyle by eating well and doing exercise. It rewards you with more energy, better health, and higher self esteem.
Examples of physical self care:
- Eat a well balanced diet
- Take a short nap
- Try a new class at the gym
- Snuggle with your spouse or significant other
- Positive affirmations
- Gratitude journal
- Saying no
- Read a book
- Listen to NPR
- Take a class
- Learn a new language
- Make a new friend
- Reconnect with an old friend
- Volunteer in your community
- Host a dinner party
- Attend a church service
Staggs, S. (2014). 5 Dimensions of Self Care. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 8, 2016, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/after-trauma/2014/03/the-5-dimensions-of-self-care/
Pin this list of activities list for later. Or read the next post in the series.