Whether you’re exhausted after an endless array of holiday parties and rich boozy drinks, or you’re just trying to start 2018 off with your strongest foot forward, self-care is absolutely essential at this time of year.
I have created a way to optimize self-care by focusing on mind, body, and soul.
Sometimes, we take care of our mind by reading, listening to podcasts, and taking in as much information as possible. Sometimes, we take care of our body by pushing ourselves to the next limit in our workouts and by trying new thins with our diet. All of these are great on their own. But we can get so wrapped up in these things that we also forget to focus on the third part of our self-care trinity: the soul.
By soul, I don’t mean to get overly spiritual. What I mean is the regular-check in with your self to see how you’re feeling emotionally, and if you feel that you are fulfilled in the deepest personal sense.
- What does my mind need?
- What does my body need?
- What does my soul need?
- My mind needs to stop overthinking.
- My body needs to keep moving around.
- My soul needs to feel free and unbound.
After answering these three questions, I realized that I needed to be outside, with no car, no purse, nothing but my house keys and my phone to listen to podcasts, and my $5 in case I want a coffee. I needed to feel free, feel connected to the sun and wind and nothing else. Sometimes, getting “lost” in this way helps me feel incredibly un-lost, it helps me feel like I belong in my own existence, and sometimes that exact feeling is what I need to stop second-guessing myself in my creative work and instead to start believing in myself even more.
And another example of how I answered these questions earlier this week:
- My mind needs to focus on just one thing at a time.
- My body needs some stillness and full breaths.
- My soul wants to feel at peace, and that I am moving forward in a way that my inner mentor would be proud of.
The middle of this week was particularly hard for me – I had some family issues going on, and a lot of guilt and not-good-enough to deal with. I realized how much my tendency of feeling not-good-enough turned into trying to be a perfectionist, or to busy myself into checking off every task on every list just to prove my worth.
Instead, this exercise helped me realize that instead of filling up my schedule, I needed to do the opposite. I needed to find some white space. I needed to get comfortable with nothingness.
I hope that this helps you to think about self-care as a need, and why it is important to prioritize mind, body, and soul.