At Embolden Psychology, we term the foundations of self-care the Five Pillars: Sleep, Nutrition, Movement, Meditation, Connection.
The foundation holds up the house. ￼Beyond these essentials, self-care can take many forms. The essence of self-care requires twofold mindfulness.
1. Making decisions that make daily life more efficient and efficacious.￼
A client finally bought a comfortable new mattress￼￼ after many years of discomfort and back pain from a sagging old one. Another replaced her aged laptop￼ that was￼ frequently crashing and slowing down her work. A third example was a client who bought an app that went through all of her subscriptions and yearly payments, often for products that she was not using. She found that she saved close to $900 per year by getting rid of superfluous charges and subscriptions. ￼At times, people don’t believe that they deserve or should have something for the sake of making life easier. Self-care is saving time and frustration.￼ And money.
2. Consistently building in healthy Me Time.
Many people juggle obligations all day, from work to family. Self-care comes last, if they have time. I have written elsewhere about sleep procrastination. Folks who seemingly stay up late on social media or binging on TV shows have very busy lives. They may crave something that requires no obligations to others. What seems to be an unwise act of staying up late and being tired the next morning often stems from a desire for agency at the end of the day.
Past the Five Pillars, I have people actually schedule Me Time on a daily basis in their calendar. A big M to signify “this is for me and I need it.” Whether it’s a 20 minute nap, walk, quiet time (essential for everyone, especially parents), ￼or even a massage or a movie,￼ your brain and body sense that you’re doing something for yourself. This makes it less likely that you will subconsciously carve Me Time out later by skipping a workout, eating those hot Cheetos, watching trash TV, or staying up late.
While a resort vacation, a splurge meal at a great restaurant, or a new outfit provide a different type of short-term outlet, self-care is daily business.