What is Holistic Self Care and How Can It Help You?
Thankfully the world has realized how important self-care is, and they no longer (at least most people) shame women for prioritizing this aspect of our health. Many of us spend so much time caring for others as mothers, wives, friends, and daughters, but we can’t forget to take care of ourselves.
When you think of self care, you probably have a few things that pop into your mind, but you can take this one step further and make your self care holistic. What is holistic self care? and why it is important for your well-being?
Holistic self care is about caring for your mind, body, and spirit. It’s also about achieving harmony with nature.
In other words, it’s not just about taking a bubble bath or eating healthy foods—it’s also about helping yourself thrive in all areas of life.
Finding balance in all areas of your life.
Finding balance in all areas of your life is the ultimate goal of holistic self care. Not only will it help you feel better, but it can actually make you more productive, too.
If you have an overbooked schedule or feel like your work is taking over every aspect of your life and draining the joy out of it, then starting with a few small changes to help balance out what’s going on in each part of your life could be just what’s missing for a better work-life balance.
The easiest place to start is by rethinking how much time we spend on each activity and whether it serves us or not — we may find that some things we thought were healthy actually aren’t beneficial at all!
As a mother, wife, caretaker, and writer, I often find that my priorities can get out of balance.
When I start to notice that I haven’t taken enough time out of my week to spend with my family, outside in the sun and fresh air, or on prayer and meditation, I also notice that I feel pretty crappy.
Another example is when I opt for convenience foods instead of fresh, nourishing foods or lack consistency in staying active. Again, I don’t feel good. I feel off balance, and every aspect of my life suffers because of it.
That’s not a coincidence; that’s being human.
Taking care of your mind, body, and spirit.
Many of us think of self-care as something that helps us feel better physically. That’s important, of course!
But it’s also essential to take care of our minds and spirits. When we’re taking care of all three parts of ourselves (mind, body, spirit), we can truly experience holistic wellness—and that’s what this article is all about.
To start with: What is holistic self care? It refers to taking care not only of your physical health but also your mental and spiritual health.
So when you read about “taking care” in this article, please keep in mind that I’m talking about more than just what goes on inside your body; I’m referencing all aspects of who you are as a person—your thoughts and feelings included!
Achieving harmony with nature.
As an individual, I see the importance of creating a personal connection with nature. In fact, I believe it is absolutely essential for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
I often encourage my family to spend time outside in nature at least once a day. Being in touch with the earth gives you a sense of peace that cannot be replicated anywhere else on this planet.
If possible, try connecting with the sun by sitting outside in its warmth during lunchtime every day…or even better yet: go on an adventure like hiking through an untouched forest or exploring caves nearby. Look for opportunities in your area where you can really experience nature.
Vitamin D deficiency is only becoming more common as humans spend less time in the sun. Get your butt outside and let the sun energize you, like powering a battery.
One of my favorite ways to feel connected to the earth is through gardening. I get to dig into the dirt and plant seeds, witnessing how caring for the earth will help it care for me. I can nourish my body with the vegetables that I grow.
You’ll feel energized afterward because being connected with nature brings balance into all aspects of life (mindset included).
Focusing on mind-body wellness and awareness.
Holistic self care is the practice of caring for your mind, body, and spirit. It’s about creating a healthy balance between the three and working toward optimal wellness in all aspects of life. When you’re “in tune” with your mental and physical health, you’re able to be more aware of how they overlap with each other.
Mind-body wellness is about being mindful of how our minds and bodies work together to create health or illness; it’s also defined as having a physical awareness of yourself.
For example: if you’re sick in bed with the flu, your stress levels will probably rise because you feel worse than usual—and vice versa: when we’re feeling good physically (or even just overall), our mood tends to follow suit. Have you ever been in pain and noticed that you are less patient because of it?
How about feeling physical pain from emotional trauma? The connection between the brain and the body is real, and if you want both to feel their best, you have to recognize this.
Mindfulness practices help us slow down and focus on what’s happening right now instead of worrying about things that have already happened or might happen sometime in the future; this can help reduce stress and improve sleep quality which contributes greatly towards overall well-being.
Deep breathing, guided meditation, mentally taking inventory of every source of tension in your body. These are all ways that you can practice mind-body wellness and awareness.
Promoting healing and well-being without medication.
Holistic self care is the practice of promoting healing and well-being without medication. There are so many ways to practice holistic self care, so let’s focus on just one (If you want to learn more ways, explore my other articles.)
- Spending time with people who care about you
I read a story once about a nurse who cared for orphaned babies during one of the World Wars. She had a room full of babies in cribs. She would give them their bottles, care for their medical needs, and change their diapers. You know how difficult this is for one baby, well, she had a roomful.
She was exhausted at the end of the day, but before she left, she would pick up the last baby, sit in the rocking chair, and coo and cuddle that little baby.
Guess what happened? That baby in the last crib that she would pick up and give extra love-he thrived. He got well, and he was adopted. There was another baby placed in that last crib. The nurse did the same thing. Picked it up at the end of the night and gave it a little extra attention. Again, that baby thrived.
She didn’t neglect the other babies. They were all fed, changed, and attended to, but the last crib always got more love and physical contact- and those babies were always the healthiest of the bunch.
The key takeaway here is that some things are more powerful than medicine. They reach a deeper part of us that needs healing. Love, for example, cures many things.
Don’t neglect to spend time with people who love you and care for you. This is an essential part of holistic self care.
Holistic self care is about putting yourself first.
The definition of holistic is “relating to the whole person” or “the part as a functional unit.” When it comes to your health, this means that holistic self care is about taking care of your mind, body, and spirit all at once. That doesn’t mean that you are selfish or self-absorbed. You can’t care for others if you don’t care for yourself.
Remember that your mind and body are connected. That’s why if you feel stressed out or anxious, it can affect how you physically feel—and vice versa. Your emotions affect your body just as much as what you eat affects how you feel emotionally.
Grief is a perfect example of this. Grief can manifest itself in symptoms like headaches or stomach pains from stress hormones being released into your system, sleeplessness due to crying yourself to sleep every night, or even weight gain due to emotional eating and depression that makes you stay in bed all day.
Holistic self care in a time like this is not only helpful, it’s vital.
To sum up…
Holistic self care is about promoting overall health in various ways. It’s about finding balance in all areas of your life, relaxing and rejuvenating, and reaching out to others when you need help. Holistic self care isn’t just something that happens on weekends or vacations; it’s an ongoing process that requires attention and effort every day of the year.
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