Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. How did that feel—not just physically, but emotionally? If either of those elements feel out of balance, it’s probably time for a self-care check in.
Recently self-care has become synonymous with spa treatments and other indulgences, often regulated to the category of frivolous or unnecessary. But we believe self-care should be grounded in something more than that; it should be rooted in…well, you.
We define self-care as the steps taken to maintain a relationship with yourself. It’s the emotional, physical, and spiritual maintenance needed for you to be able to continue your journey within. And done right, it’s a restorative, life-changing experience.
If you’re looking for a way to implement self-care into your routine, we’ve put together five steps for better self-care.
The Self-Care “Goals” Assessment:
- Identify your self-care goals.
The first step of any journey is figuring out where you’re going. Set aside a few minutes of your day to consider the ways in which you want to improve your life. This type of backwards planning will allow you to allocate the correct amount of time and energy into your activities.
- Nurture your physical body.
When you’re feeling off it can be difficult to pinpoint why. The Ayurvedic lifestyle lends itself beautifully to these exact moments. Try identifying your Ayurveda body type, or doshas, first. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha all require different approaches to wellness. (If you need to learn more about your body type, you can learn more about Ayurveda here.)
Another key factor: sleep. Sleep is an integral for your body’s restoration. Tend to your sleep wellness by committing to a stable sleep routine, meaning you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This is an inexpensive, but proven way to improve nourish your mind and body.
- Cultivate intention.
If self-care is a journey then intentions serve as the guideposts along the way. That’s why its important to cultivate intention within everything you do. Defined as an aim or a plan, intentions provide the ‘why’ behind your actions. On the days that feel challenging, remind yourself of your intentions for that day (or that hour or even that minute). Your intention can be a single word or a full mantra. Write it down. Keep it visible. Let it guide you.
- Support your emotional state.
While we can’t control what happens to us, we can give our emotional state a boost with a few tricks. Breathing techniques and physical exercise are some of our go-to tips. But we also love using aromatherapy for mood management. This can be done through incense or the use of essential oils. The latter, used in a diffuser or applied directly to the body, can leave the mind energized, relaxed, or focused depending on the scent.
- Expand your spiritual self.
Maintaining your spirituality requires constant introspection. There are several ways to accomplish this, including a dedicated practice to meditation or free journaling or even spiritual retreats. Remember to make space whatever the universe wants to share with you. And don’t be afraid to dive into anything about your feelings: vulnerability, excitement, fear…that’s where the magic happens.
This is a time for listening: to your body, to your mind, to your spirit. Take a few minutes to write down a list of your top four goals to improve your self-care this month. Not only is putting pen to paper therapeutic, those who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them according to neuroscience. It’s also helpful to look back at your personal growth on days when you feel stagnant.
If you’re looking for a spiritual azimuth check, we applaud you. It’s not always easy to explore the depths of your strengths or weaknesses. But like all things, it does get easier with practice. Save this checklist for future reference. At Made by Yoke, we do this self-care assessment at the start of every month and let the results guide our daily or weekly practices.
WRITTEN BY VERONICA