It might sound tasking to practice self-care daily on top of building a sustainable practice but simple things like breathing slowly, having moments of stillness and silence, mindful eating, prayer, going for a walk in nature or around the neighbourhood, having conversations with trusted ones, having a nap and many more, are simple ways of practicing self-care each day.
Aside from the above, our sustainable practices can be built on core pillars which can be interchanged and adapted to suit our current lifestyle. We have to be intentional about creating space for these practices by identifying the stressors and making decisions to manage or remove them.
One of the first core pillars involves physical self-care, which is anything from routine medical check-ups, eating healthily, to working out – running, stretching, yoga, tai-chi, qigong, dancing or any movement that brings joy. Another core pillar would be emotional self-care, and this could look like engaging in positive activities, journaling to process emotions or events, having a conversation with trusted friends and speaking with a therapist. Attending to our emotions in self-care with another person or group of people allows us to properly reflect on the highs and lows of the day or week that can bring much needed perspective.
Another core pillar would be professional self-care. This is where we examine our work to see if we find it fulfilling or engaging, if we work well with colleagues, if we feel depleted or energised, if it’s a place where we thrive or barely survive. Work is an essential part of our lives but it’s also responsible for stress. Self-care at work looks like establishing the right boundaries with our finishing times, workload, emails and phone calls. Do we take on more than we can handle? Do we work during our lunch break? Are we the first ones in and the last ones out? Creating a healthy work life balance is an important tool for maintaining our health and our sustainable practices.