Designing a self-care routine is a very personal thing. We all have different needs that must be met in different ways. However, I believe that there are 8 dimensions of wellness that are absolutely essential. How you meet the needs in these categories may look a little different, but overall these needs are the same for everyone.
What Is Self-Care?
These days, self-care is all the buzz. I have some pretty strong opinions on what self-care really means and what it is not. For the purpose of this article I will keep it simple. Self-care means recognizing and honoring your core needs on a regular basis. The dimensions of wellness we discuss later on, will address exactly what these core needs are and give you some ideas for how to create a self-care plan that works for you.
Why Is Self Care Important?
Once you have a better idea of what self-care is and understand that it is not all about candle-lit bubble baths, you will understand why it is necessary. At the most basic level, self-care is necessary for survival. As a mom, it is even more important. You have other people who depend on you, so it is important that you take care of yourself so you can be there for them.
Creating A Self-Care Plan
If you type “dimensions of wellness” into google, there are 65,000,000 results and thousands of different interpretations of what wellness includes. How do you possibly process all of that information? How do you boil all of that down to help you create a self-care routine that meets your core needs?
Well, friends, I have gone ahead and done that for you. After countless hours of researching, I have narrowed it down to the self-care tips that I believe to be the most important to living your best life and being the best version of yourself. Making sure that you are engaging in self-care in each of these areas regularly will make for a well-rounded self-care routine.
The 8 Dimensions Of Wellness
Now, before you start yelling at me and telling me that there is absolutely no way that you have time to hit on each of these areas, let me emphasize that I totally understand! If you’re like me, being a mama is your number one priority and you give most of your time to taking care of your tiny humans. I’m right there with you.
If you’re short on time, the top 3 areas I would prioritize in this list are Mental Wellness, Physical Wellness, and Emotional Wellness. I think you will also find that tending to these areas benefits you in some of the other areas as well.
Not sure how you can make self-care work in your crazy busy life? Check out my free self-care cheat sheets, where I have put together a list of 50 self-care activities that take 20 minutes or less.
Whatever you do, make sure that you are putting at least a little bit of time into your self-care. Showing up as your best self for your family requires you to have a good amount of energy, which you will only get from pouring into yourself first.
Let’s take a deeper dive into each aspect of self-care and talk about activities that fall under each category. This should give you a clearer picture of which activities will be the most beneficial for you so you can start incorporating them into your self-care routine.
According to the World Health Organization, mental wellness is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
This aspect of self-care relates is so important because it affects the way we think, feel and act. Achieving mental wellness means supporting our mental health needs, addressing our thoughts and self-talk and managing stress effectively.
Examples of Mental Wellness Activities:
- Supporting Your Mental Health With Food
- Unfollowing People On Facebook
- Practicing Mindfulness
- Positive Affirmations
As you may have already guessed, your physical wellness related to the way you take care of your body. It means doing what you can to feel your best. Are you eating well, finding ways to move, maintaining good hygiene and seeking professional care when necessary? Each of these factors is a necessary component to keeping your body in top physical condition.
Examples Of Physical Wellness Activities:
- Eating mostly real food
- Drinking plenty of water
- Moving regularly
- Regular health check-ups
- Taking supplements
Intellectual wellness refers to engaging in creative or mentally stimulating activity. It could be playing a challenging game, reading a book, learning a new language, playing an instrument or taking up a new hobby.
Anything that expands your knowledge and skill set and contributes to your personal growth. Life-long learners tend to be happier, are more confident and have better overall cognitive function.
Examples Of Intellectual Wellness Activities
- Read a book (Here are some great reading suggestions)
- Take a class
- Engage in a hobby
- Listen to a podcast
managing stress, coping with difficult emotions and cultivating mindfulness are all ways to create emotional wellness. The way you feel can greatly affect the way you show up on your life and for your family, which is why this is a vital dimension of wellness to tend to.
Examples Of Emotional Wellness Activities
- Practice gratitude
- Notice and address your self-talk
- Establish clear and firm boundaries
- Identify your emotional triggers
- Do something fun
Having meaningful relationships is a necessary part of wellness. I truly believe the my support network was one of the biggest factors in my recovery from postpartum depression. Knowing that there are people you can count on when times are tough is truly a gift.
Social wellness also means that you recognize when you need to take a break from socializing. If you’re an introvert like me, you want to make sure you have plenty of downtime to recharge (Here are some more self-care ideas for introverts).
Examples Of Social Wellness Activities
- Have a girls night out
- Nurture your marriage
- Connect with your kids
- Limit your interactions with toxic people
Our surroundings have a big impact on our wellness. Think about it, when your home is a mess, do you feel calm and relaxed? Probably not. Aside from the cleanliness of our home, living in a home that is low in environmental toxins and has good air and water quality contributes greatly to our physical health and well being.
But environmental wellness includes more than just your home environment. It also means living in a more sustainable way, surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people and keeping your safety in mind.
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Examples of Environmental Wellness Activities
- Improve your air quality with house plants
- Develop good cleaning habits
- Make your home beautiful
- Purchase natural and non-toxic cleaning and beauty products
- Check the batteries in your smoke alarms
Spiritual wellness may be the most personal dimension of wellness on this list. It involves learning your core values and finding fulfillment in your life. Your values and beliefs give you a sense of purpose, provide meaning in your life and help to guide your actions.
Examples of Spiritual Wellness Activities
- Set goals
- Take a nature walk
- Practice yoga
- Have daily quiet time
- Listen to music
Believe it or not, financial wellness is a very important piece of the wellness puzzle. Not having enough to cover your expenses can create a huge amount of stress which affects your physical and mental health. On the other hand, being financially secure is very freeing. I don’t believe that money is the most important aspect of wellness, but I do think it plays an important role in our wellbeing.
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Examples of Financial Wellness Activities
- Set a budget
- Start a side hustle
- Have an emergency fund
- Save for retirement
- Pay off debt
Now that you are aware of the 8 dimensions of wellness, take a some time to think about which areas need a little more attention. How might you start to incorporate these areas into your routine? Consider things that are more likely to relieve some stress in your life or help you recharge and start there.
If you’re ready to actually start taking action and being intentional about your goals, click here for a special offer on an amazing resource!
I always suggest starting slow. Pick one thing to work on at a time and stick with it until it becomes a habit. You are more likely to stick with it if you don’t completely overwhelm yourself.
I would love to hear your thoughts! What areas of wellness do you need to give more attention to? How do you plan to incorporate the 8 dimensions of wellness into your self-care routine?