Self-care is an integral part of overall well-being. Any action you take intentionally to maintain or improve your well-being can be called self-care.
Physical self-care, emotional self-care, psychological self-care, and spiritual self-care are all referring to the practice of providing the kind of self-nurturance that promotes well-being on different levels.
In addition, making time to connect with yourself to nourish, replenish and renew is essential to maintain your overall health and well-being in keeping with the pace of modern life.
What are specific examples of self-care?
Self-care practices ensure that you are tending to your various natural needs. Self-care includes ensuring you get enough sleep, eat healthy, nourishing foods, exercise regularly, pursue activities you enjoy, and take time to maintain, promote, or improve your sense of wellness in some shape or form.
In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, there are five categories of human needs that, when met, lead to increased satisfaction and happiness in life. These human needs include physiological needs like food and hydration, safety needs like shelter, love and belonging needs like relationships and friendships, esteem needs like career or educational achievements, and self-actualization needs like self-growth and personal development pursuits.
When you approach self-care intentionally, you look at these various needs and engage in activities and behaviors that help you meet those needs.
What is spiritual self-care?
Spiritual self-care is about developing and maintaining a sense of connection to something greater than yourself. Having a sense of belongingness in the Universe and feeling loved, seen, and cared for by a higher power can give you a deep sense of security and stability. The more confidently you believe in a loving Universe or a loving higher power, the more meaning, direction, and security you can find throughout your life experiences.
While “spiritual” or “spirituality” can refer to having a sense of connection to something greater than yourself, that relationship to something greater than yourself involves your personal beliefs, values, preference, and experiences. For example, some individuals prefer to see it as a connection to God, others as a connection to the Universe, and some connect their sense of spirituality to a specific religion.
Spirituality takes on many different forms, and the expression of that spirituality even more so. The key is to identify what spirituality means to you and then develop a practice that honors and respects that definition while giving you a sense of belongingness and security on a larger universal or cosmic scale.
Think of spiritual self-care as being about both connecting to your inner self as well as connecting to your broader higher power.
So spiritual self-care is about tending to your spirit, tending to your essence, tending to your inner self. Your inner self is the sphere of being where your feelings, thoughts, and sensations arise. This is the realm of what’s true for you, your values, preferences, and perceptions. This sphere of being holds your thinking self, emotional self, and spiritual self.
So, you want to take care of this rich internal environment by bringing your intentional attention, love, and compassion into this inner space of being.
Why is spiritual self-care important?
Tending to your internal environment allows you to develop and improve your self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-management habits. Tending to your inner sphere of being also feeds into how you decide to relate to others and the world.
So spiritual self-care is really what allows you to be you. It’s what helps you maintain your energetic integrity and helps you to know and express your authentic self.
When you create that safe space of self-exploration, where you look at and approach yourself with love and compassion, that tender and gentle care you bring to your internal environment becomes the basis of self-love, self-acceptance, and self-understanding. Approaching yourself through love, acceptance, and understanding are ways of relating to the self that nurtures and protects who you know and feel yourself to be.
The benefits of spiritual self-care are many. Cultivating strong beliefs about a loving Universe or higher power that provides answers and solutions to everything in life can help you access a deep sense of inner peace and calm.
When you have a map of life as being orderly, structured, coherent, and understandable, you typically experience inner ease. Spirituality is one avenue that can provide you with that feeling, and through spiritual self-care, you stay connected to that sense.
Inner peace and inner calm are naturally relaxed states of being. When you experience inner peace, you physiologically relax. You feel at ease in life. You feel at peace with the present moment. You experience internal restfulness. Like the nurturing and replenishing effects of being out in nature, being able to access and feel a sense of inner peace within can be nurturing and replenishing.
Many researchers have studied the benefits of mindfulness practices, the practices that evoke inner restfulness. Researchers have noted several benefits that come from mindfulness practices — these include increased attention and focus, increased clarity, higher brain functioning, and more.
Examining Your Beliefs on Spiritual Self-Care
At the center of your spiritual self-care routine is the belief that you deserve to be cared for, nurtured, soothed, seen, and heard on all levels. Believing that you deserve care, compassion, and nurturance on your journey of personal and spiritual growth helps you start to make time for and follow through on practices that add these elements to your day-to-day experience.
What helps you create sustainable habits are the beliefs you have. To make spiritual self-care an essential part of your approach to life, you have to start by recognizing and accepting its importance.
It’s when you believe that something is important, that something has value and adds to your life, or enhances your life, that you make the necessary effort to make it a part of your routine.
So, you have to start by examining your current beliefs about how vital spiritual self-care is, the level of value you see in it, and how you perceive it for what it can do for your overall well-being.
What do you believe about spiritual self-care?
How important is having a regular spiritual self-care routine or practice in your life?
How important or valuable do you think having a sense of connection to something greater than yourself is?
How important is cultivating and deepening this relationship with yourself and to a greater power in your day-to-day experience?
How do you think spiritual self-care benefits you or would benefit you?
These are all questions worth exploring. The more you become aware of your current perceptions and assumptions about spiritual self-care, the more you can make space for creating and internalizing the kinds of assumptions and perceptions that will help you make spiritual self-care a natural and vital part of your life experience.
Types of Spiritual Self-Care Practices
There are lots of different ways to practice spiritual self-care. Any practice that helps you both go inward within yourself and expand and connect to a higher power can be considered a spiritual self-care practice.
Spiritual self-care can look like prayer, it can look like meditation, and it can look like journaling, or energy healing. It can also look like being out in nature regularly. These prayer, meditation, journaling, or energy healing practices can be incorporated into your daily life.
Depending on the level of mindfulness you bring to the activity, just about any activity you engage in can also be transformed into a spiritual self-care practice. When you bring mindfulness to the task that you do, when you bring a sense of grounded presence to tasks as simple as making your bed or doing the dishes, these practices of being grounded, having a part of your awareness inward-oriented, and alert to your internal experiences, connecting to that sense of inner calm, or inner ease at the moment, can be considered a spiritual self-care practice.
While spiritual self-care can include formal practices like a regular sitting meditation, or a mindfulness yoga session, it can also be something you incorporate informally into your everyday activities. Both the formal approach and the informal approach are beneficial.
The formal approach allows you to develop discipline and consistency in the practice of spiritual self-care. The informal approach helps you embody the mindset of caring and tending to both your connection to self and your connection to the universe through incorporating elements of mindfulness, introspection, and universal connectedness into your daily activities.
How to Make Time for Spiritual Self-Care in Daily Life
Having the intention to make time for spiritual self-care in your life and then turning that intention into decisions and actions that you follow through on consistently is the beginning of normalizing having a spiritual self-care practice as a part of your daily life.
To make spiritual self-care a part of your daily life:
Set the intention
Turn that intention into a decision by taking practical steps
Follow through consistently
Intention, decision, commitment, and follow-through are the starting point for any long-term behavioural change.
Identifying Your Spiritual Self-Care Needs
To add spiritual self-care practices into your day-to-day life, understanding your spiritual self-care needs is a good starting point.
Do you need time for self-reflection?
Do you need more time for self-connection?
Do you feel connected to the universe or a higher power consistently?
Do you feel like there is order and coherence in the flow of your life experiences?
What are your spiritual self-care needs at this moment in your life?
You can more readily meet the needs you identify, so begin to explore your spiritual self-care needs by asking yourself, “What do I need spiritually at this point in my life?”
This is a personal touchpoint to establish with yourself regularly. As your needs change and evolve, so may your spiritual self-care practices.
Prioritizing Spiritual Self-Care in Your Life
Once you identify your spiritual self-care needs, you can choose one or two practices that will be easy for you to implement. For example, if you enjoy writing and already have a journaling practice, you could try having a spiritual self-care dedicated section in your journal that you can make entries into regularly.
If you already have a meditation practice, you can see how you can expand that meditation practice to include tending to and nurturing yourself and your connection to the universe.
You can take existing things that you do and expand them to include spiritual self-care practices. You can start with a weekly practice and see what that brings into your life experience. Regular spiritual self-care practice enhances how you experience yourself and your world. It can enhance your sense of security and belongingness and bring about a long list of rewards tied to mindfulness and positive emotion.
A spiritual self-care practice is worth investing time, commitment, and energy in because it brings many rewards for the rest of your life.
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About Kidest OM
Kidest OM is a manifestation author and teacher with indispensable books and online courses designed to help you expand your consciousness and live a more empowered life. Her books include "Anything You Want" and "Nothing in the Way: Clearing the Paths to Success & Fulfilment," which are available globally in eBook, print, and audiobook on her website and online book retailers.