Often the very mention of self-care, can send busy parents and carers into a tailspin of outrage. “I’m managing all this and now I have to meditate for hours, have bubble baths and go to the spa! Can’t you see what I’m dealing with”. Quite understandably.

But there is often a misconception about what self-care is, and the wider context for how it can be integrated in a meaningful way into your life is misunderstood. We know that it is when we abandon ourselves that we are at the greatest risk of burnout. So if it’s all about bubble baths and spa days, surely we can manage without these things. Well, I’d argue that self-care is actually a much wider gamut of attitudes and actions.

In this post I will list 8 different facets of self-care, and I’d urge you to do a little life audit as you read it. Are there some boundaries that need putting in for yourself? Do you need to remind yourself (or learn) what makes you feel healthy and fulfilled? This is in no way intended as an exhaustive list of things you need to tick off, it’s intended as a nudge to see what areas of your life might need some attention.

Physical self-care

Healthy food * Exercise * Walking * Stretching * Rest * Sleep * Physical release of tension * Personal grooming

Emotional self-care

Self-compassion * Letting go of self-criticism * Kindness * Stress Management * Forgiveness * Talking about your emotions

Social self-care

Boundaries * Support systems * Communication * Time with positive people * Positive social media * Being connected to inspiring people

Spiritual self-care

Being in nature * Time alone * Meditation * Prayer * Breathe work * Journalling * Connecting to a wider perspective

Personal Identity self-care

Personal identity * Being guided by your values * Hobbies * Interests * Knowing yourself

Space self-care

Safety * Organised living space * Healthy living environment * Security and stability

Financial self-care

Money management * Budgeting * Saving * Paying Bills * Treating yourself occasionally

Work self-care

Work boundaries * Positive workplace * Time management * Ongoing learning * Taking breaks

So there are more aspects to self-care than initially meet the eye. Self-care is about mind, body and soul. Is there an area in your life that you would like to prioritise a little more?

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