pillars of self-care

The Pillars of Self-Care

Written by Jennifer Hunt

When is the last time you practiced self-care? 

With these trying times it is harder now more than ever for people to take the time to care for themselves. We have jobs, families and other responsibilities and stressors that we put before ourselves. Often we feel guilty for taking time to focus on what makes us happy, or maybe you don’t know what to do for your own self-care. I want to introduce you to my 5 pillars of self-care. These 5 pillars are things that I have personally been working on every day. Some days I am better at it than others and that is ok; we are all human after all.

Physical Self-Care

Keeping our bodies active is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. It doesn’t have to be some over the top exercise regime (thank goodness!). A 20-minute walk in the sunshine will not only help keep your heart healthy but the fresh air and sun will help boost your emotional self-care too.

Some other ideas for physical self-care include:

  • Taking a relaxing bubble bath
  • Getting a good night’s sleep (7-9 hours)
  • Preparing healthy, nutritious meals
  • Taking care of your skin – try an at-home facial kit for a little pick me up!

Social Self-Care

Knowing who to keep in your circle and who to let go of can be difficult. In the age of social media, it is easy to get caught up in “friending” everyone; but how is that serving you? I have made some tough choices when it comes to my own social circle over the last year and have noticed a big shift in my relationships since. I can focus my precious time and energy on those who value our relationship just as much as I do.

Some other ideas for social self-care include:

  • Making plans with friends (and keeping them!)
  • Asking for help when you need it
  • Meeting new people, growing your circle (but remember, you don’t have to friend everyone)
  • Checking in with your friends

Psychological Self-Care

We don’t often think about checking in with how we are feeling psychologically, especially now with so much going on. Taking a few moments a day to really tune into your thoughts can shed light on what you need in order to fill your cup. Some ideas for psychological self-care include:

  • Getting creative, starting a new hobby or learning a new skill
  • Reading a good book
  • Practicing mindfulness and/or meditation
  • Doing a digital detox

Financial Self-Care

For years I didn’t really know what money was coming in and what was going out. When I was married, my ex-husband was the ‘money man’ and I had zero idea where our finances were on any given day. Since being on my own, I have learned how to build a relationship with my finances. It took a while to figure out how to make my budget work and stay on top of things – but I did it, and you can do it too!

Some examples of financial self-care include:

  • Knowing where your income is coming from
  • Creating a budget and sticking to it
  • Setting up direct withdrawals for recurring expenses – this was a lifesaver for me!
  • Having a savings plan in place

Emotional Self-Care

This is probably the hardest pillar for me to follow each day, and works alongside psychological self-care in a way. Being a highly sensitive person who wears my heart on my sleeve often gets in the way of emotional self-care for me. It is important to remind ourselves that it is ok to take charge of how we allow people to treat us, how we speak to ourselves (negative self-talk anyone?) and what we will tolerate from people in general. It’s not easy to focus on this pillar, but it is definitely important to try.

Some examples of emotional self-care include:

  • Learning to say no
  • Making time to reflect
  • Practicing self-compassion
  • Being aware of your emotional boundaries

These are just a few examples of ways to practice each pillar and implement self-care into your day. I’m sure you will find more ways over time that will fit into each pillar, however today I urge you to complete just one self-care item and build from there. You deserve it!

Jennifer Hunt is a Medical Aesthetician and owner/operator of Hello Gorgeous Beauty Studio in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. At Hello Gorgeous, the well being of clients is top priority. With so many feeling isolated at home, away from friends/ family and the social activities we once freely enjoyed, incorporating self-care into your routine is more important than ever. Self-care can be as simple as a daily walk, a relaxing bubble bath and taking care of your skin with high quality products curated exclusively for you.