If you have ever taken a flight before I am sure you are familiar with the flight attendants doing their safety routine before take off. Then in case of an emergency “Make sure to use the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting others”. Cliche? Maybe, but this can be applied to more than just our families annual trip to Cabo.
In order for us to actively be our best selves in our relationships we need to be our best selves on our own. Taking time to slow down and take care of your needs is essential to having a healthy and thriving relationship. What does self care mean? Self care has 5 major categories that we need to be aware of in order to be there for ourselves and others.
Physical Self Care
If you look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs you will see that the absolute base to our survival is our physiological needs. Before we can do anything else we need to make sure we are fed, hydrated, comfortable and have gotten a decent night’s sleep. You would think this is common sense, but when life gets busy, sometimes these things get lost in the mix.
Emotional Self Care
It is crucial to our relationship quality to be engaging and aware of our Emotional Intelligence. Recognizing and managing how we are feeling needs to come before we understand and affect how others are feeling. Finding time for your hobbies, reflecting and journaling can be a positive place to start.
Spiritual Self Care
When people think of “Spiritual” they often immediately think of religion. While that may place a part, it is not restricted by it. Spiritual Self Care is focused on your connection with yourself and the world and mindfulness. Incorporating small habits like a 5 minute meditation, nature walks or yoga can be an easy way to slow down and spend time with yourself.
Intellectual Self Care
Is focused on learning, skill-building and challenging yourself. We get bored and turn our brains off when we are constantly doing the same daily tasks. By remembering to stimulate our brains we will be rewarded with the reward hormone (Dopamine). Sneaking in time for a podcast, a documentary or even pushing yourself at work can be a great way for you to feel like you’re progressing and bettering yourself.
Social Self Care
Mental and physical health are directly linked to one another. As human beings we require quality social interaction to be happy. That can look like asking yourself who is giving you energy and making you happy? Who is draining you and always negative? Carving out time once a week with a friend for coffee and a walk can be a huge de-stressor and mood booster.