Practicing Spiritual Self Care
"As a clinician, I often refer to self-care as a huge part of what’s missing in the life of someone who’s busy and stressed," says psychologist Maria Baratta. (1) "So, what is self-care? Self-care in essence is the mindful taking time to pay attention to you, not in a narcissistic way, but in a way that ensures that you are being cared for by you."
And while we might think of self-care as going for a massage, or having a staycation, or curling up with a nice book and experiencing some down time, it also includes your spiritual life. And that doesn’t necessarily mean your religious practices (or lack thereof), but how you care for your inner self.
“Self-care means feeding your spiritual self,” explains Baratta. “That might take the form of meditating, praying, communing with nature by a walk in a park, observing a sunset or sunrise, attending a religious service, practicing gratitude, reading or listening to something inspirational.”
If you want to nourish your spirit and see the benefits flow into the rest of your life, try these simple spiritual self-care strategies today.
3 Basic Ways to Nourish Your Spirit
1. Practice Gratitude
"List five things you’re grateful for," says psychologist Barbara Markway. (2) "Getting in touch with your values—what really matters—is a sure way to cope with stress and foster a calm mind.”
Gratitude lets you find and embrace thinks that align with your core values. In other words, things that align with your spirit. And when you practice gratitude, you bring your conscious awareness to these things. The more you look for them, the more you’ll see. Thus, practicing gratitude expands your vision of things you’re grateful for, and expands your spirit’s sense of being cared for and loved by God, nature, the universe, or whatever higher power or sense of self you feel most grounded in when you tap into it.
We live such hectic, busy lives that it’s hard to slow down, let alone slow down enough to pay attention to our feelings, our thoughts, our emotions and how our spirit feels.
Meditation creates space to do exactly that.
“Meditation is one of the easiest, most accessible spiritual practices to maintain,” reports the Chopra Center, named after visionary self-help guru Deepak Chopra. (3) “It may take a little encouragement to get started, but once you get going it’s hard to imagine life without it. The benefits of meditation practice are numerous and includes the reduction of stress and a clearer connection to who you are and what you want out of life.”
3. Read Something Inspiring
For many people who follow a specific religious path, inspirational texts often involve their religious manuscripts, such as the Jewish Torah or the Christian Bible or the Hindu Vedas. These books, because they align with how our spirit sees the world around us, leave us feeling fulfilled, restored and reset from the push and pull of our hectic, stressful lives.
But it doesn’t have to be just religious books. If you’re non-religious, or if you are religious and are looking for something to add to your journey, general inspirational how-to’s and books can add a light to your life and joy to your soul.
These include self-help books, as well as inspirational stories of people who have overcome challenges or beat the odds that stood in their way. By experiencing how others have used the human spirit to break through their obstacles, you too will find your spirit - and your spiritual self - emboldened and strengthened.
If you've found this topic helpful, but still need direction to apply it into your life; then click here to get a FREE 45-Minute Call with a coaching consultant at Achieve Today. They'll walk you through your goals, help you understand why you might be stuck, and give you some solid solutions to your problems.