Self-Care Series #4: Spiritual Self-Care
How has your self-care been going? Have you noticed any changes as you've been giving your body and mind more attention these past few weeks? Keep up the good work and remember, it's all about finding balance.
This week, our focus is on spiritual self-care. Before we get into the list of spiritual self-care ideas, I want to clarify that spirituality and religion are not the same thing. Spirituality is a broader concept than religion and allows for various individual expressions. For some people, spirituality may incorporate elements of religion, but it is not necessary. According to Amy R. Krentzman, MSW, PhD, spiritual questions include: where do I personally find meaning, connection, and value? Religious questions explore what is true and right.
For me, spirituality is all about connection. Connection to myself, connection with others, and connection to something greater than me. What is giving my life a sense of purpose and meaning? With that in mind, we are focusing on spiritual self-care this week. See the list below, borrowed from the self-care inventory published by NAMI (National Association of Mental Illness), and choose a few things to integrate into your routine this week:
1. Allow time for reflection
2. Spend time with nature
3. Participate in a spiritual community
4. Open to inspiration
5. Cherish own optimism and hope
6. Be aware of non-material aspects of life
7. Cultivate ability to identify what is meaningful and its place in personal life
9. Contribute to causes in which you believe
10. Read inspirational literature (lectures, music, etc.)
How often are you doing these things currently? Were you surprised by anything on this list? What would you add to this list? The one that I love the most from this list is spending time in nature. I often find that the things I am stressing about in everyday life seem completely insignificant when I am hiking. At the summit of a mountain, I am able to look down below and see how small each of us humans are in comparison to the world around us. It helps me to recognize and appreciate that there are forces greater than our human energy in this world and also allows me to put things into perspective, recognizing that life will always go on.
The University of Minnesota has a great website on spirituality that helps to clarify the differences between spirituality and religion, outlines seven universal spiritual needs, and provides further suggestions for developing contemplative practice. If you'd like to explore this topic further, I'd recommend starting here.
Don't forget to share your self-care progress on social media, using the hashtag #selfcareseries. I love to see what you are up to! Feel free to follow me on Instagram (@uncharted_territory_counseling) or Facebook (@unchARTedTerritoryCounseling) for updates on my own self-care!
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