This year I have been on my own journey of discovering who I am as a person and what things I can do to take better care of myself. This came about after my episode of burn out earlier this year, when I realised that I had been failing to pay attention to my body’s signals and warning signs, ignoring my own needs and failing to do what I needed to do to take care of myself. The good thing is, I’ve recovered and lately I’ve been thinking about the things that I do to nourish my soul spiritual self.
What is soulful and spiritual self-care?
Soulful or spiritual self-care is about living soulfully and nourishing your spiritual self. It’s not just about believing in another entity and following a religion. It’s about learning what makes you the human being that you are, discovering the things that are important to you, learning about your personal values and living your life in line with them. Soulful and spiritual self-care is doing things that make your soul feel warm and fuzzy, that makes you feel like you’re living a soulful life filled with goodness, happiness and purpose. These things are vital for your mental health and recovery from mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression.
So, what things do you do to make your soul feel warm and fuzzy?
Below I list 7 things that I do to nurture my soul and spiritual self, that you can do too.
- Knowing what is important to you and what you value in life
- Practising gratitude
- Living your life with intention
- Visualising the life you want to have
- Being present
- Spending time with people that you love
- Spending time in nature
1. Knowing what is important to you and what you value in life
Earlier this year I read the book ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k’ by Mark Manson and what an absolute life changer it was for me. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend you grab a copy and read it. I appreciated his ‘no fluff’, ‘tell it how it is’ attitude and style of writing. The book encouraged me to delve into my own discovery of what makes me the person that I am, what I consider to be important and the things that I value in my life right now. I learned about the things that I am willing to fight for and the things that I waste far too much time and energy on (such as caring too much about what other people think of me). These things guide the decisions that I make and influence the direction that I want my life to take from this point onwards. I feel soulful, I feel determined and I feel empowered.
2. Practicing Gratitude
My own psychologist encouraged me practice regular gratitude. I was hesitant at first as I didn’t believe that such a thing could be helpful. Wow! Was I wrong! The first time I sat quietly, closed my eyes and thought of one thing that I was grateful for in that moment, I could literally feel the chemical changes in my body.
Practicing gratitude is one of the simplest and easiest things that you can do to make your soul feel fuzzy, to nourish your spiritual self and promote a happy and fulfilled life. Thinking of something that you’re grateful for every day helps to shift your mental state, which can help to break down your brain’s habit of focusing on the negative. Gratitude is a powerful practice. Do not under estimate it.
Since that appointment I list one thing that I am grateful for everyday in my self care planner, which you can find available in my store.
Also, you can read more about gratitude and six other powerful happiness exercises you can do for a better life here.
3. Living your life with intention
Now, more than ever, I have been determined to live my life with intention and I can feel how nourishing it is for me already. So far, I am learning who I am as a person, I’m paying attention to my body, learning about what it is that my body needs and how I can fulfil my needs positively. I am learning to give myself the time and the space to meet my needs when I need to and realising that it is okay and that it isn’t selfish. I’m discovering the things that I want more of in my life and the things that I can do to make that happen.
Living your life with intention is about living with less so you gain more. Living with less things so the things that you do have, have meaning and value and having less in your schedule so you have time to do the things that you want to do, that are important.
What things can you do to live your life with more intention and meaning?
4. Visualising the life you want to have
I am a big believer in visualisation, the ‘Law of Attraction’ and the power of your mindset. The ‘Law of Attraction’ is about visualising your life’s experiences through your thoughts, and when you do, you emit a powerful frequency into the Universe. In other words ,the ‘Law of Attraction’ is the ability to attract events through our thoughts, positive or negative, into the world and bring them to reality.
When you visualise the things that you want in your life, you listen to what it is that your heart and soul desire. I have been busy visualising and manifesting what it will be like once I leave my 8-5 job and do what it is that I know my heart and soul are crying for. I can feel how happy I am going to be and I can feel how purposeful the next chapter of my life is going to become.
What do you want in your life?
5. Being present
What better way to reconnect with your body, your soul and your spiritual self than sitting still in a quiet space and simply being present. Sitting still means sitting with yourself, with all of your thoughts and just being. This practice is more powerful as you become disciplined and become more aware of the sensations that happen in your body. It is a useful technique to include in your mental health recovery.
I’ve started to do this when I drink my coffee every morning. Its becoming a morning ritual. I sit still and notice the warm mug in my hands. I take deep breaths through my nose and notice the smells and aromas. I notice the changes that happen in my mouth and when I take my first sip, I take the time to notice the warm sensations as I swallow and the tastes on my taste buds.
Sitting quietly and being present doesn’t have to take a long time or be ultra complicated.
6. Spending quality time with people that you love
When you spend time with people that you love, whose company that you enjoy, you nourish your soul, your spiritual self and it makes you feel rejuvenated. There is a reason why you want the people that you love in your life so why not spend time with them.
Have you ever thought about what it is that you like about these people?
Spending quality time with people that you love is about putting technology away and connecting with people in the way that people have always connected with others before technology. Connect with others through your face to face conversations and relationships. It’s through the relationships that we have with the people and world around us that develop and strengthen the pathways in our brain.
7. Spend time in nature or bring nature to you
Melanie from ‘Ask-Angels’, talks about how spending time being close to nature can be healing, grounding, heart opening and nourishing for your soul in her blog post. Every time I purposefully get out the house and step into nature I instantly feel grounded. The most healing and beneficial place for me is in the forest or in the country and that is why I’m visualising living there right now.
You do not even have to be in the natural environment to experience all of its benefits. Bringing nature into your environment, such as having flowers or plants on display or using crystals or essential oils can be incredibly powerful in keeping you feel grounded and aligned. I knew there was a reason why I instantly felt grounded and at peace when I bought my first succulent plant and displayed it in my living room. Be careful though, its easy to become addicted and the next thing you know they’re everywhere!
Share how you nourish your soul and spiritual self in the comments below.
Here’s to finding your best you,