Self-Care Series Part 3: Nurturing Our Spiritual Needs
Spiritual self-care describes a specific type of self-care that focuses attention on our personal beliefs about what is meaningful and valuable to us. When we think about spirituality, we might automatically assume thoughts about what is religious, traditional or faith-based.
However, our spirituality is very much connected to what we find meaningful and worthwhile in our day to day lives and we live out our spiritual beliefs through our actions and through the goals we set that align with our personal values. Consider what is important to you right now?
Perhaps it is spending time with family, engaging in a new hobby or craft that you are passionate about, learning something new, or creating a new habit to help achieve a personal goal.
When we neglect the spiritual aspect of our lives, often we can feel stuck, uninspired, lost or directionless, and internally conflicted. When our lives are filled with distractions and staying ‘busy’ often this can contribute to a feeling of burnout, boredom, or disconnection from our own needs.
This is not to say that watching a tv show, browning the internet or playing a video game in and of itself is inherently soul-crushing, but rather the amount of time, the frequency and the purpose for engaging in these activities might bring us to the source of our spiritual unrest.
Consider values in your life that may be in conflict and if you have been able to take the time to really draw in awareness or connect with the significance of this conflict. Perhaps you have committed to a new transition in your life. Consider how this transition impacts your ability to connect to your passions and your sense of purpose.
Spiritual Self Care
Our spiritual self care often connects our mind, body and spirit into a balanced wholeness. We draw upon these varying energies to provide us with a sense of peace, purpose and self-awareness. Often we might neglect spiritual parts of ourselves when we might need these aspects of ourselves the most- in times of hopelessness, sorrow, confusion, disconnection, abandonment, shame and guilt.
At times it can be hard to utilize self-compassion, as this often requires us to connect with a sense of suffering in ourselves or others. Within our spiritual exploration, we take the time to explore meaning in our everyday lives and ask difficult and often unanswerable questions.
The goal for this internal exploration is to bring about a sense of human connectedness, awe and faith in what may be unknown and yet still possible. Consider what around you inspires you, what makes you take a second look, what makes you ask questions or stimulates your curiosity? It is in these answers that we can start to find our spiritual connections.
Recommendations for Spiritual Self Care
Here are a few other recommendations for practicing and incorporating spiritual self-care into your life:
- Make time for self-reflection- Make a commitment to yourself to intentionally spend time alone with the purpose of reflecting on what it is that is important to you in that moment. Self-reflection is less about ruminating and worrying about what has happened or what could happen and is more about listening to the deeper parts of your emotional needs.
- Spend time in nature and immerse your senses- consider landscapes and natural environments that you connect with, such as beaches, hiking trails, mountains, parks, hidden woods, large grassy areas, etc. Consider taking a journal to write as you take a break and allow yourself to be present with what surrounds you.
- Connect with a spiritual community- this could be a community that is religiously based or one that promotes a cause or has a purpose that aligns with your own passions.
- Allow yourself to be inspired by what is around you- take on the sense of wonder and discovery of a child and you will be able to access your own hidden lens for continued awe and inspiration.
- Consider moments in your life where you were pleasantly surprised by something unexpected happening. Reflect on the gifts that life offers us.
- Meditate or Pray
- Contribute to causes or events that you align with or find valuable to be a part of.
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