Self-care should leave you feeling more energized, calmer, and cared for. You take a hot bath, wash your face religiously, try to eat as healthily as possible. Yet you are still not glowing. Why? It could be that you are missing some essential elements in your selfcare practice.
You may be making plenty of time for self-care but are you practicing self-care activities that have an impact?
At 7 Day Glow we take a holistic approach to self-care. We have found that creating a self-care lifestyle based on elements that cover a broad spectrum of life needs instead of taking a hit-or-miss approach will elevate your self-care to a practice that will work to give you more complete results.
Until I learned about holistic self-care my self-care approach was mostly about things I knew I should do - like washing my face every day and eating a balanced diet.
Then I’d add a sprinkling of fun activities like a spa visit. I’d add on a diet to lose weight, maybe a walk here and there. And I’d think I was really conquering my self-care. But even with all of that the effects were short lived and I often was low energy and feeling stressed out.
It wasn’t until I began studying holistic self-care that I understood that there are basic human needs that need to be addressed consistently in order to really feel our best.
I developed the 7 Day Glow self-care lifestyle approach around 9 holistic elements of self-care.
They are light, movement, nature, finances, relationships, rest, water, food, and skincare.
I know - This may seem like a lot, but once you begin practicing holistic self-care you will quickly see how, with just a little planning, these elements can be easily included into each day.
The 9 Essential Elements of Self-Care
In this podcast we are taking a brief tour of each element for a better understanding of why they are important. In future podcast episodes we will dive deeper into the individual elements and learn more about how they can be integrated into your day.
There is no order of importance to these self-care elements, you should strive to include each element consistently into your selfcare to create a balanced self-care lifestyle.
1. LIGHT. Light exposure is essential for every system of our body to properly function. The sun is our most powerful light source, however depending upon where you live, you may not be able to fully meet your body’s light needs with just daily sun exposure. Supplementing with light therapy and Vitamin D will ensure you meet your body’s light needs in adequate amounts. “Light” includes sunlight exposure, light therapy, and supplements.
2. MOVEMENT. Necessary for every system of our body to function properly, movement is essential in any self care practice. Beyond a weekly work-out practice, we must continually shift positions, challenge our body in new ways, and use movement as a way to explore our physical environment. Movement includes regular work-outs, strength training, dance, walking, stretching, and shifting positions.
3. NATURE. Often overlooked as part of a healthy self-care regimen, spending time in a natural environment or outdoors, is a great way to boost your overall health, emotional well being, and immune system. Getting outdoors daily can support the health of our biological clock and it can help alleviate Seasonal Affective Disorder. Nature includes indoor and outdoor interactions with our natural world, natural cleaning and skin care products, and creating natural living spaces.
4. HOME. Another area that we do not immediately think of when it comes to self-care is our home. We include this in the 7 day glow self-care lifestyle framework because home is at the root of the foundation of our lives. Taking control of your home from cleaning to organization to home repair to decor will help reduce stress and anxiety as well as provide more support for the other elements of your self-care.
5. RELATIONSHIPS. Healthy relationships with others, and ourselves, are essential to living a balanced life. Touch, talking, sharing, and simply being in the presence of other people afford important opportunities to support our self care. Connecting with others through talk and touch are essential to avoiding loneliness, supporting mental and emotional health, and even for boosting immunity. Relationships include the relationship with yourself, our bodies, our finances, other humans, family, at work, and socially.
6. REST. Adequate rest is essential to optimal performance. It supports our overall wellness and provides the body and mind important daily recovery time. While sleeping, we recover from daily stress and heal on a cellular level. Rest includes sleeping, meditation, and general down time to think and relax.
7. WATER. Water is essential for the health of all living beings. More than just replenishing our body’s natural water reserves, water supports our physical and emotional wellness. Water is used for cleansing, hydrating, calming, and even detoxifying. Water includes drinking water, bathing, cleansing, and swimming.
8. FOOD. With its diverse array of macro- and micro-nutrients, natural, whole foods provide the foundation for our health and energy. Food is foundational to our physical health, but is also an important part of our culture. Bonding over shared meals brings us together, offering an opportunity for emotional support. Food includes eating, drinking, gardening, and socializing over meals.
9. SKINCARE. Skin is the largest organ of your body and for some of us, the most neglected. Taking care of your skin is essential to your overall body health. Beyond skin care as a health necessity, participating in a regular skin care regimen can be a soothing and calming way to honor yourself at the beginning and end of each day.
All of these elements can seem overwhelming at first, but by weaving the nine elements of holistic self-care into your days we are assured of a complete and total self-care system.
I often find that some activities will hit many of the elements at once, for example gardening can satisfy light, nature, movement, food, and if you do it with a friend it can include relationships. Similarly taking a walk with a friend can cover movement, light, nature, and relationships.
Self-care is about more than just a few minutes of “me time” here and there, it needs to be a lifestyle approach that you can rely on, that provides moments of breaks throughout your day, and elevates your overall health.
I include a list of the elements in my day planner and check them off as I complete an element each day to track my progress.
If you find that you are not practicing most of the self-care elements I suggest just choosing one or two to add to your day at a time so it does not become overwhelming. Over the course of a few weeks of tracking your progress you could be living your best 7 Day Glow holistic lifestyle!
7 Day Glow