These days, downtime might be spent scrolling on your phone or squeezing in one last response to our never-ending emails. That time could be used for valuable self-reflection and improving our overall wellness. Practicing self-care is becoming increasingly difficult in our high speed, hyper-connected world. The Self-Care Wheel is an easy to use tool created to manage stress and help you lead a more balanced everyday life. The wheel is divided into six sections that represent various aspects of self care: physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, personal, and professional care. These six sections focus on daily activities that will help you lead a more balanced life.
Knowing how each aspect impacts our lives is important when it comes to solving the problems that arise in our life. The Self-Care Wheel helps you treat your stress and unhappiness with a directed effort. Below, I’ll explain the six segments of the wheel to help you better understand and address your stress and stay healthy.
Giving your body the daily attention it requires can be difficult to manage, especially when you have other family members to care for and focus on. It is important to make time for physical activity to reduce stress and maintain happiness. Work and familial responsibilities can become repetitive and often leave us overburdened. With continual work, we reach a breaking point in which stress and unhappiness can overcome us. One way to combat your overwhelming stress is doing something physical which requires conscious effort and planning.
The care and attention that your body requires is often overlooked because of outside factors demanding your time and attention (like your family or career). The Self-Care Wheel provides key physical activities to incorporate into your daily lives in order to focus some of that attention back on yourself. Like going for regular medical checkups and consulting your doctor about any unusual symptoms that you are experiencing. Additionally, it stresses the importance of maintaining a nutritious diet. A healthy diet keeps you energized but does not replace the benefits of regular exercise. Taking a morning walk or performing a light exercise would infuse positive energy in your body. Additionally, it is important not to forget about your sexual life. Finally, make sure your body is well-rested and getting good sleep. Referring to the Self-Care Wheel for ideas on physical care will help restore balance in your everyday life.
Psychological care is another important sector that needs your immediate attention. It is important to carve out time for self-reflection in order to discern trivial concerns from true stressors. Focusing on self-awareness can help you let some things go, which can be difficult sometimes. Other ideas offered by the Self-Care Wheel include arranging time for sensory engagement activities. For example, aromatherapy is a potential way to address psychological stress. Aromatherapy uses aromatic and essential oils to improve your psychological mood. Have you ever smelt lavender oil? It helps calm the body extremely well! Other things to consider would be relaxing under the sun, reading a book, joining a support group, or focusing on creative projects. These activities help in minimizing the stress that you would experience daily. Focusing on psychological care should be of fundamental concern.
Making time for emotional health can be difficult to prioritize but it can be something done daily with positive affirmations, like complimenting yourself. Alternatively, it can be something more long-term like picking up a new hobby. Emotional care starts with these acts of self-care and self-compassion. It is certainly important to care for others; however, caring for yourself is equally important. Often in life, we suppress our feelings and emotions for the sake of others. This must be avoided; letting your inner emotions out is vital to maintaining emotional stability.
Spiritual care is another section that completes The Self-Care Wheel. Many associate spiritual care with religion. While being religious certainly may lead to a fulfilled sense of spiritual peace for some, the world is becoming increasingly secular. Spiritual peace can also be found while you are immersed in the natural world. Whether that be going out for a hike, swimming in a lake or the ocean, or simply sitting in a park. Regardless, being in nature occasionally is key to your spiritual well-being. Other sources of spiritual peace can be found while meditating, singing, or dancing. Spiritual fulfillment can perhaps be more abstract than the other sections but it can come to you in some of the simplest of settings, like when enjoying the sunset or sunrise.
The Personal Care section aptly addresses some deeply personal questions, like determining your short-term and long-term goals. Working with direction helps create a sense of purpose in life. A feeling of purpose can save you from unnecessary negative energy, anxiety, and frustration. Having a purpose in life is easier said than done; you have to be intentional about creating time to explore what makes you feel fulfilled. Activities that provide fulfillment can vary from meeting friends to going on a date, or expressing your creative side and creating a piece of art or poetry. Fulfillment can be hard to achieve but try to determine what your personal source of fulfillment is and then make a plan to concentrate on that.
Professional care can perhaps be the most difficult section to handle because of how demanding professions can be. However, too much time devoted to your career is likely to have a huge negative toll on other segments of care. It’s a difficult balance, but can be achieved with help from someone like a mentor. The most important strategy to professional care is to set boundaries. The Self-Care Wheel offers expert ways to maintain boundaries between professional and personal life. Always take time for lunch, learn to say NO, and take PTO and vacation days. Giving all the attention to work is truly rewarding but in between all those tedious responsibilities, focus on having you-time. This balance will ultimately help your professional development so you do not burn out in the long-term. Most importantly though, leave your work and your worries in your office before leaving for home.
The Self Care Wheel is meant to be a tool to help you look at your life holistically. Perhaps this post has helped you think about an aspect of your life you were neglecting or identified ones where you don’t need much improvement. Sometimes we get too focused on what’s in front of us and forget about the bigger picture. Use the Self Care Wheel to help you get back to balance!