Spiritual Self-Care

Spiritual Self Care

Self-care is being willing and committed to rejuvenate your soul and find your center—the place of unshakable peace and stability where you can weather the storms of life.  Being intentional in our self-care practice is the greatest act of love we can give to ourselves.

If you’re not religious, you might be tempted to skim-read this section or skip it altogether.

However, spiritual self-care isn’t just about believing in a deity. It’s applicable to atheists and agonistics as much as to religious people.

Spiritual self care is any ritual or practice that we do to further our connection with our higher self. Your higher self is who we truly are as an individual, the real you. Your higher self is the you that is disassociated from, and not influenced by, the ego or fear.

Spiritual self-care is about getting in touch with your values and what really matters to you.

Self-care tips for depression often stress that developing a sense of purpose is vital to your recovery.

Why is spirituality important

Spirituality can provide a:

  • reassuring belief in a greater force or being
  • sense of purpose and meaning
  • focus on your own or universal wisdom
  • way to understand suffering
  • connection with others
  • reminder of the good in the world

Consider some of the science on religion and spirituality:

  • People who meditate have increased activity in a “feel-good” area of the brain
  • People with strong religious beliefs recovered faster from heart surgery than people with weaker faith
  • People who didn’t attend religious or humanistic services died significantly younger than those who attended more than once a week

Spiritual Self-Care Ideas

  1. Keep up a daily 10 minute meditation or mindfulness practice.
  2. Attend a service, whether it is religious or humanistic.
  3. Read poetry.
  4. Walk in nature and reflecting on the beauty around you.
  5. Make a daily list of 5-10 things that make you feel grateful .
  6. Be creative, whether through art, music, writing or something else entirely.
  7. Make a list of 5-10 things that make you feel alive, and then ask yourself how you can better incorporate these things into your life.
  8. Say affirmations that ground your sense of self and purpose.
  9. Go on a trip with the sole purpose of photographing things that inspire you.
  10. Praying while driving (with eyes open of course)
  11. reading a sacred text
  12. A walking prayer, where you walk and talk to God (quietly to yourself or out loud 🙂
  13. Sitting outside in nature for 15 minutes
  14. Laying down and resting
  15. Being still and listening
  16. Coloring a mandala
  17. Mindfulness practice (being present and aware, with acceptance and kindness)

Spiritual practices, such as mindfulness can help you grow in self-awareness, stay in the present moment, and grow in emotional regulation and self-control.  

Mindfulness can be simple or in-depth if you choose.  So, you can practice mindfulness during the day and night to help relax and calm the body, mind, and spirit.

Contemplative Spiritual Practices:

  1. Creative spiritual practices = journaling, music and singing, improvisation
  2. Generative spiritual practices = visualization, loving-kindness meditation
  3. Stillness spiritual practices = centering, meditation, quieting the mind
  4. Relational spiritual practices = deep listening, storytelling, council circle
  5. Activist spiritual practices = work and volunteering, pilgrimages, vigils and marches
  6. Movement spiritual practices = yoga, labyrinth walking, walking meditation, dance
  7. Ritual/cyclical spiritual practices = retreats, establishing a sacred/personal space, ceremonies and rituals based on spiritual or cultural traditions

The Practice:

Dirgha – Deep belly breathing – 

Bring both hands to the belly.  Or alternately – one hand to the belly one to the sternum.  Close the eyes and relax the belly.  As you inhale notice how the belly expands and contracts and the rib cage expands and contracts as you breath. Keep the mind focused on the sensations of the breath moving in and out and the body’s response to the breath.

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Savasana

Rest in savasana as long as you wish– consider these thoughts. As you rest in the stillness of savasana perhaps reflect on what spirituality means to you and ways you might cultivate and practice spiritual self-care.

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