Holistic Self Care is vital for integrated personal wellness. Only you can take the actions that are involved in holistic self care. And, without self care, there personal wellness is drastically diminished. I had to make a decision about introducing what can seem overwhelming, or seem “Yeah, been there, and can do that.” I decided to go with the majority who will feel slightly to greatly overwhelmed. Even with my decades, I still approach each of these humbly, knowing that “slips” and forgetfulness allow for ‘fresh’ renewals…. Let’s start with a visual image integrated personal wellness:
Many of these terms are familiar. Of the ones you are familiar with you may have some negative (if not guilty) associations, such as: diet/nutrition, exercise, and health care. If so, simply allow those to be, and move on for now. “Personality development” may be familiar if you have taken some of the standard personality tests such as the Myers/Briggs assessment. “Wisdom” hopefully has a rather positive association, but one that you may feel is a lack in your life. Let’s go the the next visual and expand a little on each, takes holistic self care:
Okay, more words that may add or lessen confusion and/or confidence. We only climb a mountain one step at a time.
Make a written, or mental, checklist of what you many have already done in any of these areas. There will be no assigning points, having you add those points to assess how far you are along — innate humility to be where we are, with peace, is better.
So, for you start with one of the terms that draws your interest. Just one. (even if you do many of these, treat yourself to giving special attention to one.)
Set up for yourself SMART goals. A SMART goal is one that:
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely
HERE IS JUST AN EXAMPLE, but will give you an idea of the firm gentleness in whatever you choose:
1. set up a specific timetable for what you choose, such as: “For the next 3 weeks, I will buy to buy enough fresh fruit to have one piece of fruit in the late afternoon when my energy lags.”
2. Have a goal that you can measure, such as: “Did I remember and, grudgingly or not,buy 7 pieces of fresh fruit? Did I have them available in the late afternoon or leave them home? Did I eat the one I brought … or forget, or, just could not bring myself to eat what I brought?
3. Make sure your goal is attainable, such as: “I like that caffeine in the late afternoon, so I can eat my fruit and then ‘wash that down’ with my caffeine.” (attainable leads directly to the next aspect)
4. Make your goal realistic: “Wait, I hate fresh fruit, and they get soggy by late afternoon. I do enjoy chocolate covered raisins … okay, I will begin with these, and work my way to just raisins, and add other dried fruit for variety … that works.”
5. Try to choose a goal that is timely: “Well this is the summer, and there is all that fresh fruit; so, I will three pieces of fresh fruit for the whole week, and actually just sit and do nothing but enjoy the fruit — that is like meditation or focusing isn’t it??”
You can see there is a lot of self negotiating that needs to go on to be successful. We really cannot ‘impose’ on ourselves any more than we can others. Also, whereas we might have great patience in encouraging others, we can be very impatient and negative with ourselves. So be,”SMART” and work patiently with yourself. Also, at the end of the specific time period evaluate your effort. HAVE SOME NICE AND RELATIVELY HEALTHY reward for yourself, if you succeeding at least 70% of the time. (Pressure of 100% can be defeating…) Decide how you can work better with yourself, and then choose another aspect that intrigues you and begin your ‘self-negotiations.’
So that you can even get a better idea of each of these holistic self-care aspects, here is one more level of elaboration. You can, if you choose, make your first SMART goal to be simply to research one area during a period of time. Be imaginative and creative — that is very replenishing in itself.
Information will be Provided About Each of These Listed Below
For now, take on your smart goal as your work in this area.
Diet and Nutrition — The Foundation of Being
- Basics of providing nutrition rather than consumption/gratification
- Learning to distinguish physiological appetites from psychological ones.
- Less more often; and personal biorhythms
- Finding energy in other forms to ease the reliance on food intake
Becoming “one” with your body — Eastern and Western:
- Basic knowledge of Biomechanics to maximize joint integrity and physiological functioning decreases the muscular/skeletal stress that saps and blocks bio-energy and subtle energy flows.
- Basic knowledge that optimizes respiratory (especially breathing), endocrine (especial hormone balancing and replacement), Circulatory (especially blood flow), muscular-skeletal (especially muscle tension and joint release), reproductive (especially sexual energy) and subtle energy systems (especially chakras).
- Basic knowledge of how best to be pro-active with western and eastern medical modalities increases what can be best drawn from them.
Breath Training — Maximizing Oxygen to your cells (they are the “work horses” you rely on:
- Introduction to the vital importance of optimized Breathing
- Basic knowledge of the Biomechanics of optimized Breathing
- Basic knowledge of Pranayama training for optimized Breathing
Release Work — Releasing Tensions that Diminish The oxygen exchange, and thus your energy
- Introduction to the importance of releasing muscular constrictions and chronic muscular tension.
- Basic knowledge of releasing joint compression and muscular tension through stretches; with special emphasis on vulnerable areas of neck and lower back.
Exercise — Aerobic, Non-Aerobic, and Meditation
- Introduction to Integration of exercise with physiological and energy systems
- Basic knowledge of meditative exercise; such as Tai Chi and other slow integrative exercises
- Basic knowledge of Aerobic and cardiovascular exercise optimized by biomechanics and breathing techniques
Mind/Psychological/Emotional — Integrating with Body:
Personality Clarification — Learning to Make the Best of Yourself
- Myers Briggs MBTI; personal characteristics and preferences that shape choices, decisions, and life-styles
- Keirsey’s personality and temperament sorter further development and scope of MBTI
- Benziger’s personality sorter and DISC encompassing charts — getting the fullest self portrait
Cognition — Learning Levels and Depths within Personalities
- Relational and Non Relational thought modes (similar to right brain and left brain usage)
- Analytical and Insight Balancing
- Sharpening consciousness and perception
- Learning one’s own red flags that surface in consciousness and responding to them
Mind Training — Bridging from Consciousness to the Deeper Mind
- Rest/Relaxation as a first and primary skill, and learning personal rhythms and recognizing and responding to over-depletion
- Using breathing/physical skills to quiet consciousness
- Using selected music for increasing meditative states
- Other techniques to increase meditative states
- Using the ‘Decade Major Event’ list with self reflection
- Using meditative states to allow inner wounds/painful memories/and current stresses that block energy to surface
- Determining how and who can best heal and unblock energies
Soul/Spiritual — Integrating with Body and Mind
The Spiritual Path — Gleaning the Greatest Fullness of Being
- Common tenets from Eastern as well as Western traditions that incorporate and integrate body/mind/soul and the tremendous flow of energy this brings
- Spiritual Lifestyle integrity and consistency with body and mind
Wisdom/Mysticism — Nourishment for the Journey
- Resources for individual development and growth
- Differences between eastern and western traditions that complement each other
Contemplation — Completing Body/Mind/Soul Integration
- Fully integrated body/mind/soul state of consciousness
- Perceptual acuity of contemplative mind
- Oneness of Being