Spiritual Self Care can be a wide variety of practices and unique to each person, because we’re dealing with our inner and outer world. Generally, the “spirit” is considered the part of you that cannot be defined by the body, mind and emotions. But, that sounds like a limiting belief in yourself and spirit. Spirit comes from the Latin word for breath, and can be understood as the spark that makes you alive. You can use the analogy of glue; it’s the substance that connects your body, mind and emotions together. You can’t sense it unless you bring your spiritual being into awareness as your whole self, not just the undefined parts of yourself.
Many people associate performing spiritual activities with religion. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes performing spiritual activities is considered a Self Care practice to help a person improve their mental and emotional health.
According to University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing, religion and spirituality are not the same things. “While spirituality may incorporate elements of religion, it is generally a broader concept.”
In a non-religious concept, spirituality is putting emphasis on the well-being of the mind, body, and spirit. This usually includes holistic activities such as yoga or meditation. Spirituality, according to UMCSH, “is about seeking a meaningful connection with something bigger than yourself, which can result in positive emotions, such as peace, awe, contentment, gratitude, and acceptance.”
I think one of the best strategies for spiritual Self Care starts with defining time each week to sit down and journal about what you believe about your spiritual self. Give yourself 30, 60, even 90 minutes each week to do so, and fill up pages (digitally or on paper) with your thoughts. After a few weeks when you feel like you have exhausted this exercise, consider what you have learned about yourself. Consider where you might want to explore your spiritual being that might be yet uncovered. Then, from there, you can map out a plan for what types of practices and independent or group activities you will engage in in pursuit of your own spiritual journey.
The spiritual Self Care plan writes itself in that way. If you are looking forward to getting more in touch with your soul, performing spiritual activities for Self Care can be very helpful.
Here is a list of spiritual activities for self-care that everyone can begin today:
“Contemplation involves thinking continuously about something, studying and musing over it, usually something worthwhile and important, pertaining to life and meaning. When this kind of reflective activity goes very deep, when a person becomes still and highly focused as they ponder, the ego dissolves temporarily and contemplation becomes increasingly like meditation. Solutions to life’s problems sometimes appear spontaneously at such times.” via Advancing on the Spiritual Path 3: Secular Spiritual Practices
As Sam Veda says, “A man who realizes the potential of his mind by means of introspection and contemplation does not lack self-confidence. He has control over his mind and he is able to realize its full potential.”
Spending time with nature is one of the best spiritual activities for Self Care that we can do to help us achieve optimal well-being. A study shows that spending time in nature dramatically reduces stress and is also anti-inflammatory.
“For many people, once they awaken or have any kind of significant spiritual shift, there is often a drive towards being in nature more. A part of us yearns for a connection that is free of ego and other karmic junk while we open and clear out our issues.
Some people are talking about wanting a garden, moving to a cottage in a forest, or something like that during some initial phases of awakening. Well, indulge that impulse. Go for hikes. Spend time on a beach by the ocean or a lake. It can be a wonderful way to rejuvenate yourself.” via 10 Fun Spiritual Things to Do
If you have ever been in constant judgment, you should agree that judgment can be a toxic way to live and would not help us achieve emotional and mental health.
“Judgment robs us of the ability to hear our inner guide. It is a way of conforming to what is commonly accepted, making it more likely that we ourselves will fit in and be accepted, or in essence, loved. The fear of not being loved and accepted can lead us to shun and reject others in an attempt to ensure that we are not shunned and rejected. By living life in this way, we are submitting to the ebb and flow of the consensus rather than living with a conscious intention for what we want our lives to be.” via Releasing Judgment
“When you free yourself from judging, you create a spirituality that is freeing. It’s open to give and receive love on so many different levels. You feel calm and peace because you’re not assigning labels or creating positives and negatives. Everything is seen for its own inherent beauty.” via 4 Benefits of Being Non-Judgmental
Have you ever experienced random acts of kindness given by a stranger? Do you remember how good it feels? They say that kindness or compassion has that ripple effect. And that is true.
“When we are kind, no matter how small our acts of kindness are, we experience kindness coming back to us from the whole existence. When we are kind, we feel our soul opening, expanding and embracing the world. In this state of being, we feel transformed, as well as that we can help transform the world. By performing acts of kindness, we influence others to be kind too, and this produces an endless chain of effects, a circle of kindness.” via The Healing Power of Kindness: How Small Acts of Kindness Can Make a Big Difference
Reading an inspirational book is one spiritual activity that will help us get more connected with our soul.
Karen Swallow Prior has said, “What good literature can do and does do—far greater than any importation of morality—is touch the human soul.”
“Deep reading is a distinctive cognitive activity that contributes to our ability to empathize with others. It, therefore, can, in fact, make us smarter and nicer, among other things.” via How Reading Makes Us More Human
“It is easy to fill our minds and days from when we wake up until we go to bed. Usually, most of our doings are pre-planned. The problem with this is that we need space and silence to create an opening for inspiration, for guidance and for something new to happen. The silence gives space for the universe to provide in extraordinary ways that we could not have imagined.” via My Simple Daily Spiritual Practices
“Practicing silence doesn’t mean keeping your mouth shut and being quiet. It’s a state of mind where we can listen and appreciate the sounds of silence, seek the solace that silence streams and rejoice with silence.” via Silence and Spirituality
Silence allows us to see our strengths and weaknesses, thus allowing us to connect with our inner selves.
Most people find it hard to let go especially if they have become too attached to someone or something – whether it’s a relationship, material things, or probably a goal or ambition. However, we should realize that everything in this world keeps on changing, and it is very important to let go if we think that something is not working anymore.
“The call to let go lies at the core of humanity’s many spiritual traditions. Non-attachment to outcomes, surrendering desires, accepting the present, opening to the guidance of a higher power, relinquishing the ego, forgiveness—they all entail a letting go.
Why is letting go so important? Holding on limits perception, makes us tense, and obscures our true nature. Moreover, it lies at the root of most our suffering. Letting go, on the other hand, brings relief, ease, joy, and love.” via Letting Go
“Prayer is one of the main ways we practice our spirituality. It is an effort to communicate with the Creator, a Higher Power, and God, or to an object of worship.
“Prayers are very powerful. Our prayers are one of our natural healing resources each one of us can use today, any time of the day. The medicine of prayer is a good way to maintain good health.
“Prayers usually offer praise, thanks, make a request, or simply express one’s thoughts and emotions to help us be in harmony, balance, and peace. It can be done in many ways.
“Prayers can be said out loud, quietly, through song, dance, art, tears, and smudge, for example. You can also pray in any position: lying down, sitting, and kneeling, with hands folded, raised, opened, and closed, and so on.
“When a person is truly in their spiritual self, in prayer, they do not focus on their body, mind, and emotions. In a total spiritual state, people do not feel pain, heat, cold, hunger, thirst.” via Examples of Practicing Your Spirituality
“There are five types of yoga, each representing a major path of spiritual development. In western society, hatha yoga especially (physical exercises and postures), also t’ai chi and martial arts like judo, karate and taekwondo are increasingly popular. These martial skills combine exercise and the sport of combat techniques with a philosophy emphasizing meditation and self-defense. These practices are therefore both disciplined and devotional.” via Advancing on the Spiritual Path 3: Secular Spiritual Practices
“Chanting helps quiet the mind. While chant may or may not be appreciated by those listening for musical sophistication or high-performance quality, countless people are today chanting and listening to chant for its profound effect on our consciousness.
The repetitive sounds of chant vibrate in our brain, again and again, washing our minds, our own inner wavelengths gradually coming into resonance with the tone and feeling of the musical prayer.
Not only is chanting a form of meditation in itself, but chant is also an extremely useful adjunct to other spiritual practices. Because of its powerful ability to calm the mind, chanting can serve as a helpful bridge between our busy lives of work, kids, errands, telephones, etc. and deeper states of meditation.” via Chanting as a Spiritual Practice
You may have all the things that you need in this world – food, shelter, money, and all of those material things – however, you should not forget that practicing spirituality and performing these spiritual activities for self-care is also essential to your well-being. These will help you on your journey to nourish your soul and improve your emotional and mental health.
Spiritual Self Care is routinely written about as an offshoot of mental or emotional health, but life itself and its connection to the divine in you is a whole component of your being. You owe it to yourself to reach deeply within your being and learn to love your spirit as much as you give attention to, say, your skin. You wash it, moisturize it, protect it with clothing, etc. Your spirit needs the same care as the largest organ that covers your body. Here is a list of spiritual resources below that will get you moving in the direction of spiritual self-care.
The Chopra Center’s 10 Spiritual Self-Care Tips You Need to Know states, “Your spirituality may be found in the tenets of your religion or lay in the beauty of nature. Whatever fulfills and sustains you, your spirituality needs tending.” These 10 spiritual self-care tips, hinted at above, are good places to begin brainstorming your spiritual self-care routine. I especially like practicing gratitude and forgiveness; you can add random acts of kindness too!