The Self-Care Glossary
Definitions, explanations, and examples for the daily self-care checklist.
Affirmations are positive statements that we can use to change the dialogue in our mind, the way we think about ourselves and the world, and are a great manifesting tool. Most positive affirmations start with “I am…” (though they certianly don’t have to) and can be short or long. You can write a paragraph affirming something or just a word.
Affirmations are used to intentionally reprogram your mind to think the thoughts that you want to be true for yourself. Affirmations are statements that you WANT to be true for you, even if you don’t fully believe them yet. Just make sure your affirmations are always positive in nature. For example, instead of saying “I am not lazy” you would say “I am energized, efficient, and productive.”
- I am enough
- I am worth of living my best life possible
- I am a healthy person with healthy habits
- I manifest abundance always
- I carry nothing that does not serve me – physically, emotionally, spiritually
- I love my body
Our breath is our life force. It can help us to regulate our emotions, to bring us back into our bodies, and to ground ourselves when we are feeling chaotic and out of alignment.
It is the act of consciously controlling our breathing to influence our mental, physical, and emotional states.
- There are many breathwork techniques and it can be as simple as paying attention. You can count your breaths in and out, take deep breaths into your body, or practice techniques like box breathing.
I’m a huge advocate for little wins. Setting ourselves up to celebrate our successes, feel like we’re doing a good job, and to notice even the smallest things about ourselves that matter. The more we celebrate, the more we have self love. The more we have self love, the easier it is to practice self care.
Set yourself up for lots of little wins each day, and celebrate and savor them when they occur. Positive reinforcement will lead to positive action. Be sure you set yourself up for success with systems and accountability.
- Celebration can be simple like journaling about what you are proud of, what you’ve accomplished, and what you enjoyed. It can also be highlighted on a daily basis through checking boxes that make you feel good and accomplished when you do nice things for yourself. It is important as we grow and learn that we feel supported and loved, and that we have a safe space to mess up, make mistakes, and try again.
In order to manifest what we want, we must first know what those desires are. Clarity is a process of going inward to find out what you want. Our desires change all through our life so it’s important to constantly check in to see what feels good for us now. Clarity can be receive in a myriad of ways.
- Clarity can be found through processes like reflection, meditation, journaling, connection, and really any time we pause, get intentional, and listen in. Paying attention to what feels good to us, no matter what the outside world says we should do.
We are better together and we are social creatures. Connecting with other like-minded and supportive beings is medicine for our soul. This is why Self Care Society is built to be a community driven experience.
- Calling or texting a loved one
- Joining a group of people you feel aligned with
- Physical touch with someone you love
- Sharing experiences with others
The practice of being grateful. Practicing gratitude reprograms us to look at what’s good and what is working in the world, instead of focusing on our often default method of what isn’t, and everything we need to do. We can even practice gratitude for things that haven’t happened yet but that we want to manifest. I often say “thank you” for things I don’t yet have in an effort to manifest them into reality.
- Thank you for the love I share with my friends and family
- I am so grateful for my self -care routine and my consistency with it
- I am so thankful for the abundance of miracles in my life
Did you know that 60% of the human adult body is water?
The brain and heart are composed of 73% water and the lungs are 83% water. The skin is 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery at 31%.
I’d say this is a pretty strong argument for making hydration a top priority. Drinking lots of water supports all the processes in the body and at SCS we love to be in flow. Hydration helps with that and is an essential part of self-care.
We are most dehydrated right when we wake up so drink a big glass of water first thing when you wake up.
Trade excessive caffeine, alcohol, sugary drinks and juices, and soda (yes, including diet soda that is filled with less-than-nourishing ingredients) for water, unsweetened teas, and fresh vegetable juices.
Set hydration goals for the week or timers on your phone to remind you to chug chug throughout your day.
Intentionality refers to the act of taking action based on clarity and desire. Being deliberate or purposeful. We can’t expect to achieve our dreams if we don’t know what they are. We do many activities based around living an intentional life in Self Care Society and these can take form in a variety of ways.
- Intentionality can be achieved through practices like planning, strategizing, building systems and time management, and goal-setting
The practice of journaling is best done with a pen to paper (handwritten) to really allow our thoughts to slow down and make their way onto paper. Journaling can look differently for everyone but I’ve found it to be a beautiful creative process with which I turn my thoughts into something tangible that I can see on paper.
I encourage those who journal to view the practice of journaling as something of value for the present moment vs. documenting the details of your life thinking you’ll read it later. Focus on using the pages as a way to get the racing thoughts out of your mind and down in a way that you can digest and make sense of them.
Our minds are valuable real estate so the more we can dump our brains of junk, the more space we create for our own clarity and opportunities.
Journaling can take many forms but some prompts might be:
- I like…
- I feel…
- I am…
- I want…
- I love…
Manifesting is the act of bringing your visions into physical reality. It’s the process used to turn a thought into a thing, and is closely tied to the practice of visualization.
Manifesting includes practices like expressing gratitude for what you want in your life. It’s getting clear on what you want and continually focusing on that thing. It’s writing journal entries and biographies of yourself from the future speaking as if something you desire has already happened. Like visualizing, it’s a great way to experience the feelings of your desires, before they exist for you in the physical world.
- Writing a journal entry dated in the future is a great way to manifest who you want to me
- Creating a vision board of what you want to attract
- Writing a biography of yourself from the future
- Saying gratitude for something you hope to attract, as if it already happened
Our physical bodies are the “suit” we experience the physical world with. Emotions are energy in motion, which means, that when energy isn’t in motion, we can tend to bring up uncomfortable physical feelings in our bodies. If we don’t have our physical body, we don’t have something to experience all the beauty of life with, and all the desires we manifest.
Movement allows the energy and emotions to flow through us and out of us. It supports not just physical health but mental health.
- Any sort of fitness
We all know that nature is incredibly healing and we can connect with it in a variety of ways.
From standing near a sunny window, putting our feet in the grass, enjoying a nearby hike, or moon-gazing, connecting with the energies of Mother Earth can help us feel more grounded, aligned, and connected.
Knock out a few checklist wins at once by committing to a daily walk in nature with a friend (in person or on the phone) or by listening to a podcast to help exercise your mind while you move your body.
Learn about the moon cycles and track your energy so you know how it’s impacted over the cycle. Practice “earthing” by putting your feed and/or body on the ground, get really hippie and hug a tree, try your hand at growing some food, or just get a little sunshine on your (sunscreen-protected) skin.
Nourishment refers to the way in which we fuel our body, primarily, what we eat.
Because we are all different and have varying dietary needs, what you consume for food will be unique to your preferences. The best judge for what serves your body is you, so tune in to how you feel when you eat certain foods to determine which way of eating helps you thrive.
The general consensus is that whole, real, single ingredient foods that come from nature are the best for our bodies, so do your best to get lots of plants in your diet and know that this journey is all about progress not perfection.
Nourishment is one of my “Foundational Four” self-care practices that informs the ways in which we can experience everything else so this is one of the most important practices to nurture.
Nourishment could mean cutting back on sugar, taking supplements, removing processed foods, cutting back on soda or alcohol, and more. There’s no perfect way of eating, so do your own experiences and seek your answers inside you.
Play and creativity are a critical part of self care. Creativity is our life force. It is the way we manifest and bring things to us that we desire. It is how anything that didn’t exist, came to be.
You can see why this play and creativity is critical in how we bring to life anything we desire.
- Play can be turning of your devices and frolicking in nature
- Drawing or creating art of any form (music, gardening, cooking, etc.)
- Doing anything that doesn’t feel “traditionally productive”
The process of reflection is as critical as the momentum we often have to move on to the next thing. If we don’t pause to reflect on what we’ve done, accomplished, or experienced, it becomes harder to move forward learning from our past.
Reflection is a beautiful act of transition, learning, and information, and can be done in a variety of ways, like journaling, therapy, conversations, etc.
- Journaling about your experience, what you learned, what worked, what you would do differently
- Taking the time to focus and mediate on the things — good and bad — that have had significant impact on our lives
Arguably the most important act of self care on your checklist is that of rest and sleep. It is the body’s opportunity to repair and rebuild (magical right?) and so often it is looked at as the first thing to go when we have so much to “do.””
But the quality of sleep we get it (or naps/rest) is absolutely critical to the function of all our body’s systems. Taking an extra hour of sleep almost always means you’ll earn that hour back in your ability to focus, perform, and do things with more clarity and attention than had you traded in an hour of ZZZ’s in exchange for more work or Netflix.
This is one of my “Foundational Four” self-care practices that sets the stage for all our other work. The other three? Nourishment, Mindfulness, and Movement.
Tips for a great night of rest:
- The ideal sleeping temperature is thought to be between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. If you go to bed early like me (in order to get up super early), black out curtains will be an incredible investment.
- Try to unplug from all electronics and looking at screens at least 1 hour before bed, and try to not eat within 3 hours of when you’re going to bed, too.
- We also thrive on a consistent sleep/wake time so whenever possible, pick a bedtime and wake time that you can stick to most days.
- In terms of hours of sleep, the general consensus seems to be that 7-9 hours per night is ideal, though it varies from person to person.
- If you can’t get a full night of sleep, don’t underestimate the power of a 20 minute nap or simply lying down with your eyes closed.
- Rest can also look like a lounging around with nothing to DO and recharging watching your favorite movie or while reading a book.
Self love is the foundation of self care. When we love ourselves, it becomes a natural and automatic behavior to take care of ourselves. The stronger our foundation of self care, the easier we’ll find it becomes to take action on things like healthy eating, proper sleep, mindful movement, nourishing relationships, play, rest, etc.
Self love is ever-evolving and there are tangible ways with which to cultivate in your life. Using willpower to do acts of self care, will strengthen the internal dialogue towards self love. It says “you are worth taking care of” which also means “you are worth of love and care”.
Self love and self care work together and strengthen each other. The stronger these foundations, the easier it becomes to find consistency in your practices.
- Positive Affirmations
- Taking time to celebrate yourself and who you are
- Consciously consuming media and messaging that supports your enough-ness exactly as you are
We often underestimate the impact that our physical and mental states have on our well being. Keeping our physical space tidy and clear of clutter impacts our mental health and our abilty to focus and be productive. Clearing out the clutter in our minds through things like therapy and journaling, allows for more spaciousness for new exciting things to come in.
We will only be given what we can handle. If you want abundance and newness, or you are calling something in for your life, be sure you’ve left the space for it to enter. Creativity happens in this white space too. If we’re constantly doing things and busy, it’s much harder to fully receive these often life-changing downloads from the universe.
- Clearing clutter from your work area or your home
- Throwing things away Tidying your space
- Talking to a loved one or therapist to release emotional energy
- Journaling your thoughts to remove them from you body and on to paper
Support can be given or taken and is a powerful part of any growth journey. We are nourished not just when we are held and taken care of, but also when we are given the opportunity to take care of someone else.
- Reaching out to loved ones who are on your mind
- Reminding yourself that you are taken care of and loved
- Writing a kind note or sending a message out of the blue
- Cheering on fellow SCS members when they volunteer or put themselves out there
Visualization is the practice of creating an experience in your mind and body that may or may not be happening in the physical world around you. Think of it as the grown up version of imagination that you did so freely as a child. Where you could be anyone and anywhere by simply allowing yourself to go there in your mind.
Visualization is a powerful tool in manfesting. In most cases, our body and brain does not know if it’s experiencing something for real in the phsysical world, or if it’s happening in the mind. The true way to manifest your desires is to experience the feelings and visions that you’ll have when you get there, NOW. The path to bring our visions to life is simply creating that vision and those feelings first and trusting that the physical world around you will rise up to meet it.
In SCS classes, we often do guided visualizations where the leader will have you close your eyes and imagine you as your highest self, your healthiest self, taking your dream trip, in your dream job, and more.
You are the most vibrant, healthy, productive, peaceful, conscious version of you.
You’re up early and you’re holding your favorite hot drink. You sit down in the space that you do most mornings to align for the day.
You notice as you move towards this spot, how good you feel in your body. A type of lightness and flow and grace and confidence.
You’ve been practicing an affirmation and you feel it being embodied. “I carry nothing that does not serve me – physically, emotionally, or spiritually.”
You sit and you set your drink down on the table next to you. What does the table look like? What does the mug look like? What is the room temperature? What is the weather outside?
You take a deep breath that fills your whole body. You notice how it feels to be this version of you.
You realize that all it took to get here was to feel these feelings first, and the outside world caught up. You committed to memorizing these feelings in your body… ones of ________.
You noticed what it felt like to feel like this and you committed it to muscle memory. Notice right now. Scan your body. Commit to this bodily experience.
How can you bring yourself back here? How can you choose this as your consistent state?