Self-care is essential to maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself. You and your needs are important. You can only attempt to take on the rest of the world if you make yourself a priority.
So, if you haven’t done anything to take care of yourself and nourish your inner spirit recently, stop, breathe and just be.
Life and society have taught us the lesson of “constantly doing”. We are constantly working, always “online” with little time in between to nourish ourselves. The boundaries between work and home have been eroded by technology. Work finds you wherever you are and it’s not so easy to “switch off”. Most women are familiar with the constant doing: taking care of children, spouse/partner, parents, taking care of work, etc. You end up doing everything (for everyone) except taking care of yourself and by the time your name comes up on the list (if it even gets there), you’re exhausted. Sound familiar?
Our inner spirit is often neglected; it’s the thing we let go off first, especially when things get hectic. However, it’s our inner spirit that is often the key to replenishing the vital energy we need to keep us going in addition to food, water, rest, sleep and exercise. Nourishing the inner spirit is about taking care of ourselves on an emotional and spiritual level. Why is this important? It helps us to become the best version of ourselves and gives us a sense of purpose which increases resilience, helping us to achieve so much more than we thought we ever could.
How to nourish your inner spirit
First, you need to understand what energises you, as this is different for everyone. Think back to your past experiences to see what got you out of low points in your life, bad situations or simply improved your mood after a bad experience. If you have relied on this over time, then that is where your energy comes from and you need to do more of it.
Joy can also be a good place to start; that blissful feeling you get when you experience something that you are deeply connected to, like reminiscing about wonderful experiences, spending time with loved ones or listening to music. Joy is a momentary positive feeling which you can intentionally create every day. Every time you create this moment you fill your “resilience jar” with positive emotions boosting your inner energy and strength to fuel your inner spirit.
To constantly nourish your inner spirit and take good care of yourself consider the following…
When you are clear about your reason for pursuing anything and feel the deep heartfelt connection with what you are doing, you are automatically more energised and motivated to accomplish it and equally feel the sense of joy while you are achieving it.
How good you feel is directly linked to the positive emotions you experience. One way to intentionally experience more happy emotions is to focus on and appreciate what has been good in your life.
Play is something that we learn to do at a very early age which makes us feel energised, yet later in life, we seem to forget how valuable it is. Adding play into your life is crucial as it increases a sense of joy, wellbeing and a feeling of freedom.
Spending time connecting with others can bring an immense amount of joy. Building meaningful relationships, especially with people who energise you, creates energy from within.
To end, the emotional and spiritual part of ourselves is usually so hidden that it is easy to overlook it, yet it plays an essential role in our lives. Let us give them the priority they deserve.
Silindokuhle is an Industrial/Organisational Psychologist registered with the HPCSA. She holds a Master’s degree from UKZN and runs an independent practice specialising in psychological assessments, training and wellbeing.