The practice of self-care is not something everyone is easily able to prioritize. By the time we’ve finished at work, picked up the kids, stopped at the post office, grabbed groceries, and sat down for dinner, the day is nearly done. We set intentions to get in shape, eat right, and live healthy, balanced lives, but carving the time for structured self-care can be challenging.
Definitions of self-care can vary, depending on circumstances. The Maslow model for the hierarchy of needs tells us that there are varying levels of experience that comprise self-care. There are the most pressing, physiological needs, which include the basics—food, water, sleep. Then there are the more subtle levels: safety, love/belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization, which require consistent attention and nurturing to bolster.
In order to function at your highest level, it’s important to satisfy your body’s most fundamental needs. Pillars that lay the groundwork for good health include rest, breath, and movement. These elements of self-care can increase relaxation and overall feelings of wellness, which in turn boosts immunity, brain function, and physical and emotional balance.
Each activity supports vitality and harmony; the key is routine and maintenance. “Your non-negotiable practice might be yoga, running, or meditation, but what’s crucial is that you determine what your practice is and do it every day,” says Erin Cas…