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Getting the Most Out of Self-Care: Planning with Conscious Intention

When you hear the term “self-care” what images come to mind? Most often I hear responses along the lines of a bubble bath, uninterrupted time to binge watch a favorite show, getting nails done, or an afternoon nap.  Yes, these can all be forms of self-care however to get the most benefit from any self-care routine, practices should be implemented with conscious intention. A great first step to any conscious practice is clarity. In this blog I’ll share with you my definition of self-care, and offer a few ideas on how to more consciously implement your self-care practices by being aware of how and where you are applying them.

My working definition of self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, especially during periods of stress. When beginning or deepening a self-care practice, I recommend starting to look at what your current self-care practices are in these four categories: emotional, physical, spiritual and mental. Note that these aren’t the only aspects or categories of self-care. Self-care can be more specialized as your needs expand; however, these are basic categories of care that most people need to manage on a regular (if not daily) basis and therefore are a good place to start. Here are some working definitions for each category:

Emotional Self-Care The practice of becoming aware of and intentionally integrating the “feeling self” (or that part of yourself that processes feelings) in service to the overall well-being of the individual. Example practices could include:
Journaling, therapy, time with friends, healthy crying, speaking your truth, coaching.
Physical Self-Care The practice of becoming aware of and developing body-based practices, routines, and basic needs regimens in service to the overall well-being of the individual. Example practices could include:
Nails salon, spa day, regular exercise, dance, healthy eating, regular medical care.

Spiritual Self-care


The practice of becoming aware of and cultivating practices, principles and energetic routines or rituals that support the individual human spirit, soul, or life force energy. Example practices could include:
Rituals, religious services, energy practices, inspirational reading, nature, prayer.
Mental Self-care
The practice of becoming aware of and creating practices and checkpoints to ensure the overall psychological and cognitive well-being of the individual. Example practices could include: Mindfulness/mediation, therapy, saying no to toxic people, places or things, fun.

In reading the definitions, what thoughts or feelings came up for you? How did the definitions of both self-care and the categories offered shift your understanding of your self-care practices? Did any of them spark curiosity or excitement? If so, take note.

Now that you have more clarity about what self-care could mean for you, let’s do a simple practice that will help you start to think about what you need in each category and how you might continue to work with information to create a self-care plan or group experience.

Self-Care Category What am I Currently Doing as Self-care in this Category? What Do I Know Works for ME (Brings Me Joy and/or Good Results)? How Many Times Per Week Might I Need a Practice in this Category?
Emotional Self-Care
Physical Self-Care
Spiritual Self-care
Mental Self-care

Answering these questions should have given you an idea of what categories are well supported, and which ones might need a little extra attention. You can formalize your intentions by writing a simple self-care plan. Put your plan into action by placing self-care dates or activities on your schedule.

REMEMBER: Be gentle with yourself and approach your exploration of new practices with curiosity and joy. Congratulations on expanding into a more beautiful life experience.

Need support to expand self-care practices into your organizational culture?
Consider booking a Healing and Emotional Self-Care workshop or retreat with Community Build Ventures for your group or organization. In our workshops, we deep dive into how self-care is not just a best practice, but an essential tool of Healing Justice. We also provide personal and work culture transformation tools to assist you after the journey with us is over. It is a truly powerful experience. For more information you can book a chat with CBV here.

I’d love to hear what self-care practices you decide to implement and how they are working for you. Affirming your highest and greatest good- now and always!

Light and Love,
Neith Sankofa
Healing and Emotional Self-Care Consultant with Community Build Ventures
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Neith Sankofa , Project Trainer and Coach

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