Strategies to Promote Self-Care

By February 22, 2024June 25th, 2024Self-care Strategies
self-care strategies

Care and Feeding of the Human Being

When you go to the humane society to adopt a pet, you understand you will need to care for that animal.

Not only do you understand that you will need to feed it, clean up after it, and take it to the vet, but you understand also that this animal is going to need your love. Your attention. Your patience, sometimes. Your affection, certainly. This animal’s life will be in your hands.

And how do you as the pet-owner-to-be feel about all of this? Excited. Here for it. On board. You can’t wait to take this cute little being under the sheltering wings of your care.

What motivates you as a pet owner to take on the needs of another? Nothing more than the instinct to love and care for life. Do you know that kind of excitement about the journey, privilege, and challenge of caring for life?

Well, guess what? You, whoever you are, already have one animal who needs care, attention, affection, and love: You.

Self Care: A Requirement of Human Life

Though many of us learn it rather late in life, loving care of the human being we are is necessary to have the full bloom of the flower we are here to be.

Since human beings are multidimensional, complex life forms, that care needs to address several layers and levels of our experience. The physical body needs a lot, sure. And so does the emotional body, the mental body, and the spiritual body.

But we don’t get a pre-printed guide to self-care. We have to learn what we can from our parents and teachers, from friends and people around us, and make up the rest as we go along. We are all writing our manual, filling it with our own experiences of what works and what doesn’t.

What would you put in your self-care manual in each section: body, mind, emotions, and creative spirit?

What Is Self-Care?

Self-care refers to all the practices that are generally recommended and required to make sure that the human being you are is living a full-flowered life in all dimensions of your being.

There are orders of priority: the survival of the physical body is number one. The body is the basic vessel in which we sail on the seas of life, so we have to take care of it first.

Enough of the right kind of healthy food for our bodies, abundant water, plenty of exercise, quiet time, sleep, affectionate touch, undirected play time, time in nature – all of these things are good self-care practices for the body.

The body is remarkable and can get by with less. But it does better with more – to keep the flame of health bright and strong inside of the body, all of these practices are beneficial.

The emotional body, a delightful and very tender child inside of us, needs a lot as well. How indeed can we secure all the love, connection, warmth, contact, and companionship we crave? All that it takes for the emotional body to feel safe and secure, happy and attached to life?

And then there’s the mind – our hunger to learn, to make meaning, to interpret our world and act upon it. And our needs for spiritual dimensions, creative expression…the list goes on.

Human beings might be infinite in dimension, and at each layer of us, we can pose the question: how do we nourish and give love to this layer of our existence?

The good news is, that self-care has been practiced since the arrival of earth’s first human beings. Because even though there are a lot of different kinds of human needs, and there are many different ways to meet those needs, all humans have the same needs.

The needs that make self-care necessary are built into the species of the human being. So we can learn a lot from others around us, and how they are answering the same question we are: how to have the best life in this human form?

strategies to promote self careWhat Are Some Examples of Self Care?

Here is a list of universal human needs put together by the Center for Non-Violent Communication:

























to know and be known

to see and be seen

to understand and

be understood



sexual expression





celebration of life
to matter

Looking over the list, we can ask ourselves, what self-care practices would help us get these needs met?

The need for physical well-being can be supported with practices that promote physical health:

Exercise – walks, hikes, workouts, yoga, dancing, sports, outdoor activities, etc.

Hygiene – showering, washing your face and hair, brushing your teeth, etc.

Sleep – limiting screen time, reducing caffeine and sugar, going to bed earlier, following circadian rhythms when we can, etc.

Nutrition – the right amount of foods that nourish us, heal us, resonate with us

Our many social connection-based needs can be met by self-care practices as well. Support groups, teams, classes, and hobbies, accepting invitations to try new things.

For each kind of need, there are best practices that address them. For our need to play, we can do improv or play board games. For the need for beauty, we can listen to classical music, look at paintings, and spend time in nature.

Journal on Your Self-Care Needs

Looking over the list of universal human needs, which of your many human needs feel met already? How are you meeting those needs? What self-care are you already doing that helps you get those needs met? Appreciate yourself for your positive ability to meet these needs.

Take note also of those needs that are currently unmet. Is there a self-care practice you could design for yourself, which would help you get that need met? If you have no path of self-expression at the moment, could you pick up a creative hobby, learn to paint, or sing? If your need for learning is unmet, could you take a course?

Strategies to Promote Self-Care

Here are some ideas on how you can bring more self-care into your life.

1. Write a Permission Slip

A lot of us struggle to feel that it’s ok to care for ourselves as fully as we need. It sounds indulgent, or that we must be exceptionally needy if we want all that. But remember, although we can get by with less, we thrive with more, at least when it comes to self-care.

Write yourself a permission slip in which you give yourself full, unfettered permission to care for yourself as much and as well as you can, and put it up somewhere you can see it. It might be as simple as writing, “I am allowed to care for myself as best I possibly can”.

2. Make a Commitment

Commit to self-care. You can write out a strong why-based statement of commitment:

I, [Your Name], hereby commit to excellent self-care, every day of my life. I commit to care for myself at all levels of my being, to the best of my ability.

I am doing this because I know self-care is …[your reasons for deciding to care for yourself more fully from now on].

Revisit your statement of commitment and the specific reasons you’re choosing to prioritize self-care frequently.

3. Put Self-Care on the Schedule

Draw up a weekly schedule of self-care practices, and put it on your calendar. If you have a paper calendar, that can help with making it visual, easier to see gaps, and places where a self-care activity could be snuck into a busy day. But any calendar will do.

You might want to make a time-based commitment to a specific self-care plan and agree beforehand to stick with it no matter what distractions, thoughts, or feelings come up.

To meet my need for peace, I will eat my lunch outside in the garden every day for the next two weeks, with no phone.

4. Resolve Your Ambivalence About Self-Care

Many women feel conflicted about self-care and the self-love it represents. Becoming conscious of what you fear will happen if you care for yourself is a tool we may need to use again and again.

Here are some common associations that people have with self-care:

Other people will think I’m lazy, uppity, or spoiled – who do I think I am that I deserve to be treated so well?

People will think I’m selfish or feel I’m not there for them enough

If I care for myself, I’ll start to feel better and get my hopes up about life, and then it will just hurt even more the next time I’m disappointed.

Write out your negative associations or lingering doubts about whether it’s safe and allowed for you to thrive and be happy.

If these kinds of self-care-sabotaging thoughts feel familiar, a possible cure is to journal on the following:

Are these fears or negative expectations 100% likely to be true?
What evidence is there that these beliefs are not completely true, or not true in every single case?
Where do these beliefs not apply? Look for exceptions.

Trace the fear-based beliefs and values back to their origin. Where did I get these ideas? Who taught them to me? Do I want to be like that person, live as they live?

Villa Kali Ma Can Teach You Self-Care Strategies

teaching self careHere at Villa Kali Ma, we’re all about self-care. We believe each woman’s life is precious, and the world needs all of us women to heal up and make some changes for the good.

We know that when we care for ourselves, we are doing something good for all of life. Self-care strengthens the love in the world. It fortifies those who need strength and amplifies those whose voices should be heard. Adding more love to the world is never wrong.

If you need help learning to care for yourself even more, to love yourself more wholeheartedly in all the dimensions of your unique being, we’re here with lots of good ideas for how you can do that.

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