What is Spiritual Self-Care?
When I talk about the 6 types of self-care parents need, the categories are mostly for convenience purposes. Most self-care activities fit under multiple headings, and it's not like you're getting a grade in each one. Mainly it's to help my clients think about their lives from various perspectives.
Spiritual self-care doesn't have to be religious or faith-based at all, though it certainly can be. It's simply an activity that refills your cup and helps you feel connected to a sense or purpose or something greater.
Some of the other categories I've covered focus on physical or mental health, but I like to think of this as what recharges your soul.
Why Is Spiritual Self-Care Important?
The other types of self-care may seem more pressing, you may not be religious, or you might even have religious trauma. Spiritual self-care can be easy to overlook or blow off.
But this is what helps you feel connected, part of something, and purposeful. It may feel as significant as your meaning in life, or something as simple as having a set of shared beliefs and being less alone.
For parents in particular, especially mothers, having kids can also be a major identity shift. Feeling a connection to something else can help you feel like you're more than "just a mom."
Not sure what that looks like? Here are some ideas.
What Are Some Examples of Spiritual Self-Care?
Spiritual activities can be easy if you have a religious practice that also provides social self-care and community. Many people who consider themselves religious or spiritual may not be part of a like-minded group, though.
Here are some ideas if you ARE religious or have some faith-based practices:
- Religious journaling. I had heard of Bible journaling from a friend, but I looked it up and found Torah art journaling and Quran journaling resources as well! This can be writing based, or creative art journaling, or whatever you want.
- A prayer or study group can be social, community-centered, educational, and spiritual.
- Meditation or regular prayer is part of many religions. Even saying a mealtime blessing can be a start.
- Holiday traditions are literally for holy days. With kids it's easy to fall into commercialized celebrations, but how does your family celebrate?
Here are more examples if you're NOT religious:
If you're not religious, that doesn't mean you can't find ways to connect to your highest self. You don't need a higher power to feel connected to something.
- Meditation, yoga, tai chi, qi gong, or other mindfulness practices can range from relaxing to transcendental, and have physical and mental benefits as well.
- Time spent in nature can be very spiritual. Nature bathing, grounding (walking barefoot on the earth), camping, hiking, walking near water, watching the sunset, or what I call a "solar recharge" (standing outside in the sun) are some wonderful options.
- Honoring your ancestors with an altar or display, or connecting to ancient traditions can be fulfilling for many people. Maybe they're loved ones you knew, or those you didn't get to meet, but you can connect to your lineage and heritage in various ways. This might fall under a religious practice for some, but doesn't need to.
- Celebrating seasonal changes, the lunar cycle, or harvest festivals are other ways to connect with nature.
- Gardening can be grounding, meditative, and good for your body as well.
- Star-gazing is another nature option that could range from intentionally looking up at night to learning about astronomy.
- Journaling is such a versatile tool. Using prompts, processing therapy, creating art, making a bullet journal, habit tracking, dream journaling... I could go on, so maybe I'll write a separate post about journals. 😂
- Clearing clutter may seem like an odd choice, but clutter, at its root, is the physical evidence of unmade decisions. (As a Libra/Virgo cusp and a parent with ADHD, I feel this painfully.) All that physical stuff also takes up emotional energy. Having a clear space can help clear your mind so you're able to devote more time to yourself.
- Using tarot or oracle cards can be a great way to get you thinking about the big picture from another view.
Again, many of these overlap with other categories of self-care — which isn't a bad thing! It can also be helpful for parents with limited time and energy.
How Is Your Spiritual Self-Care Practice?
Are you already incorporating some of this into your life? Have you done so in the past, but haven't had time since having kids?
Choose one and start small. See what a difference it can make.
If you're struggling to prioritize self-care, this is for you! Grab my free Self-Care Survival Kit and I'll walk you through how to get started.Knowing you need self-care and having the energy to plan and implement it are different things. This should make it easier. You deserve it.