We’ve come to the end of our month of self-care. How has it been for you? Have you implemented any new practices? Been kinder to yourself? Found any more time in your schedule or gratitude for what you have?

COR wishes for you to view self-care as an important piece of the life wellbeing puzzle. We hope you are leaving this month with some new perspectives and feel inspired to create some new habits.

For my part, I want to share with you a valuable template for self-care to take forward. It will help you make real changes. But first, let’s review where we’ve been.

In our first post this month, Britta invited us to be more loving towards ourselves and to check in with what our body and soul are really needing and craving.

In the second post, Kelsey explained that many of us have an underlying belief that if we practice self-care, a lot of our responsibilities will fall through the cracks. However, she noted we often are actually less kind to others as well as less productive, capable, and efficient when we are not taking care of ourselves. Therefore, in the long run, self-care is better for everyone in our lives.

In the third post this month, Lee expanded on the relationship between time and self-care. He noted that seeing time as an abundant and empowering gift, rather than a burden, is the foundation of self-care and he suggested the “Gift of Time Practice” to support us in doing so.

Now, for our last hurrah, back to the template. You may have heard before that self-care can be broken up into categories. The most common are: 1) physical, 2) mental, 3) emotional, 4) social, and 5) spiritual. But I want to add the idea of two subcategories that are contained within each: 1) renewal and 2) investment.

Renewal is an immediately rewarding gift to yourself. In the physical realm, this might be a massage or hot tub soak. Investment is an act of care that pays off in the long run and gives you greater wellbeing over time. In the physical realm, this might be eating roasted veggies and soup for dinner instead of mac and cheese, pizza, and stout beer.

One of the tricks of really changing something is to connect to the value of the side we normally ignore. We want to balance investment and renewal, instead of escaping to either the release of the immediate gratification or the safety net of always planning for the future.

I’m not going to go through all the categories and give examples because this email would be enormous. You’re welcome to write me at aaron@corexperience.com if you’d like some ideas.

However, you know yourself, and you can scan back through your life and think about what activities feel nourishing to your mind, emotions, connection with others, and soul, and start to make a map of your own self-care.

Go through each of the five categories, breaking each one into the two subcategories, and rate your self-care on a 1-10 scale on each so you have 10 numbers. It’s not a condemnation, but an honest assessment. Where do you thrive already? Where do you need work?

When you break down your self-care into these sections, you’ll really see what area(s) could use some attention, and then you can commit to a new goal. Over time, you can keep coming back to this template of the five categories and the renewal and investment parts to track where you are and what you want to work on.

To start, my advice is to pick a new category to attend to that isn’t your worst number on the 1-10 scale. It will likely be easier to make a positive change when it’s something you already naturally feel drawn to in some way— perhaps a category that’s at a four or five. Your lowest category/number probably has a lot of resistance involved and perhaps will be easier to address once you have some self-care practice under your belt.

Happy caring,