The 7 elements of self-care

Self-care, civil rights movement, spa, bath, reading, books,

A practical guide to self-care

It’s important to take care of yourself to be able to take care of those you love.  I am sure you have read or said this before.   Turning your attention towards yourself can be challenging for many and there are ways to move through the uneasy, sometimes guilty feeling.  Discover and explore this guide for tips, practices and what works for you.  It can be a simple discovery that can be your hidden gem. 

  • What is self-care?
  • Why it’s important
  • How to practice
  • Emotional self-care
  • Daily practice?

What is self-care?

Self-care can be many different things to many different people.  However, it means asking yourself what you need to feel a sense of comfort, peace, calm, joy and being honest with yourself about what you need. 

Practicing self-care can be as simple as taking a hot bath, reading a book, or going to bed early.  It’s about creating habits that your mind, body and soul needs, feeling good about it and practicing regularly to feel the long-term effects. 

Brief history of self-care

The history of self-care began in the 1950s and grew in power and popularity through the civil rights movement. Today it’s a well-known term. It means taking care of yourself and doing what’s holistically healthiest for yourself on any given day.

While the concept of self care has received increased attention in recent years, it has ancient origins. Socrates has been credited with founding the self-care movement in ancient Greece, and care are of oneself and loved ones has been shown to exist since human beings appeared on earth.  Self-care has also been connected to the Black Feminist movement through civil rights activist and poet Audre Lorde. Self-care was used to preserve black feminist’s identities, energize their activism, and preserve their minds during the civil rights movement. Self-care remains a primary form of personal and community healthcare worldwide; self-care practices vary greatly around the world

What do psychologist say about self-care?

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines self-care as “providing adequate attention to one’s own physical and psychological wellness” and believes the practice so crucial that it is considered an “ethical imperative” of mental health professionals.

Why is self-care important?

Self-care is as important as brushing your teeth.  It’s prevention.  

There are 7 self-care elements.  

Each method of self-care fits into one of the seven elements: mental, emotional, physical, environmental, spiritual, recreational, and social.

A well-balanced self-care routine involves each of these.  But do not stress.  Self-care is not about finding perfection in a routine.  Your routine has to come with ease, something you know you have to do, you know you will feel good doing it,  no guilt attached to it and if a day is skipped it doesn’t matter because maybe that day is exactly what you needed.   

Purposely avoiding self-care is the issue.  You don’t want to avoid the signs of neglect and hit a wall, a burnout.  To avoid a burnout, depression, stress, anxiety take the time right now to reflect on the 7 elements and how you can improve your self-care in each element.

After reflecting on each element what self-care activity can you do that can create a sense of peace, calm and harmony that works for you.

I put a lot of emphasis on do what works for you.  Everyone is different and today we are bombarded with many strategies, plans, programs, proposals, systems and ideas.   Though all of these strategies may be excellent and some of them have proven to work wonders, I hear from my clients over and over again how even though they have a plan layed out for them like a golden ticket to live their best life ever, it fails.

That’s because that plan did not come from the soul of the individual at the moment that they needed it.   

You can have the best meal plan, fitness plan, work plan, spiritual plan…..plan, plan, plan.  It may be too much, overwhelming and the plan becomes a flop.

How to practice

Today, in your home, your work environment what is the best practice for you?  

  • Are you an early bird? 
  • Night owl?
  • Do you have kids?
  • Do you have a pet?
  • Do you travel a lot?
  • Is your commute to work long or short?  In the car or public transportation?
  • Do you work 9 to 5 or shift work?

Do you see how a plan cannot be a one size fits all?

Once you have establish your lifestyle, the 7 elements, what needs improvement, and your own personalized method that fits with the harmony of your mind, body and soul, you can now start your practice.

Let me share an example. 

Sadie is a 9 to 5 professional with a big corporate job.  She is able to fit in her exercise by walking from the train station to work and hitting her favourite zumba class on weekends.  On Friday nights she likes to meet up with friends to socialize.  While on the train she tunes in with short meditations.  By the ends day she like to slip into bed after a bath and read her book.   Sadie, had hit all 7 elements of her self-care and she may even add a spa day every so often to totally relax.   She has found her way with her own practice with her lifestyle.

Valery’s work life is different, it’s shift work.  Some days she works days and sometimes nights.  Waking up early every day is not possible for her to practice the 7 elements on a daily basis.  She has found her way that fosters her self-care.  She eat healthy, hits the gym on her days off.  She walks outdoors on days when she works.  She has a lot of social time at work however, to create meaningful relationships she take time on certain days to meet up with friends or call.  Before bed she finds a short yoga and meditation practice.  She spends a lot of quality time with her children and once a year she take a mini momcation.

Everyone’s life is different.  Values, beliefs, behaviours, our environment are all different.  This is why you need to find what self-care activity resonates with you and embrace it when you can.  Your soul will let you know when you need it.  Let your mind create it and practice it before you burnout. 

Time to evolve.  Here are 4 tips to start your practice.

  • Recognize the signs that you need some self-care time. Own it and demystify the strong women syndrome.  We all need self-care time. 
  • Allow yourself the opportunity to listen to what you need.  Do not flee from bad emotions and feelings.  Acknowledge those feelings. Thank yourself for listening to yourself. 
  • Carry on with your need towards self-care.  Unplug, if you need to let a significant other know that you need some me time, let them know, do not ask for permission. Execute with your activity.  Who knows maybe all you need is 20 minutes to yourself.  
  • Inquire about a professional if you have difficulty reaching deep with in to what your mind, body and soul desires.  There are many professional coaches and psychologists that can guide you especially if you have already hit a burnout, depression and or anxiety.  Do your homework and seek the help needed.  Or ask for help.

Emotional self-care

Many people have a difficult time acknowledging that they need help.  Some aren’t even aware that they are running around in their world and about to drop physically, mentally and socially. 

Burnouts can creep up, silently and then it smacks you in the face, to STOP.  

I know because it happened to me.  I felt like I was on top of the world, fit, travelling, kids, husband, work, teaching, inspiring others.  Go, go, go, I had a plan, I had strategies, I tried anything that was new to help me towards living my best life ever.  Even if it meant that the plan wouldn’t match my life.  “These experts on social media must be right, waking up before 5 am is the key to success”  

A big fat no- no for me.  

I dropped into the abyss of burnout.  I was so good at living it up that my own husband had no clue that I had a burnout.  I masked my emotions, the pain, my hurting soul.  I know today that most of the time I wasn’t even conscious of my behaviours.  I kept rolling… well, I rolled all the way down the hill and then I looked at the mountain to climb back up,  it was bloody scary.

I knew something had to give and it wasn’t simply changing the plan.  Or what I like to call “surface” issues.  I knew I had to change something.  It took me over 4 years of personal work to figure it out.  It was worth every single tear, emotion, feeling and time.  It was worth telling my husband that I had to start taking care of my mental health.  It was worth getting in-touch with my true self.  

My biggest gift to the world today is having enough faith and optimism that people can reach that state of nirvana.  That sense of inner peace, joy, enlightenment, harmony.  It really is a deep feeling and can only be experienced by this unbelievable sensation of high powered jolt to the soul.

I invite you to be vulnerable and offer yourself the gift of taking care of your mental health, your emotional self-care.  You are worth it, you exist in this world and every human would benefit greatly from mental health care. 

Daily practice

As mentioned above start with what you need, what works for you.  

  • Do not give up or beat yourself up if you miss a day.  
  • Allow yourself small rewarding activities that make your heart sing.  
  • Get outdoors if you can even if it means sitting on your front porch because that is all you can do at that moment in time.
  • Allow yourself to feel.  Let it out, cry, vent, write it out in a diary or type it out on your phone.  Allow yourself to feel, to start to heal. 
  • Seek help
  • Re-evaluate the 7 elements every so often to see if your self-care methods work for you.  Life changes and maybe certain thing will need readjustment 

After asking a few people what was their favourite self-care activities here are a few ideas that may spark your soul.

  • Reading a favourite book
  • Outdoor walk
  • Hitting the gym
  • Taking a bath
  • Spa days
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Mindspills
  • Home facials
  • Naps
  • Going to bed early
  • Healthy lunches
  • A good dessert
  • Movie nights
  • Un-plugging from social media
  • Painting
  • Dancing
  • Mindfulness
  • Practice the present moment
  • Juicing
  • Yoga
  • Breathwork
  • Writing
  • Doing nothing 
  • A physical sport
  • Taking time to go away for the weekend

And I am sure there is so much more that can be added to this list. 

I invite you to embrace and enjoy this self-care journey.  To connect yourself by bringing harmony to your mind, body and soul.  To take all the time needed to take care of yourself because this life is a journey filled with beauty, bad days, good day, happiness and anger.  You learn to embrace all of it by opening up to need possibilities and setting boundaries.  You be you!

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During an accompaniment with a client, I bring a safe environment to offer an expansion of the mind.  Respecting the client’s evolution I ask questions to contribute to their solutions towards a goal they may have difficulty reaching.    Often, clients, humans, tell themselves stories from past experiences, and emotions that may have caused pain and this keeps them from moving forward with reaching their goals.  Often, once the problem has been addressed, the subconscious mind offers clues and solutions to the conscious mind.

The client often feels signs of release.  Which results in time to bring peace, harmony and happiness in their lives.

Lorsque je travaille avec un client, je crée un environnement sûr et favorable dans lequel il peut explorer ses pensées et ses sentiments. Respecter l’évolution du client et viser à l’aider à contribuer à ses solutions tout en respectant ses objectifs. Les clients racontent souvent des expériences et des émotions passées dans le but d’éviter d’aller de l’avant avec leurs objectifs. Souvent, lorsqu’un problème est résolu, l’esprit subconscient offre des indices et des solutions à l’esprit conscient. Le client éprouve souvent des sentiments de libération, ce qui lui permet de se ressentir la paix, l’harmonie et le bonheur dans sa vie

Melanie Kis is a professional certified NLP coach with over 10 years of experience in the health and wellness field.  She brings science, spirituality and experience to mind, body and soul. 

She guides women to find solutions to goals they want to achieve.  This can range from building self-confidence, overcoming burnout and stress, weight issues or achieving love for who they are.   To live in harmony, calm, happiness and feeling at peace is a possibility for all.


❤❤ It’s not just about the body.  My mission is to bring light, and expansion to align mind, body and soul to all women who seek evolution in their wellness for life, to bring wholeness.



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