It’s easy to focus on externally caring for your body. Things like proper hygiene, taking allergy medication, and even dressing to inspire confidence are all common solutions to many of life’s daily problems.
However, it’s often the ways that we internally feed our mind, body, and soul that make an even bigger difference. If you’re struggling with depression, excessive stress, or any other mental health concern, you may want to take an introspective look to see if you’re properly caring for yourself and what internally-focused remedies might help you in that process. And in 2020, when many of us are low on resilience and tired, a check in is vital.
Here are some simple-yet-profound questions to help you analyze your inner condition by considering what you consume physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Are You Caring for the Essentials?
It’s difficult to care for yourself on a mental, emotional, and spiritual level if you haven’t given your body its basic needs first. Physical health is a key part of a holistic approach to life. With that in mind, it’s good to take the time to ensure that you’re properly caring for your body’s essentials, such as:
- Getting enough sleep — typically 7 to 9 hours per night.
- Eating healthy food in proper portions.
- Drinking plenty of water — usually around 12 to 16 cups per day.
- Getting plenty of exercise — which also helps with anxiety and depression.
While the physical should hardly be your only focus, it’s important to care for your body’s basic needs.
Do You Validate Your Experiences?
Often inner turmoil and emotional and mental stress can come from the simple fact that you feel guilty or wrong about something that is largely out of your control. If this is the case, often validating your experiences — i.e. reflecting on experiences, not to judge them but to better understand them — can be a good solution.
For instance, if you suffer from depression, you may feel deeply ashamed and emotionally crippled. However, if you try to understand your depression outside of those feelings of failure, you may find it much easier to begin the journey towards true healing and recovery.
Have You Tried Stress-Reducing Techniques?
Stress isn’t bad, it’s a normal part of life. However, excessive stress can be debilitating. If you find that stress is overwhelming you, try to reduce the stress rather than eliminate or control it. Trying to control stress is like attempting to squeeze a bar of soap, and it’s likely only going to lead to greater stress. Instead, try practicing different stress-reducing techniques, such as:
- Understanding your triggers.
- Socializing with people that you love.
- Practicing mindfulness, thankfulness, and gratefulness.
- Trying deep breathing exercises.
Learning to reduce the effects of stress can do wonders on maintaining inner peace and serenity.
Do You Try New Things?
Sometimes, even when things like stress, anxiety, and depression aren’t an issue, you can still struggle with simply being bored — and boredom is a dangerous thing to allow to fester in your mind. If you’re struggling with disinterest or apathy toward life, it’s a good idea to actively look for ways to spark your creativity, such as:
- Improving existing activities: For example, if you’re the source of food for your household, taking a cooking class can be very informative. Even if you’re not interested in a class, you can hone in on a culinary interest. If you like a nice glass of wine, try learning new ways to use it in your cooking.
- Cultivating a new skill: Writing, woodwork, painting; endless skills are waiting to be mastered, and each one will provide you with a challenge to overcome and a sense of satisfaction afterward.
- Finding a new hobby: A hobby, like gardening, can provide mental challenges through learning about things like gardening styles and planting zones, physical exercise through activity, and emotional and spiritual fulfillment through working outside with your hands.
Are You Regularly Reviewing Your Relationships and Entertainment?
Finally, if you want to care for your soul from the inside out, you must consider how it’s affected by what you are already putting into it, for example:
- Are you spending time focused on toxic relationships that suck away your energy without giving back?
- Do you have an unhealthy intake of negative news on the television or with your various notifications and devices?
- Are you on social media excessively without seeking out genuine, in-person interactions?
If you find that you’re focused on negative interactions and entertainment outlets, it can feed a general sense of despondency and negativity in your life. Instead, look for ways to detach from negative influences and replace them with healthy, balanced relationships and more wholesome entertainment options that still line up with your interests.
Feeding Your Soul from the Inside Out
There are many ways that you can care for yourself from the inside out. If you truly want to holistically address your inner spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical condition, though, you must be willing to ask yourself probing questions, such as:
- Are you caring for your basic physical essentials?
- Do you allow yourself to validate past experiences?
- Have you tried to use stress-reducing techniques?
- Do you ever try new things?
- Are you in the habit of reviewing relationships and entertainment on a regular basis?
As you mull over your answers, this can help you pinpoint areas that you may need to attend to in your personal life. This, in turn, can help set you on a course that feeds your soul and helps you remain positive and healthy for years to come.
Has 2020 left you feeling overwhelmed and worn down? Are you struggling to keep up? Here’s what you need to do: Contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation on how we can best help you or book online now.
Adrian is a writer and adventurer living in the Pacific Northwest of the USA. Read her work here.