Many people might overlook this aspect of self-care, despite its absolute importance for maintaining our mental health. pea
Regardless of your religious beliefs, do not fall into the error of reading this section quickly or skipping it completely. Indeed, taking care of oneself spiritually is not only about simply believing in a deity but about the connection with something greater than ourselves, and applies to atheists, agnostics and non-religious people.
True, due to a rise in modern reliance on reason over faith, Americans seem to be looking less and less to religious institutions to define their social, cultural, and moral identities. A growing share of Americans is beginning to define themselves as “spiritual but not religious”, at an increase of 8% between 2012 and 2017. This, according to the Pew Research Center does not describe a moral deficit, but rather, new expressions of one’s spirituality.
Spiritual self-care corresponds to maintaining contact with your values and what really matters to you. This type of self-care allows you to have long-term goals in life and to develop a sense of belonging to a noble and important cause.
Here are the main tips to increase attention towards your spiritual self-care:
Engage in Regular Reflection.
Whether it is through meditation or prayer, take the time to think about the ultimate goal of your existence, and what you are seeking out of life.
Be open to inspiration
Allow yourself to be inspired. Seek out inspirational videos or Ted Talks, read inspirational literature or quotes, or even listen to that podcast of that famous person you admire. Find ways to lean into your optimism and hope for the future, and allow that to inform your daily identity.
Be open to not knowing
Try at times not to not have to be in charge or to be the expert. Allow yourself to learn from others, ask questions, and admit that you don’t have it all figured out. Find the courage to ask for help, and embrace your own vulnerability.
Be open to creativity
Be creative, whether through art, music, writing or anything else. Sing your heart out, or pour yourself fully into the art of making.
Engage in Meaning-Making.
Lean into the nonmaterial aspects of life: spend time in thought about what you are passionate about, whether it is a relationship, person, or project. Identify what is means to you and notice its place in your life, whether that is spending time with children, nurturing a connection to a spiritual community, or contributing to causes in which you believe. Give of yourself, and volunteer as often as possible.
Engage in Thoughtful Thinking.
If you believe in a specific religion, find out more about the roots of your beliefs and perhaps even explore the shared beliefs and nuances of other religions as well. Read poetry from similar time periods or track philosophical thought throughout the ages.
And while it’s important to take time to think critically about religion, also allow yourself to get lost in its message. Spend time in nature, and allow yourself to get swept up into experiences of awe and wonder.
Next Up: Relational Self-Care