Is your self-care practice 8-dimensional? Or do you tend to focus on just a couple of areas of your life when it comes to your well-being? The problem with a narrow self-care focus is that when we neglect certain areas of our life over long periods of time, there can be significant consequences, like a decline in physical health, strained relationships, ineffectiveness at work, fatigue, and others.
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The 8 Dimensions of Self-Care
The idea for the 8 Dimensions of Self-Care came to me in the middle of the night during one of the heaviest moments of my life. My marriage was failing, and I was facing the dizzying decision of whether to stay or go. I was sleep-deprived and desperate to feel alive again.
And I’m so grateful I discovered self-care when I did.
As I stumbled out of bed into the darkness to sketch out the first draft of the framework, I envisioned a sphere-like structure—everything was interconnected. Each dimension was unique, yet dependent on the others to be complete. When I sat back to see the circular diagram in front of me, I felt a jolt of excitement. I knew it was the beginning of something important, even if only to piece my own life back together.
Here's an overview of the 8 Dimensions of Self-Care framework:
- Systemic: How you eat, move and rest
- Emotive: How you express yourself
- Luminescent: How you illuminate your inner truth
- Financial: How you allocate your resources
- Cognitive: How you think
- Aptitudinal: How you contribute to the world
- Relational: How you connect with others
- Environmental: How you harmonize with nature
NOTE: The first letter of each dimension spells the word SELF CARE
Self-Care is Multidimensional
For the past 20+ years, I've worked in a variety of health care settings as a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes care and education specialist, and what I know to be true is this: optimal well-being involves more than just eating healthy food and exercising.
Much, much more.
In an article that I wrote for The Costco Connection, Take self-care: A multidimensional approach to self-care, I explained just how important this concept is. Most of us tend to gravitate toward certain healthy behaviors. Maybe we eat pretty well, or exercise consistently. But if we aren't addressing all the other important ares of our life, we're putting our health at risk.
Let me ask you this: What would your life be like if you were well-rested, nourished, physically fit, emotionally stable, self-confident, financially secure, optimistic, fulfilled in your career, surrounded by supportive relationships, and living in an environment that brings out the best in you?
My guess is that you'd have a lot more energy to do the things that matter most, the things you love.
The LivingUpp 8 Dimensions of Self-Care framework is designed to help you identify which areas of your life need attention at any given time. This allows you to invest your time and energy more efficiently. It also allows you to see patterns, so you can make adjustments earlier to avoid overfunctioning and burnout.
Self-Care as Healthcare Reform
Self-care is one of the most powerful (and cost-effective) preventive health tools available. And the truth is, we can't afford not to use it.
Healthcare is expensive.
Between insurance premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, copays, and non-covered out-of-pocket expenses, many Americans are one diagnosis away from bankruptcy.
The system itself has become a bureaucratic nightmare to navigate, even if you don’t have a major medical issue. That's why creating daily self-care practices and rituals is so important.
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Information on this website should not be interpreted as providing or replacing medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is intended for adults over the age of 18.