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Mind, Body, and Soul Care

July 21, 2022

In a busy world, it can be challenging to remember to pause and take inventory of how you’re doing emotionally and mentally. With endless to-do lists and constant overstimulation from the news and navigating life in the pandemic, it’s hard to focus on anything other than just getting through the day. Do you ever feel like you’re moving through your days on autopilot? If so, that feeling is the body’s way of coping with stress by switching into survival mode.

Everyone deserves a life that they can be present to experience. How do we shift ourselves out of survival mode into a more present-filled life?

Self-care has become a buzz word as people search for ways to prioritize their emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Sometimes people struggle to take time for themselves amidst a busy schedule, but I think it’s also important to check in and see if the self-care activities you are engaging in are bringing you the restoration that you desire. I have found that the most impactful self-care activities that I’ve engaged in are ones that also restore my soul’s longing for peace and fulfillment. I would describe soul care as returning home to yourself in mind, body, and spirit.

When we give our minds, bodies, and souls time to rest, we create space for a deeper check-in regarding our purpose and fulfillment in life. In practicing soul care, we can move past doing things in hopes that they will make us feel better in exchange for engaging in activities in ways that are aligned with what makes us feel fulfilled, ignites passion, and connects us with an opportunity to explore our purpose.

How can you elevate your self-care practices to the level of soul care? Here are five ways to practice creating space for soul care.

  1. Disconnect to reconnect. Distractions can easily strip people of opportunities for self-check-in. Instead of an hour of screen time (phone, tv, computer), try to journal or take a walk. You will be amazed at what thoughts and feelings you might notice surface when you take time for stillness.
  2. Journal. If you enjoy journaling or want to begin practicing this, you may be unsure of where to start. Some questions that you might ask yourself are:
    • How am I feeling today? (Use a feelings wheel to help you if you are unsure of what emotion you’re experiencing)
    • What are my highlights and hard times from this week?
    • What are my values and are my everyday actions in alignment with them?
    • If you find that your actions do not align with what you value, you may consider: What changes do I need to make to create more space for myself to live out my values?
  3. Take a moment for mindfulness. Taking a moment to quiet your thoughts and experience your senses more fully can create space for clarity of mind, restful breathing, and a return to a peaceful state within your nervous system. You can do this through mindful listening, mindful eating, mindful walking, etc. Mindfulness is all about being in the present moment without judgment. Try taking a minute or two of mindfulness daily to allow your body, mind, and spirit to sync, and give yourself a moment of rest.
  4. Dance/Movement. Movement is great for overall wellness and reconnecting with your body. Any form of movement, dance, or exercise can help calm the nervous system and increase joy and pleasure. Movement also helps release stuck emotional and mental energy which can provide relief from stress. Try five minutes of dancing to your favorite song or 15-30 minutes of a workout. Notice how alive you feel afterwards.
  5. Laughter. A good laugh feels like medicine for a stressful spirit. Find moments for laughter daily with a partner, family, or friends. It will increase your endorphins, allow you to find perspective in life challenges, and can help release uncomfortable emotions.

Try one or all these practices and notice how they impact your awareness of your thoughts and feelings. Caring for your mind, body, and soul will help you shift out of survival mode so that you can be present for life’s good moments, live a life in alignment with your values, and address challenges from a healthier mental and emotional space.

Courtney Ragin, MFT is a Staff Therapist at our Center City and University City Offices; she currently sees clients via online therapy. To set-up an appointment, you can reach her at cragin@councilforrelationships.org or 215-382-6680 ext. 7004.