Four pillars of self-care: embracing whole self wellness

I'm Emma!

Creative success coach, Photographer, rescue dog mom, book worm, INFJ, Enneagram 3, doing my best to be mindful, kind & help people be their most authentic, purposeful selves.


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Self-care isn’t a trend, it isn’t something just for funemployed people, it doesn’t have to involve multiple spa days, it’s not selfish and it is fundamental to our wellbeing. Yet, I see so many of my coaching clients looking for my help because they’re exhausted, fed up and burntout as a result of not prioritising their self-care needs.

Let’s dive into what self-care is and isn’t, the four life areas it’s applicable to, why it matters and how you can integrate it into your daily routine.

  1. Physical Self-Care

Taking care of your body a.k.a. earthly vehicle is the cornerstone of self-care. Physical self-care means: getting enough sleep, eating foods that nourish your body, listening to your body’s signals (it’ll tell you when something’s not right) and some form of regular movement or exercise. It can also mean going for a massage or getting a pedicure, but fundamentally it’s about taking good day to day care of your physical self.

  1. Emotional Self-Care

Understanding, acknowledging and processing your emotions is an act of self-care. When you hold feelings inside they cause stress and tension in our bodies and can ultimately cause dis-ease. Making the time to work through difficult feelings that come up by journaling, working with a coach or therapist, EFT tapping or learning and practicing stress management techniques like mediation and HeartMath (get in touch with me to find out more about this) are invaluable emotional self-care practices.

  1. Mental Self-Care

Humans crave connection. Your social support structure and relationships massively impact your mental wellbeing. Fostering healthy relationships with friends and family, as well as having clear boundaries with the same people will ensure that your interactions are life enhancing and positive rather than draining. Loneliness is a common problem, especially post–pandemic when so much of our previously in-person interactions have been taken online. Community is an incredibly important antidote. I remember feeling very isolated and alone when my daughter was born, going to new mom groups and making friends with people who were at a similar life stage to me was invaluable for my mental health.

  1. Spiritual Self-Care

Life purpose and feeling like there’s some sort of meaning to your work and your ‘why’ for showing up in the world are the foundations of spiritual well being. This doesn’t have to mean religious beliefs; it’s about exploring what brings you a sense of connection, purpose and inner peace. A gratitude practice, daily meditation, spending time in nature and doing work that not only matters to me, but also helps other people improve their lives are what keeps me feeling spiritually fulfilled. I have also delved into using plant medicine to deepen my connection to and understanding of myself – you can find out more about this on my podcast here.

These four self-care pillars aren’t isolated: they intertwine and support one another. A holistic approach to self-care means balancing all four aspects: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual in a way that feels right for you. 

When you invest the time and effort in daily self-care, you’ll find you’re calmer, more emotionally resilient, better equipped to handle life’s inevitable challenges, support others and lead a more fulfilling existence.

As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup….

Listen to my self-care podcast episode here:

Listen to my podcast where I share my journey with plant medicine here:

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I'm a coach, creative, mentor & photographer with over 18 years of experience as a successful entrepreneur.

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