Alright, let’s talk about this meat suit you’ve been assigned to live in while you’re kickin’ it here on Earth. Chances are you’ve got a pretty complicated relationship with it. Am I right? And despite living in it your entire life, it’s still a bit of a mystery to you.
Well, my friend, that’s because no one has ever given you an instruction manual on how to manage your ever-evolving brain and body in this ever-evolving world.
In today’s post we’re gonna get real frickin’ clear about that meat suit you’re living in, and learn ways to enhance your human experience while you’re here.
Welcome to the blogcast, Unlocking Wellness! I’m Crystal McLain, curator of Crystal McLain Creative, an online community and resource dedicated to sharing empowering, creative care for the mind, body, and mother-lovin’ soul.
If you’d like to learn more about all that I have to offer you can visit me at crystalmclaincreative.com. And if you enjoy the content I’m creating, and would like to support my work, you can join the The Dream Team at Patreon and score some sweet perks in return. Memberships start at just $3/month.
Alright. Let's get to it.
So, if you’ve been around, you know that self care is so much more than diet and exercise, and it goes way beyond spa treatments and bubble baths - not that there’s anything wrong with these things. But self care is a collection of actions that vary from day to day that support immunity, vitality, and emotional wellbeing.
But it’s not always clear what we could be doing to achieve these things.
Today we’re gonna sort out what it means to be a human organism, and learn ways to care for ourselves more effectively.
So, for starters, let me just say, BEING a human is the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do.
It’s also the only thing you’ll ever have to do…
But anyway, it’s tricky, especially since (at least here in the western world), our societal systems are not necessarily designed to ensure that we thrive. Between capitalism, colonialism, and the patriarchy, the majority of us are working way harder at just trying to maintain a life where our basic needs are being met. And I’m not trying to make this post political, but we have to understand that the majority of the population are kind of living on survival mode.
And when you’re simply just trying to make it through the day to ensure that you and your loved ones have your basic needs met, anything we call ‘self care’ can feel frivolous, exhausting, or impossible.
Let me be the first to congratulate you on how well you’re actually doing.
You are here, with these words, looking for ways to live a life that feels more nourishing, rewarding, and sustainable.
And you deserve every bit of that. And I am here to do my best to help you find ways to get there.
Alright, let’s carry on.
So, the human has a lot of moving parts. It’s got a bunch of squishy, intricate, internal gadgets, and an electrical system that’s straight up bonkers. Its programming is dictated by genetics, environment, and personal experience. It perceives, processes, and responds to a wide range of stimuli including external influences, physical sensations and psychological emotions, which, btw, directly impact the wellbeing of the organism. And it has these things called consciousness and ego, which are the tools it uses to identify itself and the world that it lives in.
It’s a circus up in here.
And because it is so complicated, it’s kinda tricky to know exactly what we need for self care. And that’s why things like diet, exercise, and a soak in the tub just don’t solve all our problems,
But I have an approach to self care that takes some of the mystery away, and helps us determine what our mind, body, and soul are asking from us.
I like to organize this chaotic mess into six different categories of SELF.
We’ve got the mental, practical, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual selves.
And, because of the uniqueness of each human organism, we’re going to identify with each of these selves differently.
And THAT means that how we go about caring for each of our selves will also be different.
That said, there ARE some fundamental, universal laws to wellness. Like, we all NEED nutrition, hydration, oxygen, movement, and rest. But how we go about having these needs met will vary. I’d also like to point out that these are the BARE MINIMUM for survival. If we want to thrive we also need things like safety, security, confidence and connection.
But we’ll get into all that later.
For now let’s take a look at each of these selves so we can understand them a little bit better.
Oh! And I guess tell you, I have a digital download called, “Making Sense of Self Care”. And it takes you through all of the selves, and helps you personally identify each one. There’s also a self care tool box, a cheat sheet for hacking your hormones, a feelings wheel, and a bunch of other things. It’s $3 at my website, or free if you’re a member of the Dream Team at Patreon. I’ll leave links to both things in the show notes below.
Anyway, back to the categories of self…
1. MENTAL SELF
The self that thinks critically, rationally, makes plans and solves problems.
2. PRACTICAL SELF
The self that manages daily tasks and regular responsibilities.
3. SOCIAL SELF
The self that determines what role you play in different relationships and social situations.
4. EMOTIONAL SELF
The self that experiences, manages and reflects on feelings and emotions.
5. PHYSICAL SELF
The self that is your entire physical body (blood, bones, organs, skin, hair, everything).
6. SPIRITUAL SELF
The self that connects with something bigger than the ego. The truest form of self that lives without judgement.
Now, these are super basic definitions, and it’s up to you to determine how YOU identify each one. And it’s important that you do this because it's the most effective way to take care of yourself.
MAKE IT PERSONAL
Alright, so, we’ve got the six basic selves. Let’s talk about how to personally identify them.
Essentially, you’re just going to take the time to really sit and think about who you are.
Like, when it comes to your mental self, what comes to mind when you think about focusing, learning, and problem solving? What’s your approach? What’s your mindset? What’s your attitude towards these things? How do you identify your mental self?
And I urge you to resist being judgmental.
Now, it’s perfectly fine to state facts like, “I’m easily distracted or overwhelmed” It’s NOT okay to say things like, “I’m stupid, or, I’m dumb.”
Because judgmental statements are bullshit. They’re not helpful. They’re not going to make you feel good about yourself. And they’re not a part of self care, self love, or empowerment.
So, shut up.
I love you. You are smart, and valuable, and wonderful, and you need to be kind to yourself.
The truth is, nobody is perfect. Some of us get distracted. Some of us get overwhelmed. That’s neither good nor bad, it just is.
And when we recognize and accept who we truly are, or HOW we truly are, we’re better able to take care of ourselves.
Which leads me to this next step…
MAKE IT GROW
Alright. So, you’ve personally identified each one of your selves. Now it’s time to figure out how to make those bitches grow.
For simplicity’s sake, let’s stick with the mental self example.
Again, this is another exercise in self awareness. When it comes to your mental health what do you find supportive? What helps you focus? When you’re feeling overwhelmed, what settles and centers you? What types of activities help clear your mind and make you feel confident?
Spoiler alert, there’s probably more than one thing that you can do to care for yourself effectively. And you may not even know what those things are…yet. And that’s okay. That’s why you’re here.
That’s why I’m all about CREATIVE care for the mind, body, and mother-lovin’ soul.
It is our responsibility to explore the world of wellness and experiment with different types of self care, and find what works for us.
Now, this might sound like a daunting task. And I won’t lie, sometimes it can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re diving into the really meaty stuff. But it really doesn’t have to be, especially if we maintain a positive, growth mindset.
Taking care of ourselves is a good thing. It is the highest form of self love and self respect, and the most efficient way we can empower ourselves.
Alright. I’ve got some more good news for you…
IT’S ALL CONNECTED
When you’re getting all self aware, and honing in on your individual self care needs, and actively tending to a specific part of yourself, you’re actually benefitting from your actions as a whole organism.
What I mean by this is, there is no part of you that is independent from another part of you. If you take care of, say, your mental health, you’re going to positively impact your physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and practical selves as well. And likewise for any other self you decide to focus on.
That’s because your mind, body, and soul’s wellness are interdependent on one another. You are a WHOLE organism.
Likewise, when we ignore things like our emotional wounds, or the stack of bills that keep piling up, or the pain that’s happening in our shoulder, it eats away at the rest of our selves.
Anyway, this is how we create balance and wholeness.
It’s not about spending equal time working, and socializing, and having a creative hobby, and exercising, and caring for your family, and eating vegetables.
It’s about taking a good look at all of our selves, and determining which one needs our attention first. We listen to, and honor what our mind, body and soul are asking of us. And then we give it to them. And when we lift up that piece of our self, the rest of them are going to benefit and fucking rejoice.
It’s a beautiful thing.
And when you take the time to do all this, you’re going to feel so much better.
Alright my friend. If you’d like to dive even deeper into this topic, and get even more tips, or you’d like my digital download for free, you can join me and The Dream Team over at Patreon. I will leave links for you below in the show notes, or you can catch me at the website, crystalmclaincreative.com.
I love you.
I appreciate you.
Thank you for being here.
And I will see you soon.