Dimensions to Self Care

When I hear the word "dimension" I don't think of it in relation to self-care" do you? The first definition of dimension is "a measurable extent of some kind, such as length, breadth, depth or height." The second definition is "an aspect or feature of a situation, problem, or thing."

To get to the real nitty gritty of self-care we need to explore its dimensions.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has identified eight dimensions of wellness to focus on to optimize health.

The eight dimensions include: emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, environmental, financial, occupational, and social.

1. Emotional - building satisfying relationships with others

It's also about a regulation of feelings, about checking in with yourself on a daily basis. We spend so much time with devices, sometimes it's good to spend some time in the stillness, in the quiet.

2. Spiritual - values and beliefs, finding meaning and purpose in something bigger than yourself

Not necessarily a religious connection. But if you are a believer, then it is the connection to your higher power, the one who helps you through your darkest moments, the one you pray to on bended knee.

3. Intellectual - seeking out ways to use your knowledge, skills and even creativity

When I was a little girl my mother used to bring home coloring books and we colored together. I'm by no means an expert, but I dabble in jewelry making, sewing and other crafts. A lot of us stopped drawing or creating years ago, but it didn't stop being good for us. There's woodworking, gardening, cooking, baking, use your imagination. Find something you can create.

4. Physical - moving your body, good nutrition, getting enough sleep, and health care

We all know exercise in some form is good for us, find one that works for your health, this dimension also includes your sexual health. And sure those heels are cute, but girl you know they hurt your feet - so don't wear them, that's also apart of this dimension. We were taught the saying "pain is beauty." Well as my age crept up in numbers and my hourglass figure started leaving due to middle age spread, I adopted what my body was telling me "comfort is better" and I kept it moving. I had to find my own ways of being grown and sexy! Yes I have continued to chase the elusive "brickhouse" figure I used to have by exercising, but I'm not gonna lie. I'm not following doctor's orders quite exactly, I'm constantly a work in progress on the exercise front.

5. Environmental - social and natural surroundings in the home effect environmental wellness

Being healthy mentally and physically can be directly connected to your environment, this dimension includes clutter, pollution, and violence in the home.

[National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233/National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673]

6. Financial - a feeling of satisfaction based on financial stability minimizes worry

I was dating a guy who was a dreamer, he was down on his luck and I was standing by him hoping he would soon get on his feet. He asked, "What's important to you, what could I give you?" My answer, "Stability." He was dumbfounded, he thought I was gonna say a big house or expensive car. Those things are nice, but not as important to me as stability. I had a house and a nice car. Sure the house could have been bigger and nicer. My car was nice but it had some age on it and it wasn't a top of the line luxury car. But stability is what's important to me. Each person is different, whatever pleases you is your choice and it's what fulfills this dimension.

7. Occupational - balancing work, family, and managing workplace stress

The daily struggle of a working mama is trying to navigate holding down a full time job while trying to be a good mother, while also balancing family responsibilities. It can be done and that's why I'm here. It means making the decision and commitment to honoring yourself daily with self-care along with some strategizing.

8. Social - creating a network of supporting family and friends, co-workers or organizations

I've spent most of my adult life living in cities thousands of miles away from my family. Therefore I've always had to create a network of friends who've become family to me in the different states I've lived. Long before I learned about this dimension I was already living it.

See this article for more detailed information. https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/8-dimensions-of-wellness-where-do-you-fit-in-0527164


A quick Google or Bing search will show there are either 5, 6, 7 self-care dimensions, or the 8 I've listed. Regardless of what framework you follow, the core is still the same: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social. Mental is what I referred to above as intellectual.


Look out for my future posts on the dimensions of self-care since there is still much to be said. When setting goals for self-care I don't believe it's necessary you are hitting all the dimensions in order to have a good practice. All that's necess