The five pillars of self-care

April 17, 2018
pillars of self-care

What are the five pillars of self-care?

The five pillars of self-care (emotional, physical, social, spiritual and intellectual) make up parts of our lives we need to focus on and nourish. In an ideal world, we should try to think about them regularly to see if we’re in alignment.

However, let’s be honest, it’s easy to let things fall by the wayside when we get busy or try to bury our head in the sand about issues we don’t want to face.

It’s fundamentally important that try to we ensure our needs are being met as humans. We should be prioritising our emotional, physical health and wellbeing to help us become the best possible versions of ourselves.

So it can be very worthwhile to probe deeper to try and gain an understanding of what areas we might be neglecting. And if we are, what can we do to resolve it?

Every month or so, it might be worthwhile to take a bit of time out to explore how you’re feeling in each of these areas and if there are any that you want to focus on more?

Or use the questions below to see where you are.

Are you in alignment? Measuring yourself against the five pillars of self-care.

Emotional and mental wellbeing

How are you feeling emotionally? How is your mental health? Are you overwhelmed, stressed, lethargic, down, close to tears? Do you feel anxious, depressed or flat? How are your relationships with others? Are they positive? Are you behaving with kindness or are you quick to snap/judge? Any of these factors may suggest you need to focus on your mental and emotional wellbeing.

Physical health

How is your overall health? Do you have any existing health conditions? Are you sleeping, eating well, drinking enough water and not too much alcohol? Are you showering, brushing your teeth, washing your clothes? Are you exercising? Do you have a preferred physical activity? Do you have any injuries or ailments? Do you have a regular routine and build in rest and relaxation?


Do you have friends and/or family who support you when times get tough? Equally, do you make time for fun? Are you lonely? Is there more you could be doing to build a network? Are you also making enough time for other people (and not just focusing on yourself)?


Are you thinking about your purpose in life and the values and beliefs that drive you? Are you taking the time to reflect on what motivates you and what from your past may be stopping you from moving forward? Gaining greater understanding of your own self can help you to live a happier and more purposeful life.


Are you challenging yourself to learn and try new things? Are you thinking about your self-development and personal growth? Are you travelling and/or reading about different people and cultures? Are you expanding your horizons through film and literature. We all have to change and evolve throughout our lifetimes.

Do you need a self-care audit?

How to practice self-care

Have you thought about carrying out a self-care audit? I’ve created a template for you to work through so you can check in and understand how you’re feeling and if there are any areas you need to spend more time on.

It’s worth doing regularly because our circumstances and situations change. What matters today, may not be the same next week, month or year.

Many of us have a tendency to put ourselves last and we need to remember self-care is a way of ensuring we can look after others too.

you can’t pour from an empty cup

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