From Self-Care to Self-Growth: Steps to Live a Flourishing Life this Year!

Posted on January 9, 2024 by Derek Bell, MS, CWP

Updated January 25, 2024

At some point in our lives, we’ve all recognized the importance of self-care. It seems like a no brainer—who wouldn’t want to prioritize their own well-being? Self-care involves methods for maintaining mental and physical health, encompassing actions to promote health and happiness.  

When thinking about self-care, we usually consider activities that involve nurturing and fostering a healthy and positive relationship with oneself. These practices are important because they give us a chance to consider healthy actions that can reduce stress and support our overall health and well-being.  

However, the term “self-care” is often misunderstood because it is not just about massages and retreats. More importantly, self-care is not a quick fix for deeper and more critical mental health concerns. This requires a deeper exploration of oneself, involving self-reflection, understanding needs and values, personal growth and seeking professional support when necessary – extending beyond traditional self-care practices.   

By extending our ideas about self-care, we can move deeper into methods that develop our personal growth and fulfillment. This begins to shift our thinking from care to flourishing. Flourishing is a comprehensive approach to life that goes beyond surface-level practices. It involves intentional growth, the pursuit of passions, and the cultivation of a meaningful and purposeful existence. It requires a commitment to self-discovery, positive habits, and a continuous journey towards becoming the best version of oneself. 

While self-care is a foundation for well-being, embracing a more holistic and intimate approach to personal growth through flourishing helps cultivate resilience, navigate life’s challenges and experience profound fulfillment beyond conventional practices. Practicing flourishing deepens our relationship to ourselves and through simple practices, can begin to re-define our concepts around self-care and nourishment.  

Simple steps to flourish in the new year

  1. Gratitude journaling. This creative practice cultivates a positive mindset, shifting your focus towards appreciation and abundance. Keep a gratitude journal where you jot down things you are thankful for.
  2. Exercise. Incorporating regular movement into your day can make a difference. Whether it's a brisk walk, individual workout, or fitness class, physical activity contributes to your physical well-being and has profound effects on mental health, boosting mood and reducing stress. 
  3. Pursue hobbies and passion projects. Engaging in hobbies and passion projects provides a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. It's an essential aspect of self-nourishment for your soul and contributes to a balanced, happy life.  
  4. Choose learning and growth. What we know about well-being is that personal development, involving growth through learning and skill development is essential to promoting flourishing. Read, take a class, or even just take a risk and try something new! 
  5. Practice presence: Take stock of micro-moments of joy and moments for reflection. Incorporate mindfulness and relaxation practices into your daily routine. Often times these are the best moments of your day. These not only alleviate stress but also promote mental clarity and emotional balance.
  6. Nurture your social connections: Spending quality time with friends and family contributes significantly to your emotional well-being. Foster meaningful relationships that provide support, understanding, and joy. 
  7. Set realistic and attainable goals. Break them down into smaller, manageable steps. Setting realistic goals ensures a sense of accomplishment and motivates ongoing personal growth. 
  8. Financial planning for stability. Include financial well-being in your flourishing plan. Create a budget, save intentionally, and plan for the future. Financial stability contributes to peace of mind and allows you to focus on other aspects of your life without unnecessary stress. 
  9. Give you and others grace and space: This is how we practice self-compassion. Be kind to others—including yourself. Understand that flourishing is a journey, not a destination. Embrace the process, celebrate achievements, and learn from challenges with a sense of self-compassion. 
  10. Utilize your Employee Assistance Program (EAP): Tap into your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for personalized support. EAP services often cover mental health support, financial counseling, and resources for lifestyle management. Take advantage of these offerings to address specific needs and enhance your overall well-being.  

We Can Help

As part of your EAP through VITAL WorkLife, you have access to counseling, coaching and other well-being related resources to help guide you through challenges, or ways to prioritize yourself in 2024. VITAL WorkLife is also here to support you in all dimensions of well-being—including physical, relational, emotional, professional, meaning & purpose, legal and financial. For counseling, coaching and other resources contact us at 800.383.1908, through the VITAL WorkLife App or contact us online. 

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