Fulufhelo Tambani, NSCF Hub

I was introduced to the term ‘self care’ by the NSCF-contracted organisational development facilitators, Desiree Paulsen and Ilze Olckers. You may also recall that this theme was quite eminent during the NSCF Forum in March.

According to Oxford Languages dictionary, self-care is defined as the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

You will agree with me that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought a lot of trauma, stress, anxiety, sadness, tension, depression, anger, fatigue, and confusion. According to a research article on Frontiers in Psychology, all this is caused by fear and loss; fear of getting sick and dying of self and loved ones, fear of isolation, as well as loss of income, social support, and a sense of normality.

Most self care content I have been exposed to suggest a lot of effective activities one can do to be one’s best self and to overcome the negative emotions brought on by the pandemic. Many people struggle to keep up and stay consistent with these activities.

However, there is one practice that is hardly shared or included in self care activities: taking care of the spiritual self. Many of us were brought up in and were taught religious or spiritual beliefs and practices. However, many of us have lost these beliefs and practices along the way.

A colleague recently shared how they have been struggling with keeping up with meditation. Many religions and spiritual paths have meditation as a practice, and because we know and are already used to our religions and their practices, we would be getting the benefits of meditation in a way that doesn’t take too much work. However, it does take a conscious effort to entrench our rituals and practices in our daily lives.

Personally, I have recently found my way back to my religion. I have found that this has brought me to a good balance; I feel stable. Though I am not practicing other self care activities, I find that this one religious practice carries more weight than all the other ones combined. One small habit can make all the difference.

I hope you will find your way back to taking care of your spiritual self and find refuge there.