Self-Care Made Easy: The 5 Pillars of Wellness

Hiya Gorgeous!

We all know that key self-care strategies to achieve overall wellness include regular exercise, a healthy diet, and stress management. We also struggle to create and maintain those healthy habits. So, if we know what we need to do, why is it so hard to fit self-care into our lives?

My 5 Pillars of Wellness: A Self-Care Path to Overall Health

While there’s no such thing as a magic habit wand, there is a simple approach to good health and wellness. The 5 pillars are a system I tapped into after years of trial-and-error as the foundation of my self-care practices. As long as you’re engaging each of these pillars in your daily routine, your self-care will be well-supported. So, what are the 5 pillars of wellness?

  • The food you eat
  • What you drink
  • What you think
  • How you rest
  • How you renew

Below, I’ll unpack each pillar and talk about how you can use them to support your own wellness care plans.

Pillar 1: What you eat

Is it any surprise that I’m starting with food? The produce aisle was my first stop after my cancer diagnosis, after all! I will never forget the moment in my Healing Cancer World Summit interview with Dwight McKee, MD when he said, “Cooking is a survival skill.” Boom.

Self-care strategies for eating that promote health and prevent disease include:

  • Cook and eat plenty of fresh foods—specifically, plant-based foods.
  • Cut out processed foods and meat (even if they’re grass-fed meats).
  • Reduce inflammation and improve gut health by adding prebiotic and probiotic foods.
  • Savor the flavors you love while trying healthy, new foods.
  • Learn to access and trust your own inner wisdom regarding the food you eat.

This may sound like a big transformation, but I promise that focusing on nutrition is easier and a lot more fun than you might think. Start with eating your veggies and taking small steps toward a more balanced diet. Today, add one extra serving of veggies on your plate (or in your glass, gorgeous!) and start overcoming your nutritional gaps right away.

Pillar 2: What you drink

If you’ve been following me for a while, then you know how passionate I am about hydration. I feel great, both physically and mentally, when I get enough water.

In fact, drinking water is essential for a healthy immune system. A lack of water in the body can cause a host of problems. These include fever, low blood pressure, tiredness, and it can even mess with the way your brain functions. So, pour yourself a big glass of self-care and make drinking enough water part of your daily life.

To find out how much water you should drink per day, divide your body weight in pounds by two to get the approximate number of ounces you need. If you’re on the metric system, divide your weight in kilograms by 30 to determine how many liters you need.

Pillar 3: What you think

Pillar 3 is all about reducing stress. That’s because stress is the number one catalyst for disease. Practices to manage stress and be kinder to yourself can look different for everyone. Meditation is my personal favorite. In fact, I created a meditation for my Inner Circle Wellness family that’s all about shifting the way you think about your body to celebrate its power instead of criticizing its flaws.

Mindfulness is another useful method for improving mental health. Mindfulness is about noticing your thoughts and feelings—especially those you have about yourself. Then, it’s about letting go of judging your thoughts and feelings. ALL of them, the good, the bad, and everything in between.

Other strategies for emotional self-care include tapping, yoga, and mindful breaks among others. Try different options until you find a practice that works for you. After all, if embracing a positive outlook can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease, why wouldn’t you give it a shot?

Remember: When you change your mind, you transform your life. Positive thinking will help you make giant leaps toward your health and wellness goals.

Pillar 4: How you rest

The fourth pillar of wellness may sound like a snooze, but a good night’s sleep is critical to your overall well-being. I’ve written extensively about sleep because, while we all know it’s a vital part of mind-body self-care, many of us still struggle to get the recommended 7–8 hours per night.

Here are some of the need-to-know details about poor sleep:

The body’s ability to function requires sleep—that’s how important it is! Luckily, there’s a lot you can do with just a little effort to create healthy habits for sleep and improve brain function.

Pillar 5: How you renew

This last pillar is about how you renew. In other words, how you fill up your energy reserves, find joy, and rejuvenate. Strategies can include movement, connection, and play. (Yup, having fun is part of the pillars!)

Let’s start with movement. According to the CDC, less than 25% of Americans get the suggested 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. I don’t think this is because we lack understanding—we all know the health benefits of physical activity (stress reduction, yes please!). It’s because we think exercise is a chore.

So, if you take nothing else away from this pillar, I hope you’ll remember this: Physical activity does not have to be a chore. Try yoga or biking or swimming. Whatever lights you up. You have one beautiful body, so love yourself by exercising for a few minutes today.

Now let’s discuss play! Even as adults, play is essential to our wellbeing. Enjoy a hobby, see great art, take a trip, or recharge at a spa. Your soul comes alive through joy, so if you crave a well-lived life, make play a non-negotiable part of your self-care.

The final part of this pillar is social connection. We need each other. We’re not meant to do life—or wellness—alone, sweetheart. Find yourself a wellness family that will offer you daily reminders to prioritize your self-care and the community you need to make it fun.

Let’s Prioritize Self-Care and Build the Five Pillars of Wellness!

Self-care matters. It steadies you, grounds you, and allows you to bring your best self to every part of your life. Your relationships, work, hobbies and health all see a boost when you take better care of YOU. After all, you deserve it.

Spend just a few minutes a day on each of these five pillars. It’s the easiest way to support your well-being—and start feeling better fast!

Your turn: Which of the 5 pillars will you start with? Let me know in the comments below so we can support each other!

Peace & pillars of wellness,

Kris Carr

P.S. Want to try my best self-care support?

You don’t have to do self-care solo, sweetie! Come try the support we offer in Inner Circle Wellness—my complete self-care solution with wellness coaching, healthy recipes, fun workouts, and more. If you want to stress less, move more, and feel better, it’s for you! Come see what the Inner Circle is all about.