Standard Scale Domains

  • Physical Care
    Physical self-care includes basic nutrition, hydration, and exercise practices. A healthy body responds to the unavoidable stress in life better than an unhealthy body (Davis et al. 2008 ). Nutrition and hydration self-care practices include eating a healthy amount of nourishing foods and engaging in the planning needed to make that happen (Cook-Cottone 2015b ; Story et al. 2008 ).
  • Supportive Relationships
    Supportive relationships are believed to enhance wellbeing (Cook-Cottone 2015b ; Norcross and Guy 2007 ) as well. It is important to make a distinction between simply having relationships and engaging in healthy and supportive relationships (Cook-Cottone 2015b ). An example of supportive relationships is the use of community support groups (McCusker et al. 2015 ). A counter-example is a relationship in which an individual feels as if he or she cannot say, No. This is related to the notion that an important aspect of healthy relationships is appropriate boundaries (Norcross and Guy 2007 ; Sayrs 2012 ).
  • Mindful Awareness
    “Specifically, self-awareness and mindfulness may be fundamental and unique features of mindful self-care (Shapiro et al. 2007 ). Self-awareness and mindfulness self-care practices include formal (i.e.,intentional practice) and informal (i.e., having a mindful awareness of daily activities) mindful and yoga practices. Self-awareness, one-mindedness, and active practices such as meditation and yoga are increasingly acknowledged for their effectiveness as self-care practices (Linehan 1993 ; Norcross and Guy 2007 ; Sayrs 2012 ; Shapiro and Carlson 2009 ). Adding a layer of mindful awareness, Riegel et al. (2012) described mindful self-care as having two layers: (a) mindful awareness within the actual self-care practices (i.e., informal and formal), as well as (b) an overall monitoring and a reflection upon the sufficiency of overall self-care.”
  • Self-Compassion and Purpose
    The practice of self-compassion allows an individual to maintain a growth mindset in the face of struggle and failure (Cook-Cottone 2015b; Neff 2011) and may play a role in self-regulation (Iskender and Akin 2011; Van Vliet and Kalnins 2011; Vettese et al. 2011)... Further, a sense of purpose or mission may function like a spiritual, long-term goal (Cook-Cottone 2015b; Norcross and Guy 2007; Sayrs 2012). That is, purpose can be a source of strength and meaning during the difficult and challenging times, giving an individual a reason to pick him or herself up by the proverbial bootstraps and persevere (Norcross and Guy 2007).
  • Mindful Relaxation
    Mindful relaxation practices can be described as techniques for self-soothing, calming, and relaxation. Self-soothing is believed to be an effective tool in emotional regulation (Linehan 1993). Self-soothing is a positive, healthy response to feeling stressed, being in distress, or an intense emotional reaction. Self-soothing can be in response to a trigger and planned as a preventative tool (Davis et al. 2008; Norcross and Guy 2007).” (Cook-Cottone & Guyker, 2018, p. 162)
  • Supportive Structure
    Finally, Norcross and Guy ( 2007 ) noted that most approaches to self-care focus on changing the behaviors of the individual without adequately addressing environmental factors. An individual’s physical environment can affect wellbeing (Cook-Cottone 2015b ; Norcross and Guy 2007). There are several aspects of one’s physical space that may matter. The comfort and appeal of lighting, furniture, decorations, flooring, and windows can make a difference in the overall tone of a space (Norcross and Guy 2007 ). Barriers to daily functioning can play a large role in stress. Environmental micro-stressors can aggregate, chipping away at an individual’s resiliency and ability to cope (Cook-Cottone 2015b ). The environmental factor domain also addresses maintaining an organized work space, balancing work for others and addressing your own initiatives, wearing suitable clothes, and doing small things to make each day a little bit better (Cook-Cottone 2015b ).