I have been a HUGE advocate of self-care over the last 6 months. But here is what I have been noticing; when people hear the word self-care, their mind automatically thinks bubble baths and face masks. Self-care is so much MORE than that! I truly believe that NOW is as good of a time than ever to master all 7 types of self-care. Think about it, it’s like the perfect reset button. Hear me out on this one and read this article. I promise that I will leave all of the pampering stuff until the end…deal?
1. Physical Self-Care
Lets get physical, physical, I want to get physical…why is it that songs always pop into my head? Ok, but seriously!
This type of self-care involves any activities you deliberately engage in to enhance your physical well-being. It could be improving your physical health such as diet and exercise. But, also means seeing a doctor when you are sick and listening to your body and taking the time to rest.
Physical self-care might mean eating extra fruit and veggies to fuel your body, as well as staying hydrated with enough water.
Taking care of our bodies is a huge component of self-care, but it doesn’t have to include a vigorous exercise routine. It is so important to stay active in a way that is fun and rewarding for you. This could be going for a walk, hiking, playing a sport you enjoy, or taking a yoga class. Remember to find the balance!
For me, it is a walk almost every morning. I can honestly say that it is when some of my best ideas come to light! It is also a great start to my day as I plan out in my head what I’m going to get done. It also is a plus that it is summer right now and it is gorgeous out 😉
2. Emotional Self-Care
Emotional self-care involves caring for your emotional health in order to attain emotional well being. It’s about checking in with yourself, becoming more mindful of your triggers and thinking patterns, and finding ways to work through them, rather than bottling them up inside.
Seriously-It’s okay to cry, to laugh, to feel angry – it’s okay to feel exactly the way you are feeling. Emotional self-care helps you learn to have more compassion for yourself and your emotions. I will tell you from experience that if you don’t allow yourself to feel the bad, it’s also really hard to feel the good. Practice feeling things in the moment so you can move on.
Some of the things that have helped me along my journey are practicing gratitude, daily affirmations and having someone to talk to. If you don’t have someone that you can talk to, consider finding a professional therapist. You can even do online or phone sessions.
3. Spiritual Self-Care
Look, I know what some of you are thinking! Spiritual self-care doesn’t necessarily have to be about religion. It encompasses any activities you engage in to connect with and nurture your soul.
Spiritual self-care is really about connecting with your inner spirit, which for some may include activities that honor a belief in a higher power (God, the universe, or whatever floats your beliefs are), but may look entirely different for others.
Beyond going to church, some prefer prayer or meditation, or even spending time in nature (consider grounding). It could also be practicing yoga or writing in a journal. I would even suggest working on a dream board and manifestation, we all could use some time to dream!
4. Mental Self-Care
Mental self-care involves activities that help declutter your mind which will reduce your stress levels. I know more than anyone that taking care of your mental health can seem difficult when life gets busy with work or school. But trust me, by scheduling time each day to care for your mental health, you can improve your overall happiness.
Mental self-care looks different for everyone. Some easy ways to relax each day may include reading a book, doing a craft you enjoy, unplugging from technology, decluttering your home, taking a class or even learning something new. There is no wrong way to take care of your mental health, as long as it makes you feel relaxed!
5. Social Self-Care
Yes, even for an introvert (like me), social self-care is so important. Humans are social beings, which means we need regular connection with others to thrive. Yes, easier said than done in times like these, but now more than ever prioritizing social self-care or activities that nurture our relationships with others so is critical.
It can be as simple as calling a friend or a relative or if you really want to try something new, plan a FaceTime or Zoom event. And when you are able, get out for a walk or coffee with a friend.
6. Pleasure Self-Care
What do you like to do? A great way to take care of yourself when you’re coping with stress is to engage in a pleasurable activity.
Do you have any hobbies? Maybe for some it is photography or even scrapbooking. It could be gardening or hiking. Perhaps its paddle boarding or even writing. Think about the things that bring you pleasure and do more of it!
7. Sensory Self-Care
When you feel stressed and need a calm mind, try focusing on the sensations around you; sights, smells, sounds, tastes, touch. This will help you focus on the present moment, giving you a break from your worries.
This could really be so much! It could be something so simple as focusing while taking in deep breaths of fresh air or just laying back and feeling the warmth of the sun on your face. If you have a dog or cat-cuddle with them or give them a good pet. Snuggle under a cozy blanket and watch a movie or even put on some music or a good podcast. Burn a candle, diffuse some oils or burn some incense. Take a hot shower or bubble bath. Oh, and as promised, this is when you could add in a spa night or even a massage. I could go on and on, but you get the drift.
Self-care doesn’t have to take tons of time or cost lots of money to be beneficial. I think the key is finding a self-care routine that works for you. I just want you to know that you are worth it and taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do for those that love and care about you.