It seems like self care is on everyone’s minds right now. From bookshelves to social media, there is a lot of information detailing just how important it is to routinely take care of ourselves.
And with all that information, it can be overwhelming. So if you feel like you’re clueless about the types of self care, I’ve got you covered!
For a long time, my definition of self care always involved some sort of retail therapy, maybe a pedicure, and going out to dinner with friends. These are great ways to de-stress and blow off steam, but only really focus on your physical self care.
Did you know that there are different types of self care practices?
Are you already active in your self care? If so, you’re ahead of the game! Is your self care routine focusing on other aspects of your life? If you think it could use some tweaking, this guide is for you. Incorporating each type of self care is important to maintain a good balance in your self care activities, so you don’t neglect parts of you that may need a little more TLC.
Ok, enough beating around the bush. On to the goods!
5 Types of Self Care
1.) Physical Self Care
We touched on this type of self care a little bit already. Mani/pedis and shopping can help get you in high spirits if you’re feeling low. And with caution (don’t blow that check!), is a great reward system and confidence booster for yourself. Other great ideas for practicing physical self care are getting back into your workout routine, eating more healthy foods and drinking more water.
2.) Mental/Psychological Self Care
I like to attack my mental self care by exercising my brain, as often as I exercise my body! If you love puzzles, word games, and sudokus like I do, that is the perfect way to work your brain muscle, and have fun while doing it. Practicing this type of intellectual self care can go a long way to maintaining optimal brain health and function. Curious? Read why.
Another way I practice another form of mental self care is through psychological self care. What do I mean? I’m talking about focusing on the source of your negative thoughts and breaking those patterns. Establishing affirmations or mantras personal to you help create a habit of stopping the spiral of negative self talk, and creating more positive thoughts.
Other ways? Practice learning to say “no” to others without feeling guilty, show more gratitude to maintain a positive view on your life, and be more mindful of the type of people you surround yourself with. If they aren’t supporting you and helping you thrive, they are only carrying negative vibes that can indirectly affect your progress.
3.) Emotional/Personal Self Care
Emotional or personal self care is when it’s time to really get in touch with your emotions. Whether it’s getting out a good cry, or expressing your anger to a friend, truly allowing yourself to vent out your thoughts and feelings, without judgement, is one of the best ways to nurture yourself. You can also:
+ Get your anxious thoughts by journaling
+ Volunteer, which helps demonstrate compassion for others, which in turn makes it easier to show yourself the same patience and empathy. It helps you be nicer!
+ Choose confidence over anxiety of what others think so you can be open about your interests and passions without the fear of judgement or criticism. Letting yourself be you!
+ Establish good boundaries for yourself
+ Enjoy your favorite things and anything that helps put you in a good mood
4.) Spiritual Self Care
Practicing spiritual self care helps you get in touch with yourself with no distractions. When you’re free from ego, fear, and even social media, societal obligations, and other people’s opinions, you can hear your own voice much more clearly.
Letting yourself disconnect helps you focus on the non-material things in life, like enjoying a nature walk or meditating in a quiet space. And it’s the best time to practice listening closely to your intuition and determine who you are and what’s important to you.
5.) Professional Self Care
I think this is one of the most overlooked types of self care. Many of us can say that most of our stress comes from our job. And I know that the stale office air and headache-inducing fluorescent lighting is definitely not helping. Preparing to step into such an atmosphere can create stress before the work has even started!
But finding ways that work for you to reduce your physical and mental stress at work can make a bad day, and even a bad job, into a more empowering experience. Here are some of my ideas!
+ not taking on more projects than you can handle
+not engaging in office gossip or drama that can be distracting
+Keeping healthy (but delicious) snacks at your desk to keep you both satisfied and energized
+essential oils to induce calm feelings
+practicing time management, with plenty of mental breaks
Essentially, balance is necessary in proper maintenance.
But be sure to go at your own pace, adding in new types of self care when you feel comfortable enough to do so.
Stress is inevitable in life, but acknowledging that you have the control to successfully deal with it, reminds you to feel empowered. And to continue learning about who you are and keep up with your changing needs, to create a confident, happy, and positive life for yourself.