When we think of Self-care we should think about what it means to be healthy, we typically think of physical health, exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, and avoiding things we know are harmful to our bodies. Learning about what we may not know is harmful to our bodies.
However, we don’t know what we don’t know, we often overlook self-care which is the foundation of mental health, our mouth health our spiritual health our financial health, and we need to consider if we are consistent with what we practice in our lives. If your physical body is in excellent condition and you’re eating a healthy balanced diet but your mind is in continual chaos or overwhelm and you live in a state of stress and anxiety, this can be detrimental to your overall health. I know first hand about this.
Self-care is an activity we choose to engage in for our emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, financial, and professional well-being. The benefits of self-care include:
Greater self-awareness and self-compassion
Reduced stress and anxiety
Increased energy and immunity
Improved physical health
Improved emotional well-being
Better ability to care for ourselves and be present for others
Our ability to connect, reflect, and process our emotions and cope with difficult feelings and situations develop is important to our overall mental health.
Physical self-care is what many of us typically believe when we hear the words self-care. This type of self-care refers to any physical activities you deliberately perform to enhance your physical body. A few examples include:
Being active (going for a walk, a bike ride, taking a fitness class, yoga, etc.)
Drinking plenty of water and having a healthy diet
Getting good 7-8 hours of sleep a night and taking a nap when needed
Receiving a massage regularly
Taking a relaxing bubble bath
Dancing to your favorite song or taking a dance class
Thus give some thought to what types of physical activities make you feel calm, balanced, and content, and schedule regular time on your calendar to do them.
Mental self-care encompasses anything you do specifically to stimulate your mind, intellect and that cultivates a healthy mind. Some activities that fit under the intellectual self-care category include:
Listening to an interesting podcast
Trying a new hobby like learning chess
Going to a museum to see an exciting exhibit
Solving a challenging puzzle
Reading an intriguing book
Creating art, performing music, writing a poem
We are innately social beings which indicate we need consistent connection with others to thrive – even introverts. That is the reason to prioritize meetings and activities that nurture and deepen our relationships with others is crucial. The issue is our lives get overwhelming thus we tend to cancel our plans. So setting healthy boundaries and saying “no” is important to make time for social interaction. Remember how good you feel after a meaningful connection and talk with someone close to you. Your relationships should uplift and fulfill you, not deflate, and drain you. Social self-care activities include:
Scheduling a regular touch-base with your friends and family
Hosting a routine gathering with your friends
Going on a date with your significant other or partner
Writing a card and mailing it to a loved one
This form of self-care applies to all whether or not you are religious, spiritual, atheist, agnostic, or otherwise. Spiritual self-care encompasses activities you engage in to connect with and nurture your inner spirit, essence, or heart which for some may include activities that honor a belief in a higher power, God, the universe, or whatever you call a greater spiritual presence but may look entirely different for different people. Some illustrations of spiritual self-care include:
Spending time in nature
Engaging in prayer or attending a worship service
Practicing yoga or meditation or having a mindfulness practice
Volunteering for a heart-felt cause you care deeply about
Creating art like a vision board, practicing music, or anything that lights you up and inspires you
Examples of self-care activities to address your emotional needs include:
Journaling your feelings
Talking to a friend, partner, coach, therapist, or spiritual mentor
Creating art or a visual feeling journal, playing music, or working in your garden
Utilizing affirmations or mantras
If you struggle with controlling your emotions, are easily triggered emotionally, affected by others’ negative moods, you may find this self-care area important to practice routinely. The best means to tend to your emotional self-care is to pay attention to your internal self-dialogue. Being aware if you’re engaging in negative self-talk is an important preliminary step toward breaking an unhealthy habit. The second step is to replace that negative self-talk with words that are loving and kind. Also, check and discern your critical inner voice to see if it has something of value for you to look at and analyze. By regularly engaging in emotional self-care and learning to give yourself grace, you can develop a healthy coping process that can improve your contentment.
Self-care is different for everyone. It means a different thing too. For me, it means doing whatever I can to live a healthy happy life.
Listen to my podcast on what it means to me at: